Have you googled yourself lately?
I’ll admit it, I occasionally search my name in Google to see what comes up. It tends to be mostly random bits and pieces that have been published containing my name over the last several years. I also get crossed with a couple other Jeremy Lindh’s, so the result is only a semi-clear representation of the real me.
I read an article recently that listed a few People Search Engines. Up until now, most of the “white pages” online would find a person for you, but they would charge you for any real information. If you’d like to be found, these newer people search engines give people an easier way to find you. Some of them even let you define how you’re presented to these people. Two of these are Wink and PeekYou.
People Search Engines: Wink, Peek You, & Pipl
I checked out three People Search Engines today, and here are my initial results:
Wink.com — This one seems to be the smartest of the three I checked out today. Wink appears to go through sites like Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn to gather information about you. You can create a Wink.com profile to fill out any information you would like to have mentioned.
PeekYou.com — PeekYou just had my name, age, and city at first. They encourage you to register and add information about yourself.
Pipl.com — This one is more of a straight search. Pipl found my Yahoo People, MySpace, Facebook, and ( odd ) an old Amazon customer profile. The Yahoo link does a Yahoo Search of your name.
So I registered for Wink and PeekYou. Here’s what I found:
Wink.com — Wink lets you add a bunch of stuff. You can add all of your Social Media type websites, like your LinkedIn page, Facebook, Twitter, and more. For Twitter, it even shows your latest tweets. ( I’m @jeremylindh, in case you were wondering ). You can also add any personal websites. If that’s not enough for you, you can fill out your work and school history, personal information, and add friends and photos.
PeekYou.com — PeekYou lets you add most of the same things as Wink. It also adds things itself, at the same time. It searches the internet for instances of your name and links them to your profile.
Hard to say if filling out the information at either of these sites will ever be worth your time. I’ve filled everything out, but I’ll be curious to see if either site can gain enough clout in the future to move past the other items that would normally come up when you search a name.
Also, I don’t know if Wink just had issues for me, or is buggy overall, but when I went to recheck my profile a few days later, my name wasn’t updated with any of the information that I’d added. Also, even though I remained logged in on my computer, the site wouldn’t let me change information without re-logging in — which then told me no such account existed. First impression of Wink… not so hot.
Searching for myself later on PeekYou resulted much better. It comes up with icons for my various social media and personal websites, and the profile picture I added appears nicely. If you’re going to fill out one of these profiles, Peek You seems like the better use of your time.
Final analysis… save your time and energy. These sites may eventually pick up momentum, but at this point your LinkedIn and Facebook pages are far better resources for sharing yourself with others.
Update: Google has released their own Profile Maker. Check out my 10 Steps to Creating Your Google Profile