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Rediscovering friends online

This article appears in the issue January 2003 [Volume 12, Issue 1]

Reconnecting with old friends should be a little easier, thanks to knowledge management software from Verity. WordsToHyperlink (classmates.com), a personal networking service that is said to have more than 31 million members, has implemented a three-tier KM infrastructure to help users search, find and connect with others. According to a recent press release from Verity, its K2 Catalog integrates the three tiers of KM: discover (search), organize (intelligent classification) and connect (personalization).

Glenn Godden, Classmates' CTO, says, "Classmates works to reduce, if not eliminate, the six degrees of separation that keep people apart. Verity grasps this idea better than any vendor in its space as evidenced by its work on social networks technologies, a key component of K2 Catalog's third tier."

Classmates' site is evolving from a PERL (Practical Extraction Report Language) environment to one based on J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition), allowing Classmates to easily integrate its systems with Verity. Classmates says its goal as a direct marketer is to deliver the right information to the right person at the right time—which has become the KM catchphrase.

Classmates was formed in 1995 as the result of an unsuccessful attempt to find the e-mail address of a high school friend. Initially focused on high schools, its directories have expanded to include kindergarten, college, military and the workplace. The company adds 50,000 members per day and is ranked as one of the top 15 most highly trafficked Web properties by Nielsen//NetRatings, according to the press release.


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