Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Disappointed in Classmates.com

I'm very disappointed by Classmates.com

I just love the internet! Since the days of playing Trivia online at Q-Link with the Commodore 64 in the early 1980's, I have been enamored with the global potential of linking with others via computer. The internet has done so much for what Q-Link dubbed the 'People Connection.'

Then in the early days when AOL was about the only way to access this brave new world, and then by the painfully slow dialup connection, the internet was filled with free games, free software, free access. Call me old, but I remember how NetZero advertised its free access?

One of those free sites was Classmates.com. It was very cool to sign on and link up with old friends from high school. There were names buried in the back of our conscious minds that we hadn't even thought about in years and never dreamed we would be in touch with again. It was so long ago that it was hard to even remember if the names we saw were friend or foe. It really didn't matter. It was just nice to recognize their name. And then to put a face to that name was even more satisfying--like a memory test that we've passed with flying colors.

While I have thrilled at meeting new friends and now revel in connecting with those who had somehow slipped out of my daily life, the internet has had its disappointments.

At the risk of sounding like Michael Moore in his latest movie about the negatives of Capitalism, I am disappointed in how everyone and their uncle wants my money I don't have. I get annoyed with all the marketing that is done online, and I get frustrated by how what used to be free online is now charging a fee. But, the one thing that I really am appalled by is the road taken by Classmates.com.

I was once a real fan of Classmates.com, but no more. Not only was this a free site when I joined it, but I even told friends about it. It was a wonderful website. But instead of using advertising on the site to pay its bills, the site uses other 'tactics' to try to entice membership. I can't believe anyone falls for it.

I get emails all the time that say, so-and-so signed your guestbook and if you want to know who it is, give us money. Call me cheap, but I refuse to pay for such a thing, especially when there are other and better ways to achieve the same result. Facebook has done a far better job in connecting classmates than Classmates.com. I have really enjoyed my Facebook connections from high school. Reconnecting has been wonderful on so many levels.

Shame on you Classmates.com.