This entry is about changing or evolving revenue stream paradigms on the web. I have previously written about classmates.com and how it will turn into a MySpace shortly. You can read the blog article HERE. In that article, I mentioned how it was easy to find my old classmates for free on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Well several things have happened since then that have reinforced my view that Classmates.com is dead man walking as well. Revenue stream paradigms evolve quickly on the internet.
For Classmates.com, you sign up for free, but that is just a teaser. You can send messages, but to read them, and see extended information about your classmates, you have to buy a membership. This was the same paradigm for dating sites like Lavalife.com. For dating, along came PlentyOfFish.com which was free and made money out of advertising. It took a big chunk out of Lavalife's revenue stream.
One of the events that happened recently was that my old high school is having a 50 year reunion. They didn't go for the reunion feature on Classmates.com. Rather they chose to go to MyEvent.com. Instead of people paying to join and see reunion details, MyEvent.com charges a very reasonable price for an instant website and it is free. It has all of the benefits of Classmates.com and one can communicate with former classmates for free.
I went to the customized MyEvent.com website for my high school, and I was totally impressed. It was made by a teacher (who was a student back in my day) with no IT or web experience at all. And the cost varies between $15 and $25 dollars a month, or you can have the website for 5 years for $599. Such a deal !!!!
Classmates.com revenue stream paradigm is outdated, and in my estimation, they are floundering. I still get spam from them regularly begging me to visit my old account where I signed up for free, and haven't upgraded or even visited for several years. At one point, they were the only place on the web where one could easily find ex-classmates looking to be found, but that was back in the dinosaur era of the internet (a few years ago).
So this is more of a cautionary note to all of my fellow geeks. When you come up with the killer app idea, you better make provisions for an evolving revenue stream. It's very Darwinian out there, and it is survival of the most adaptive capable of going viral. And the final word, is plan on a shelf life for your killer app of no more than 10 years if you make it past the first year. A ten year old idea is ancient on the internet.