Rodrigo on July 23rd, 2009 at 9:47 pm #
Wow, I’m even more frustrated by classmates.com than you are. Our high school class officers and others interested in having a reunion originally tried through Classmates to organize everything. However, Classmates’ tedious website made information impossible to find. Also, people wanted to contact each other directly and plan accordingly. Classmates hampers organic growth through its weak free system, stifling communication among people. In fact, two members of our committee had the premium service, but, in what has to be it’s biggest bonehead move, the sender AND the recipient have to be Gold Members in order to communicate. Thus, they could only talk to themselves and other Gold Members. What a fuckin riot! After a few months, we moved everything to Myspace and had an easy time releasing information and getting people in touch with everyone.
Classmates is the antithesis of true social media. The ironic thing is that classmates has been around for a LONG time and, had it approached things the way Facebook/ Myspace did, it could have had a huge head start in the social networking category. Classmates could have easily been far ahead in it’s field but failed to grow because of its unyielding approach to monetizing it’s members. This led to sputtering growth, and since there’s little growth, there’s little beneficial innovation to make the site efficient and more user friendly. (for example, Facebook has changed through the years and, with actual users trying the features that are implemented, can determine which changes are welcomed and which cause damage to it’s brand.)
Its really a tragedy, as the raw number of user registrations on Classmates is pretty impressive. The fact the site is bloated and full of ads spurns people away. If Classmates had tried a free system with a premium system on top (or just simply free) we could have been talking about them instead of Facebook.
Dave on July 23rd, 2009 at 11:02 pm #
Right on, Sean! Several months ago I unsubscribed from classmates.com’s email marketing. Then I unsubscribed again. And again.
Nothing I did seemed to get me off their damned email marketing list. So I simply hit the spam button in Gmail, adding them to my spam folder for good.
I wouldn’t classify Classmates.com as social media because there is nothing social about closed doors and pay walls. I suspect they are frantically clawing for revenue in a market dominated by Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, Brightkite, etc.
Maybe they can sell out to Microsoft or AOL for some cash before they die? Those would be FABULOUS partnerships, by the way.
Sean on July 24th, 2009 at 12:44 pm #
@Rodrigo – well said, indeed. That is super frustrating. They are their own best competition, it appears.
@Dave – it will be interesting to see how it evolves.
drmiggy on July 27th, 2009 at 8:33 pm #
I also tried many, many times to unsubscribe from the classmates.com email barrage. It finally worked, but not after many enraged emails sent on my part. That site is pointless because every class I’ve been part of has a group page on Facebook now.
Dennis on July 30th, 2009 at 7:32 pm #
I was so upset with classmates that I started a truly free classmate site. woogiewoogie.com Now all I have to do is find a way to promote it. Any idea’s? woogie woogie to you all.
Sean on August 3rd, 2009 at 5:50 am #
@drmiggy I’ve spoken with numerous people in person who’ve read this post about their experience in trying to plan class reunions using classmates. Most of the class was basically extorted into paying for a gold membership due to the reasons above (and the tools planners use to put reunions together). Without exception, the classes switched to Facebook about midway through the process. One has to wonder if anyone over at classmates HQ has had a lightbulb go off or at least is scratching their head.
I have yet to receive a response from classmates review board; I don’t expect to hear from them any time soon, either . . .
GeoffreyM on August 18th, 2009 at 8:59 am #
I cannot stand Classmates and am interested to see if you get a response.
CandacitaBonita on September 21st, 2009 at 2:42 pm #
Classmates is the most annoying thing to hit my inbox. More annoying than penus enlargemnt pills, free ipods and discount electronics combined. I hate hate hate it. That is all.
Dennis on September 22nd, 2009 at 11:54 am #
I started woogiewoogie.com classmates to let you do what you want without the advertising and pop ups and someone always asking you for money. Give it a try, it’s free and we are starting to get some classmates.
2pages on August 22nd, 2010 at 2:04 pm #
Like most I became involved with cm.com in help with a 50 year class reunion. First it was “free” then $10 for a year of their “Gold” then I forgot about it and the next thing I know they are trying to hit my creditcard for $40 because I didn’t tell them yesterday I didn’t want their crummy service. They have refused to remove the charge so I am disputing it! But it is a financial scam of the worst order.
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