A few years ago, I signed up on Classmates.com. I did it out of pure curiosity to find out where my peers in high school ended up. I enrolled in the free registration and had my name posted on my school page and my year of graduation.
They had all sorts of features such as someone coming by and signing your guestbook, or sending you a message. Of course to read who signed your guestbook, or to open your messages, you had to pay a monthly premium. I never did pay the monthly premium. I was never that curious.
Then along came Facebook. It was easy to find your classmates with a recent picture, and if their privacy settings were low, you could find out who they were married to, who they were working for, and in general determine that they didn't surpass you in the game of Life. However in my case, my classmates are respected members of the Mayo Clinic, top universities, have played professional sports and made my resume look like I was an under-achieving failure.
Linked-In is even better at connecting with people from the past. I've noticed that Linked-In suggests possible connections of people that I have never emailed, but have Googled. How does that happen?
Anyway, Linked-In has enabled me to connect with a family member who didn't want to be found. It is superb at finding out degrees of separation between you and anybody.
So where does that leave Classmates.com. I regularly get spam from them, begging me to pay to read to see who signed my guestbook four years ago. The spam sounds more and more desperate.
In addition, Classmates.com is now trying to suck me into a "Memory Lane" thing where it matches movies, music and trivia to the year that I graduated. That isn't going to induce me. I don't need reminders of how old I am, and thanks to iTunes and others, I already have all of the music from that era that I would ever want.
So I am thinking that Classmates.com is another MySpace in the making. It can't be sustainable when Facebook and Linked-In do the job of connecting people much more efficiently with a bigger information load. If there is such a think as stock in Classmates.com, now is the time to sell short, if you haven't already!