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I feel conflicted.

On the one hand, it's a cool hack.

On the other hand, once someone starts abusing (and teaching others how to abuse) a system. The people in charge of the system have to take steps to protect the system (usually by limiting people's ability to use it). The net result is that we risk losing an extremely valuable discovery/communication tool.

On the gripping hand, life is all about accepting and adapting to change. We should accept that the tools available today might not be available tomorrow.

So I remain conflicted. Doing these sorts of searches by hand might result in a make-or-break connection for your business. Imho, by automating the technique we cross the line from using the tool to abusing the tool. And tools tend to break if you abuse them enough.

But, it's a cool hack.

This is just as much of a "cool hack" as the latest trend i've been experiencing. Sales droids have been emailing my personal email address to try and sell and pitch me. As a result of the latest and most persistent one, I'm pushing to open source our internal alternative for that product.

Most of the top execs at my company (fortune 500) have internal only email addresses now, because of crap like this.

Whenever you leave a window open for hack, there's potential for abuse. I don't see the conflict here. There are those who would use it for fun & then there are those who would love to ruin it for everyone. From a privacy point of view, I don't think it should be considered an "extremely valuable discovery/communication tool".

It's a tight line. As someone in Sales, it is helpful to know people's email. But sending spam just creates more powerful spam blocking email systems, which ultimately screen out real email too.

The hack is cool. Public directories of everyone's email address (which is the logical extension) - maybe not as cool.

You should never share your simple yet effective hacks

"Never show anyone. They'll beg you and they'll flatter you for the secret, but as soon as you give it up... you'll be nothing to them..." Quote from the prestige about magic.

Agree - I consider myself a social hacker... and I'm constantly tempted to show off my methods... but I try not to. A trick is more impressive if someone doesn't know they are being tricked.

And if everyone does it... it looses its magic.

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