Friday, December 12, 2008

PeekYou for Firefox – Know the people behind the web

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PeekYou is a search engine designed to search people. If you have heard about Spock or Wink, you must be familiar with the idea of people’s search engine. PeekYou gathers information about online users from publicly available URLs, including MySpace profiles, Friendster, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, blogs, homepages, and news sources, and makes this information accessible through their search engine. PeekYou’s directory of people is openly editable and managed by community of volunteers, much like the Wikipedia community.

Recently, PeekYou released one of the coolest addon for Firefox. This addon adds PeekYou to the browser’s status bar and whenever you visit a page, it will retrieve information from their directory and tell you who is behind that website. It’s unobtrusive and very informative. For instance, when I visit Yahoo.com the status bar tells me “Jerry Yang from Sunnyvale, CA”, who is the CEO and co-founder of Yahoo. When I open Google, PeekYou’s status bar displays the name “Larry Page from Mountain View, CA”, who is the co-founder and President of Google. A click on the status bar takes me to this person’s profile page on PeekYou.

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PeekYou also integrates with search engines like Google, Yahoo, Live and Ask and inserts these helpful information into the search results page.

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At the time of writing this, there are 163,479,978 indexed profiles on PeekYou. Interestingly, last night when I checked (about 12 hours ago), this count was 80,000 less. 80K new profiles in 12 hours is whopping.

If you are active on social networking sites and if you have a website or an online business, you might want to create profile at PeekYou, if you don’t already have it, and let PeekYou addon users know about you whenever they visit your site.

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