As the Web continues to grow and people rely more on search, vertical search engines become more important and more useful in sorting through the exponential expansion of content. The author investigated three search engines that deal with people search and spoke to members of each individual team about how the search engines differ and what features they have that offer the most value to researchers. Wink (http://wink.com) hopes to harness the data available through social networking sites. Wink includes a social networking component, but it centers on search. Spock (http://spock.com), which is the newest kid on the people search block, was launched in private beta earlier this year and opened up to everyone in August. Spock says its edge is in its ability to focus on people-specific data. ZoomInfo (http://zoominfo.com) is a little different from Wink and Spock in that it is more of a business-related search engine than specifically a people-focused one.
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