Metasearching for Social Network Users

There’s a metasearch for everything else, so why not. yoName, at , allows you to put in a username, e-mail address, or first and last name, and find people across several different social networks. It’s in beta.

I first tried the search with a friend’s name. I know he’s on MySpace. yoName ran the search across several networks, including Xanga, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Friendster. Here’s the funny part — yoName announced potential matches on a few of the networks but for MySpace, announced confidently that it had found my friend. It hadn’t — it found somebody else with the same name. I didn’t see a way to say “Wrong one, try again.”

It gets even more complicated if you’re using a more general keyword. I know a lot of bands have spots on MySpace, so I tried doing a search for Wolfmother. Sure, I got Wolfmother’s MySpace page — and tens of thousands of other pages that mentioned Wolfmother, videos by Wolfmother, etc etc. So unless you search for a very specific name, you might get some extraneous results.

Enough crabbing, let’s talk about the good parts. When you get a set of results from yoName, you have the option to quickly preview the first ten results in-page. It doesn’t look like you can view all the results though — and if you’re only looking for a single person, why would you want to? Sometimes the previews are a little misaligned because of banner ads, etc, but they’re easy to read.

I don’t use MySpace, but just by doing some experimental searching with yoName I got a sense of the huge cross-section of people (and musical groups) that are on there. Possibly frustrating if you’re trying to do an absolute search, interesting as a browser/explorer.

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