I am not trying to contend that Facebook is superior to anything in any way. While it’s a highly useful tool, it’s had its problems, and it still lacks some basic features (which would make it more useful but less of an addiction, which is supposedly bad for business). But while that may be a wonderful topic for another day, today I’d like to focus on why classmates.com is so much worse than facebook.com.
Some years ago, when classmates.com first came into existence, I’d like to think that it was one of the first splogs I’ve ever seen. It was impossible to surf the web for more than five minutes before walking into one of their annoying advertisements. And no, they weren’t the calm, serene, 200x200px adsense boxes. They were huge banners, oftentimes popups or interstatial popunders. I think I actually had a windows service running that was specifically devoted to blocking their ads. Not to say that I haven’t signed up for an account. The idea was good and I was in high school at the time. It all would have been wonderful, except that a) the website never got any major traction, and b) I think it became so synonymous with spam that the very idea of using it as a service caused an involuntary acid reflux.