I am not really sure why anybody would want to stalk someone on the Internet, it just sounds disturbing. However, just in case, for your own personal safety you wish to track someones progress, this article is for you. On the other hand if you are a federal agent or a friend of mine, do not worry I do not stalk anyone, I merely imagine ways one could stalk someone.
Start with a very simple Google search. Enter their name in, and wait for the results to pop up. Unless your person of interest(poi) is someone smart, their Facebook profile is the first to popup. Go ahead click on it, after all it was their decision to make their profile public, you have nothing to feel guilty about. Most poi’s will be cooperative and provide you with their display picture on their profile page, for the non cooperative ones read along. Facebook believes it is “super cool” to display your poi’s friends on their profile page, take advantage of that. Ask yourself the question, do I know any of these? , have I seen any of them before? , Do I wish to know any of them now?. One of these question is sure to generate an affirmative answer, and you know you have found your poi. Your poi’s level of intelligence is the key factor in this exercise, if it is extremely low then you can click on “photos” and find a nice timelined view of their past. Keep a pencil and paper handy, make three columns – time, date and activity. Start populating these fields as you casually browse through the photos; do this for two weeks and you have established your pio’s daily routine. Many poi’s are hungry for attention and will post stuff like – “Went to the mall today ..”, “Just got a cool new pair of sunglasses from East market Avenue …”, “Wow me throwing a party tonight .. No adults [:P]” , the list goes on. With enough experience you will become a samurai at decoding these teen messages, helping you populate your tracking sheet better.
If your poi is smart and has covered his/her/its tracks then you can always turn to twitter. 95 % of the poi’s will let strangers follow them, they need to boast about something at school don’t they. Once you follow them you realize you have just entered a world filled with chirpy teens. Don’t worry I shall be your guiding light, lets move on. Most poi’s will be proud to tweet at least once an hour, they consider it their moral duty. Get that handy book of yours out and start noting down their activity. This exercise will help you understand them better and perhaps even answer the following questions, How are they fairing in their relationship? , What time do they sleep? , Were they are planning to go the next day? , What they ate for breakfast in the morning? , Did they lock the door before sleeping ? ….. At the end of one month, yes this exercise requires patience, you would have collected enough data, enabling you to know them better than their own parents.
Google Images, a rather neglected product, does more than just help you find the correct movie poster. Type in the name of your poi and with a little luck, Google’s optimized algorithm will be more than happy to show their faces to you. Use that to answer the question, am I stalking the right person? Google will also be kind enough to pop the photo’s of your poi’s friends, you can use that information too if you are running out of things to do on Saturday night.
Now to my audience, if you are a company executive, you have just wasted your time reading this, you guys have already published internal research papers on these kind of things. However if you are a friend of mine or a relative, please substitute your name instead of the word POI. If it sends a shiver down your spine kindly stop sharing your personal information with strangers, become smarter, use those social networking tools out there in the right manner.