by Mike Masnick
Wed, Dec 12th 2007 3:51pm
In all the talk about a "new" internet bubble, the one thing that many people have pointed out over and over again is that we're still not seeing the same sort of crazy IPOs that were everywhere in 1998 and 1999. However, that's not to say some weren't interested in trying to push the envelope. More internet firms -- including quite a few that were unprofitable -- have been looking to go public lately. However, perhaps the most outlandish was Classmates.com's IPO plans. Classmates, of course, was a survivor from the original bubble, and had something of a web 1.0 social network, helping classmates reconnect. It tried to make money on premium services that very few people signed up for -- and even fewer as things like Friendster, MySpace and Facebook came along. However, with social networking sites getting astounding valuations, United Online (the current owner of Classmates) decided to try to polish the company up and position it as a social networking IPO. Of course, it didn't take Sherlock Holmes to realize this was a dud from the very beginning -- and it seems that message finally got back to the folks at United Online who have pulled the offering costing the company $4.5 to $5.5 million for a lot of nothing. Still, this should be seen as a positive development. Even with the hype and crazy valuations around social networking, the folks on Wall Street have at least some sense of when a company just has a story rather than anything of substance.
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