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Classmates.com Wants More to Pay

Boot Camp feature for Friday, September 6, 2002

It's among the top 250 Web sites in the world. Can Classmates.com get more people to pay? Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. An amazing 31 million people have registered with Classmates.com ... a site that promises to link you with those old school friends, people you used to work with or served in the military with. But to have access to the information you need to get in touch... .you have to become a Gold Member. They were using the name before Austin Powers. CEO Michael Schutzler says there are now 1.7 million of those... .and Classmates is adding benefits to try to entice more people to pay. For instance... a new print publication...

"The idea here is that Classmates is first and foremost about bringing people together. But one of the other things that comes out of that is literally thousands of stories, every week, every month... of this great human drama. People re-connecting after sometimes many years of separation. And so that makes great fodder for a magazine that we've decided to launch."

The magazine launches this month and will be sent to paying members of the Web site. Schutzler says the fastest growing segment of Classmates... isn't the one that links classmates...

"The workplace is currently growing four times faster than the fastest rate that the high school ever grew. So that's a pretty exciting one. We've got over a million workplaces listed and the rate at which people are joining that is pretty spectacular."

That growth, he says, has to some extent been helped by the numbers of people trying to network to find new jobs. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.