I figured I should advertise this, since it’s worked well for me.
You’ve got a bunch of people you’d like to get back in touch with. You lost them when you moved or dropped out of an organization or had your cell phone stolen. Whatever. You were friends, and now they’re gone. How can you find them?
For convenience (and amusement), let’s name your friend Frisky Whiskers. You might be inclined to google “Frisky Whiskers”. However, this won’t yield good results, at least not for your objective. Frisky probably doesn’t have his own website. If he does, it’s probably on myspace, where he used some clever handle like cooldood2004 (I just made that up. I haven’t checked if the person exists or is named Frisky Whiskers.). You also have to try to pick out which results actually refer to the Frisky Whiskers that you know.
Now, if you’ve got a long list of people to look for, this is a fair amount of work. Picking those results is not easy when you haven’t talked to Frisky in a long time, since you just don’t know enough about him anymore. Luckily, you know somebody who does, or at least you did.
Here’s the idea. You make a website that contains your list of names. Then, and this is important, you make sure your name is in the title of the website. When Frisky googles himself, as everyone (I assume) does from time to time, he’ll see your name, recognize it, and check out your website.
If things go according to plan, Frisky will contact you. If not, well, at least you’ve got his IP address.