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RESEARCH ON MAIN STREET

Using the Web to Find Local
Business and Market Information


By Marcy Phelps

Foreword by Mary Ellen Bates

"This book covers an area of business research that simply hasn’t been addressed before, and it fills an important gap in any researcher’s toolkit."
 - Mary Ellen Bates, Bates Information Services, Inc.

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Links to resources mentioned in Research on Main Street

Chapter Seven
Looking for Locals

411 Locate (www.411Locate.com): This online directory is used to find basic contact information for people, including address, phone number, and email.

ABYZ News Links (www.abyznewslinks.com): This directory is mostly composed of newspaper websites from around the world, but you’ll also find some broadcast stations, magazines, and press agencies.

American City Business Journals (www.bizjournals.com): With weekly newspapers in 40 cities, this is an excellent source for business-related articles about people living in or well-known in a particular geographic area.

ASAE Gateway to Associations Directory (www.asaecenter.org/Community/Directories/associationsearch.cfm): Tap into the expertise of the people behind local organizations, or use resources from organizations for finding information about local residents. Search this site by topic or geographic area.

Best of the Web Blog Directory (blogs.botw.org): This directory of location-related blogs from all over the world lets you search by place-name to identify and learn about local experts.

ChirpCity (chirpcity.com): Use this site to find location-based Twitter updates, which are a great way to find out who’s tweeting about what.

DexKnows (www.dexknows.com): Use this phone-style directory to find basic contact information and to make sure you are researching the correct person.

Facebook (www.facebook.com): Use this site for connecting with people or identifying leads to people-related information. To find people by location, enter a name or other keyword in the basic search box on your profile page and narrow results by location.

Globe of Blogs (www.globeofblogs.com): Use this directory to find blogs by geographic location.

Google Blogs Search (blogsearch.google.com): Identify experts by checking who is blogging and about whom they’re writing. Enter people or geographic names as keywords in your search.

Google Directory (directory.google.com): Turn to regionally focused magazines and news sources to identify local experts and learn more about local people. In the Regional section of this directory, follow the link for News and Media, and you’ll find local publications.

Google Maps (maps.google.com): Use this resource to identify universities in or near a particular geographic area. Click through to the websites of these organizations to find local experts.

Google News (news.google.com): This resource offers advanced searching by location. Find articles written by or about local experts, or learn more about local celebrities.

GuideStar (www2.guidestar.org): Tap into the expertise of the people behind local organizations, or use resources from organizations for finding information about local people. The financial filings contained in GuideStar generally provide information about the people within these organizations.

InOtherNews.us (www.inothernews.us): This site organizes U.S.-based news blogs by state and lets you go beyond the mainstream press.

iSEEK (www.iseek.com): Through this general-purpose search engine, search for a person’s name, and filter the results by location through links on the results page.

LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com): At LinkedIn, you can search for a particular person or for people who match your criteria. In addition to searching profiles, search LinkedIn groups to find like-minded people, or the Questions and Answers section for subject experts.

Nearby Tweets (www.nearbytweets.com): This site makes it easy to search Twitter updates by location, which will help you identify and follow local experts.

NewsVoyager (www.newsvoyager.com): This resource will take you to the websites of daily, weekly, and college newspapers, good sources for coverage of local celebrities and hometown heroes.

OneRiot (www.oneriot.com): This resource searches social networking sites for current postings by or about people. Enter people or place-names as keywords. Note: OneRiot is no more!

Peterson’s (www.petersons.com): This site is a great tool for quickly identifying all the colleges and universities in or near a particular geographic area. Go to the websites of these institutions to look for and learn more about professors and other experts.

Pipl (pipl.com): Through Pipl, you can find information about people that has been scraped from social networking sites and other web resources. Always verify the information you find from Pipl, as it has not been vetted by humans.

Placeblogger (www.placeblogger.com): This directory of location-related blogs from all over the world helps you search by place-name. (Note: Placeblogger is gone)

Radio-Locator (www.radio-locator.com): Through this site, you can get to the websites of public and private radio stations, which are great places to look for journalists and other local experts.

Superpages.com (www.superpages.com): Directory-style sites such as Superpages.com are a good starting place for people-related research. Find and verify basic contact information, searching by first and last names, location, or phone number.

Technorati (technorati.com): This blog search engine lets you use people and geographic names as keywords and limit your searches to the more-authoritative sites.

Topix (www.topix.com): Topix gathers and organizes the local news sources by location.

TV Station Web Page Directory (www.tvwebdirectory.com): This resource provides links to television stations throughout the world, to help you find experts and follow local news.

7-29 Twitter (twitter.com): Head to Twitter’s search page (search.twitter.com) and click
Advanced Search, where you can find tweets from, to, or about a named person or near a specified geographic area.

U.S. Universities (www.utexas.edu/world/univ/state): From the University of Texas at Austin, this resource provides links to university websites, organized by name or state. The university sites will lead you to sources of information about local experts.

Whozat (whozat.com): Search this site to find information about people, including web mentions, social and professional networking sites, images, videos, and Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) references. (Note: Looks like Whozat is gone)

Wink (wink.com):Wink is especially useful for exploring people’s social-networking connections. It provides several options for limiting your search using location/distance, interests, schools, groups, career, and tags (descriptive keywords).

Yahoo! Directory (dir.yahoo.com): Use this resource to identify magazines by location. In the news section, follow the link for magazines, and you’ll see a heading for regional publications. These sources often contain in-depth articles about people residing or working within a specific geographic area.

Yahoo! People (people.yahoo.com): This directory helps you find and verify contact information for people (including email), and it can be searched by name, phone number, or location.

yoName (www.yoname.com): A people-search engine, this site alerts the person if you search for them by email address, although they won’t know who is doing the search.

ZoomInfo (www.zoominfo.com): This site gathers people-related information from various websites. Make sure you verify what you find, since the information on this site is not verified by people and can be prone to errors.
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Marcy quoted in Entrepreneur magazine
Hacking the U.S. Census for Market Research

Marcy's article published in
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