You may or may not be familiar with Classmates.com. It’s a database of people who went to various schools and colleges. The people who run the site try to create an online community of members. Hindering this effort is the fact that for any of the useful features you have to upgrade to a paid membership.
Many sites have adopted a model where you are given a useful service for free, but you have to pay for the service if your needs exceed the free offering.
Classmates.com uses an enticement model. The free services are really not useful as far as I can tell. You can see some names of people from your school days, you can see who has signed on to Classmates.com. But if you want to send them any sort of a message you’d need to pay for an upgrade.
If you give them your email address they will send you periodic updates in an effort to get you to drop money on them. They’ll tell you how many new people have signed up from your past school classes. They’ll tell you that x photographs have been posted by people in your network. They’ll tell you that a few people have actually even visited your profile.
If you want to know who those people are, you’re going to have to pay.
Just lately, they’re ratcheted up the hard sell.
I am told that in May of 2007, someone not only visited my profile but signed my guestbook!
If I pay, they’ll tell me who.
No thanks, Classmates.
I’m still in the same neighborhood (basically) where I grew up. I’ve run into people I knew from high school. It can be fun to say “hi.” But is it worth money? Not to me.
I admit, the mystery alone is cause for some curiosity. As mysteries go it’s pretty thin, but I can imagine that people who really have nostalgia for high school find it really compelling. I bet Classmates rakes in some dough in this trick.