Web helps to reunite lost loves, relatives

Allison Schlesinger

Ami Lindy thought her childhood friend fell off the face of the earth. But thanks to the World Wide Web, the two Central High School alumnae were reunited.
Lindy, a recent College of Liberal Arts graduate, was searching the Internet for tips on making homemade herbal vinegar when she found Cindi Smith’s homepage. The two high school buddies haven’t seen each other in almost a decade.
“You can imagine my surprise when I hit the Chicago Arts and Crafts Society’s homepage and found a link to Cindi’s page,” a giddy Lindy said. “I learned so much about her life after a few simple keystrokes!”
While Lindy and Smith were reconnected by chance, others searching for long-lost loves or college buddies won’t have to rely on fate. Creators of a new, exciting service called WebUnite promise to find anyone who has a personal homepage.
“I tell you, we have some pretty sad stories coming to us,” said Ronny Nite, the chief executive officer, president and founder of this innovative service. “But I have a skill — actually, a gift from God — and I can find anything on the Internet. Hey, I’m a big person. Why not help the public?”
Nite said workers at WebUnite have reunited hundreds of people since the company was formed a little more than a year ago. In June, the company will celebrate its second birthday and, if Nite generates enough publicity, its 1,000th reunion.
Here’s how this fabulous service works: Those searching for loves or relatives just need to meet with one of WebUnite’s highly-trained research counselors. After an initial case analysis, the search request is discussed by a panel of WebUnite’s computer technicians.
“We call this step in the process the SDI phase,” said Cliff Roberts, WebUnite’s chief computer technician. “I don’t want to confuse the Web-illiterate, but it means it’s the Searchable Data and Information Phase. And, it means fast service for our customers.”
If their search request is accepted, customers make four easy payments of $39.99. Search results come shortly after the payment plan is completed.
Testimonies about WebUnite’s effectiveness are pouring in.
Gladys Bidd, a retired school nurse from Minneapolis, said her life is now complete after WebUnite found her nephew.
“It was so easy. I just met with a counselor and gave him my nephew’s name and occupation. The counselor warned me that the search could be difficult because of his job as a graphic artist, but assured me he and the computer technicians would work day and night to find him,” Bidd said.
A month after Bidd applied for a Web search, technicians at WebUnite found Ray Bidd.
“WebUnite works miracles!” Bidd exclaimed.
Coincidentally, Ray Bidd used WebUnite’s homepage designing services to create his own personal Web site just months earlier.
Ray Bidd said the process was easy. He, too, met with one of WebUnite’s counselors and talked about his hobbies, hopes and dreams. After a panel of computer technicians approved Ray Bidd’s homepage requirements, the company created his Web site.
The service costs just four payments of $49.99, but the graphic artist said the opportunity is priceless.
“I got to choose three exciting colors for my site and I was able to include personal photos and quotes,” Ray Bidd said. “Now, everyone can see my Grand Canyon vacation photos!”
Although the Web search and the page design services are helping 1,000s, Nite said he has more plans for his booming company.
Nite would like to offer his customers links to other pages to double their homepage’s availability.
“I don’t want to confuse the computer-illiterate, but I call the process arbitrary linkage,” Roberts said. “It means that your homepage could feasibly be linked to the National Knitting Club even if you don’t know how to knit. Sure, it’s a difficult technique, but we go the extra mile for our customers.”