Classmates.com – Community at a Cost

by Chris Christensen Add comments
categories: Inside Chris's Head, Internet

classmatesI just got an email from Classmates.com that someone has left me a greeting. And if I will pay them money to upgrade to a premium membership, they will tell me who it is. Of course if I pay them I might just learn it is spam.

I have a 30 year high school reunion coming up next year. For now I will skip over the shock and awe generated by that fact to how my class is reconnecting on the web. It used to be that my class used Classmates to reconnect but as this reunion approaches we are more and more using facebook.

The main reason for the shift is that classmates has put a meter on so many basic functions that more and more people are finding it unacceptable. As someone who works building internet communities and social networks I think that communities have a value and that companies that build them do need to find an economic model. But classmates is starting to feel like the last bank we had. That bank (Wells Fargo) charged us to talk to a teller, to bank by phone and then started to charge us if we used the ATM machine too many times. We would have complained to them but I am sure there was a fee for that as well. So we left. That is the same risk that Classmates is running.

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I am the Director of Engineering for TripAdvisor.com/Flights. I am also the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

No Responses to “Classmates.com – Community at a Cost”

Amy

Says:

I agree. We had a high school reunion three years ago and built our own site bz Classmates got so spammy/evil. I never click on anything from them anymore.

Ralph

Says:

I agree about classmates. Rest assured that it wasn’t I who left you the greeting!

Web Designer

Says:

I agree with you completely. If they want to make money, why don’t they do it from advertising. Because I bet it is nothing but spam.

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