Here is a pretty darn good way. But it only works if your friend has a relatively unique name.
Buy the dot com version of his name. Let’s say his name is “johnpindor” Buy the name johnpindor.com.
It costs $5.99/year for a dot.com (from 1and1.com or godaddy.com) and you can do two things with it.
One you can buy a cheap website (example 1and1.com) has website for 2.99/month. OR you can go to a site like geocities.com and get free webspace and point …
…johnpindor.com so when someone types johnpindor.com into a url bar it goes to your geocities site.
Then you optimize the site for google. People are ALWAYS putting their names in google to see what comes up. If the name is relatively unique it will come up on the first page of Google with a little tweaking
I have done this three times and it never fails. Within 5 months or less all three people found the website I made with their name on it and sent me a “HI” email.
Obviously this will only work if the name is somewhat uncommon. If his name is john smith, you won’t be able to get the name high enough in Google ranking so he’ll see it.
Remember places like Peoplefinder are not going to give you anything for free. You can check the social security death index to see if the person you are looking for is dead. The index isn’t updated with regularity though. I know people that have died two years ago that aren’t in their but people that died six months ago are. So I don’t know how that gets updated.
Also places like People finders often use old info. For instance in one of those I am listed as living in a town I haven’t lived in since 1980. This is because they are using my driver’s license info. Since I never updated that and I moved to NYC I don’t own a car. So I haven’t had a license since 1990. So that info isn’t correct.
Also one other thing to consider is on line services are charged for while in person services aren’t. For instance if I go to get court files on line they charge me for them. But that is public information. So if I go directly to the courthouse and rummage thru the files there it’s free. And it makes sense cause you’re doing the work.
Finally depending on how long ago you knew this person. You can call up the places they worked and ask for information. I used to work for a bond agency and you would NOT believe the things people would tell you. I would pretend to ask for a job reference and I would get all sorts of information, even social security numbers and cell phone numbers and well you get the idea, people LOVE to talk.