After several months of private beta testing, 123 People has launched its people search application in the U.S. As Webware notes, this service competes with services such as Spock and Wink. It’s different from many other people search engines in that it scours popular sites such as Flickr and Facebook to come up with everything from possibly correct e-mail addresses to other information.
These days, it’s often easy to reconnect with a colleague you’ve lost track of by looking through the social networks, but not always. I decided to test 123 People to see if it could find information on several online writers that I worked with years ago and had lost track of.
After a series of test searches for three writers I used to work with but had lost track of, I definitely find 123 People useful. It found concrete e-mail address probabilities and physical addresses for two of the three writers (and the third is a woman who I believe has a different last name than she used to, so not finding her is forgivable).
You can tell that the fundamental difference between 123 People and other people search engines–how it scours social networks and sites such as Flickr–is in place. For example, you can see in the suffixes of some of the e-mail addresses it returns that it scours these types of sites.
123 People also has a blog post up detailing some of this: “Type in ‘Barack Obama‘ you are greeted with images from popular social networks like Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, and Google and Wikipedia. Want to follow Obama on Twitter? find all Obama related Twitter accounts with 123 People, as well as blogs, weblinks and real-time news clippings from CNN, NYTimes and WSJ, all presented in a dynamic hub.”
If you’re in search of lost colleagues or need to find someone for any reason, give it a try.