It's safe to say that within minutes of Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone, some bright spark was thinking about how to cash in, and came up with the idea of the telephone directory.
Since that pivotal moment (albeit an imagined one, most likely) the directory hasn't really evolved all that much.
You could search by name, that's a given, and there were even "reverse directories" where you could search by number.
But these days, there are so many other ways to track people down - if you know where to look. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Hotmail - you name it, we've probably all got usernames for at least one of them.
So at www.spokeo.com you can find people by their names, numbers, social networking profiles, or even by the photos they've posted to Flikr. As they say themselves, this is not your grandma's phone book.
Not sure what this does to the privacy laws, but it's most useful.
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