'F' is for finding people

As more and more people get connected to the Internet, the Web has become a valuable source of information for people looking for people. You can find biographies, home addresses and phone numbers, company addresses and phone numbers, email addresses, and just about anything else you might care to look for.

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, FACD, FAGD

As more and more people get connected to the Internet, the Web has become a valuable source of information for people looking for people. You can find biographies, home addresses and phone numbers, company addresses and phone numbers, email addresses, and just about anything else you might care to look for.

Let's say you were looking for a lost friend from college or someone you met at a meeting in 1997. As more and more companies and organizations create their own Web sites - often including employee phone numbers - chances are you might find him or her by doing a regular Web search. Who knows, this particular person may even have his or her own web page.

These general search-engine queries can be quite time-consuming, frequently generating a multitude of pages to sort through. If you are not interested in going that route, there are other sites that can specifically search for people by name, address, or through any sort of public-record database.

Here are some people search sites to explore:

Anywho: www.anywho.com
Who Where: www.whowhere. lycos.com
Pandia: www.pandia.com/peo ple
Superpages: www. super pages .com
Switchboard: www.switch board.com
Classmates: www.class mates .com
Yahoo People: www.people. yahoo.com
U.S. Search: www.us search .com
People Find: www.peoplefind .com
Reverse Directory: www.reverse directory.net
National Address Server: www.cedar.buffalo.edu/adserv/ html
USA Find: www.usafind 2000. com
Phonenumbers: www.phone numbers.net
KnowX: www.knowx.com

On most of these sites, you can search for personal or business phone numbers, street addresses, email addresses, and more. Most will give you access to public- information databases such as death records, criminal records, etc. Many will generate maps and directions to the person or location that you are searching for. Some will locate listings of toll-free numbers, and will even do product searches.

It is quite eye-opening (and sometimes disturbing!) to discover how easy it is to find information about anyone. The Internet is making this task as easy as a click of your mouse. They will come in handy when you need to locate someone or try to reconnect with a long-lost friend or relative.

The World Wide Web is a fantastic and fascinating way to start this task. I would recommend using more than one of the above search sites because there is no one perfect people-finder site. If these search sites can't help you, then you'd better hire a private detective!

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, FACD, FAGD, FICD, practices general dentistry in St. Louis. He also is the editor of St. Louis Dentistry Magazine and spokesman and critical-issue-response-team chairman for the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. His address on the Internet is www.dfdasmiles.com. Contact him by email at jeff@dfdasmiles.com, by phone at (314) 567-5612, or by fax at (314) 567-9047.

More in Macro/Op-Ed