When you initially sign up for an account with America Online, you are required to choose a unique screen name. This screen name will be permanently linked to your AOL account, and when chatting with friends and family, it will be used to identify all of your messages. With an online tool or the AOL Instant Messaging program, you can search AOL's member directory to find the person or screen name you are looking for.
Go to the AOL People Connection site, peopleconnection.aol.com, in any web browser.
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Click on the "Chat" tab at the top of the page.
Go to the search area on the right side of the next window and click on the "People Finder" tab.
Enter the name or screen name of the individual you are looking for into the search field.
Hit the "Search" button to see your results. If the name or screen name is found, you will see the person's current status and online location.
Launch the AIM application.
Log in with the screen name and password you set up when you created your AOL account. When you successfully sign in, a window with a list of all your current contacts will be displayed.
Open the "People" menu at the top of the window and choose the "Find a Buddy Wizard" option.
Enter any search criteria that you want to use to find AOL buddies, including full name, e-mail address and interests. Click "Next" when you are done.
Highlight the screen names from the list of search results that you want to add to your buddy list and then hit "Import."