Tool of the week: PeekYou

What is it? An online directory that trawls more than 60 social networking websites and more than 3 billion links, according to PeekYou's LinkedIn profile, where it describes its mission as "indexing the public web around people".

PeekYou

(Go on, search for your name, you know you want to.)

How is it of use for journalists? All journalists need to track down a source or contact at some point, and many of those people will have public profiles on social networks, plus accounts on eBay or Amazon.

Mashable has called PeekYou the engine that "makes people search worthwhile", with the power being the tool's ability to bring all the information together in one place.

As with any search engine, the more popular the name or search term, the less effective the search.

You can search by full name or username (useful for searching for people such as @fieldproducer who keeps a consistent brand across networks) and you can narrow a search by country and other filters.

PeekYou seems to work best for US contacts but having the option to filter by UK, if that is where the person you are looking for is based, is helpful.

Here’s an example of how Forbes contributor Haydn Shaughnessy used PeekYou to compile a list of top social media influencers.

There are instructions at this link on how to remove yourself from the PeekYou site.

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