Web Winners |

Posted: July 29, 2007

Social-networking sites aren't just for children and college students. At least that's the pitch at places like LinkedIn, Ryze and Xing, which have positioned themselves for job hunters or business climbers.

Classmates.com. From their ads featuring animated kissy-face yearbook photos, you'd think this site is about locating an old high school flame. Well . . . it is. But it also boasts tools for planning class reunions, keeping old military buddies in touch, and expanding business contacts. The Workplace area has members in 2.3 million companies, where you supposedly might find someone who can get you a job.

LinkedIn. At this site, you build a network of people you know, then get linked to the people that they know, and so on - you become "linked-in," get it? We're not sure we do. In a two-day period, there were 12,246 new people in our network. What if they all want to drop by for coffee?

Xing thing. Xing is a German firm with another variation on the six-degrees-of-separation theme. Curiously, the sign-up process requires prospects to aver that they have not only read the terms of service, but downloaded and "saved them or printed them out." Ja! Truly bizarre was the dropdown menu for choosing your time zone. The list presented to us began with Adak and ended with Menominee. We had to look them up to discover Adak is in Alaska and Menominee is in Michigan.

Ryze up. "You probably know people in here already," says the home page. To find them, you may first want to join the "virtual handshake network." Other interesting groups include an eBay sellers network, one called "outside of the box," and another named the "inflammation fighters."

Eons and eons. How did we know we had landed on a networking site for the "mature" crowd? Maybe it was the slogan, "Lovin' life on the flip side of 50," or the prominent home page link to obituaries.


Contact staff writer Reid Kanaley at 215-854-5114 or rkanaley@phillynews.com.

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