Whatever people might say, web 2.0 has proven to be a boon in tracking anyone online. Ask any HR flack or a college admission guy. Here is a short list of things you might want to to serach for someone online:
1. Start by Googling her/him. Go to preferences and set erach results to 100 and turn safesearch off. While you are at it, use Google Blog Search and Google Image Search as well.
2. Search Social Networking sites: Use Wink to search several social networking sites at once. Search big sites like Facebook (useful for college students in the United States), Bebo, or Orkut by logging in if you are a member.
3. Work Related infrmation: Search Linkedin.com or Zoominfo.com
4. Phone Numbers and Addresses - use ZabaSearch
5. The invisible web ( simple definition: sites that google might ave missed): use Pipl
6. Finally, use Google Alerts to get email updates on your search for your chosen term.
7. Try to use qualifiers with the person's name: e.g. "John Doe, NYU student" is better than "John Doe".