Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

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Archive for the ‘Free Online Searches’ Category

Four Free Social Media Search Engines

Posted by Writing PIs on January 9, 2016

Social media search engines offer real-time results (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

Social media search engines offer real-time results (image licensed by Colleen Collins)

Updated Jan. 9, 2016

Why Search Social Media?

In a nutshell: Social media search tools offer real-time, niche results. Some require that users log in and register via email addresses — rather than provide your personal email address (which could be sold to a third-party vendor), consider using a disposable or masked email address. You can read more about such services in “Protecting Your Privacy: Using Disposable and Masked Email Services.”

Four Social Media Search Engines

The searches listed in this post are free with some offering premium plans for a fee.

SmashFuse: Immediate real-time results in social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and others. Easy-to-view layout with share buttons.

SocialMention: Real-time search in over a hundred media properties, from blogs to comments to images. It also provides social media analysis broken down by Strength, Sentiment, Passion, Reach, Top Users, Top Hashtags and Sources.

Social SearcherSearches content in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in real time. You can also sign up for “monitoring” that includes history, advanced analytics, increased email alerts and more.

#tagboard: This free web services lets you simultaneously search for hashtags on a variety of social media platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, and Google+. It also offers pay-for services, which are geared more to corporations than individuals.

Social Media Search Sites That Are No More

Sorry to see these sites go…

Topsy: This search engine, which offered real-time results and analytics for Twitter, had been around since 2008, but Apple closed it down on December 15, 2015. This used to be one of our favorite search sites, which checked a variety of social networking sites, search engines, websites, photos and more. The search results used to be comprehensive, but these days are slim to nonexistent. Formerly combined results from Twitter and Facebook in an easy-to-read format organized by date stamp, but the site is now dead.

WhosTalkin: This social media search tool once searched conversations in over 60 social media gateways. Although the site is still up, search attempts go into an endless “search spin.” We recently learned WhosTalkin was sold to a private company in 2011.

Have a great weekend, Writing PIs

All rights reserved by Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman. Any use of the content (including images owned by Colleen Collins and/or Shaun Kaufman) requires specific, written authority. Please do not copy or distribute any images noted as licensed; any images noted as being in the public domain are yours to steal.

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Free Online Searches

Posted by Writing PIs on January 25, 2010

We’re like anybody else when it comes to spending money–we prefer the free stuff before we start shelling out the bucks.  Time to revisit some of our favorite, free public online searches.

Google.  Let’s face it, it’s becoming a Google World. It’s become the most comprehensive public search engine around, so we always go to it first when starting searches.  Enter information in the Google browser window, press the “Search Google” button and review the results. We once found a person who’d been “on the run” by an ad they placed in craigslist–they listed their location and phone number in the ad! And we found them by running the phone number in Google. If you want to read more about Google and its many search features, check out

Pipl.  This search engines prides itself on being a deep web search engine.  We like it ’cause it’s free and comprehensive and checks all kinds of places (archives, photographs, blog posts, etc.). Maybe someday Pipl will charge for its searches, but for now it’s still free.

123people. Another deep web search engine. After you enter a person’s name and city, all kinds of search results display. Side-step the ads that want to charge you money for additional searches and check the actual search results, such as the email addresses found for the person, phone number listings, web links, even where the person has registered their “wish lists” with amazon. 

Have a great week, Writing PIs

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