What is Spock?
In this case it’s not a character on Star Trek nor is it a baby doctor. Spock is the name of a free people search engine. You can use it to search for celebrities, politicians, athletes, business person, your neighbors and friends or people you’ve lost touch with.
While Spock is not really intended as a social network, it does allow messaging and voting. However, it’s primary strength is as a metasearch engine for people on the web. Search results link to other known web locations such as a person’s home page, blog, MySpace page, Wikipedia page, LinkedIn and more.
Signing up for Spock is easy. It’s simply the same old email confirmation process you find on many sites.
Spock has a nice, clean, Web 2.0 interface so doing searches is easy.
Using Spock, you can search for people by name or by a “tag”. Tags consist of some piece of personal information. For example, you might search for someone who graduated from your high school or college, someone that works at a particular company or someone who has the same interests as you do. These tags can be created by the person themselves or my other Spock members.
For example, using tags you can search for drunk drivers, rock guitarists or those who’re in both categories. Sometimes the results match up but sometimes they don’t. However, it can be interesting to explore around, trying to find interesting matches and crossovers.
If you’re using Firefox or IE, you can easily add Spock to your toolbar pull search options which is quite handy.
Spock features several widgets you can embed in your web pages. Here are some examples:
What’s Not To Like?
Like any site, Spock has some things that still need some work or should be reconsidered.
Like many sites that depend on user provided data, some of the data isn’t quite right or has holes. Since they’ve only been live since April 2007 this is an understandable problem that should be improved over time.
However, in seeking to improve their database, they ask users to submit their email address books, friends lists and the like. I can understand their desire for trying to acquire more data for their service, but I, as someone who appreciates what little privacy I have left in today’s world, I found it a bit too pushy for my taste.
All in all, I found Spock.com to be a useful metasearch engine. I’ve added it to my search bar in Firefox and I’ll probably use it from time to time. I won’t be giving them my address book though. There terms of service look safe enough but, hey, I’m a bit paranoid about stuff like that.
Do you have any thoughts about their service? Leave me a comment and let me know.
This is a Sponsored Review