Odnoklassniki.ru – Russian classmates

I’m always amazed and shaken when ugly things work. I know they often do, but every time it happens, it’s like the first time for me.

There are many examples around, MySpace.com being the most well known. The idea behind it is nice – to provide a place for youngsters to communicate and share pictures and music. But the way it is implemented is truly ugly. Yet, MySpace.com is one of the top visited web sites on the Web.

Odnoklassniki.ru is another example of this. (Odnoklassniki is a Russian word for “classmates”.) Again, the idea was pretty good – create a way for people to find their classmates and all friends easily. 10, 15, 20 years later names and faces tend to fade out and we don’t remember them all that good anymore. So, those of us who want to get re-connected with friends from the old days have some troubles locating those. With Odnoklassniki.ru it becomes pretty easy – pick the region, area, and school or college where you studied, specify the years during which your were there, and you’ll be shown other people who are registered on the web site, who studied at the same place during approximately the same years. Names and pictures are there, and those help a lot.

The way the whole thing is setup is terrible though. First of all, the web site is horribly slow. Always. I’ve been registered there since forever, and I was checking it out once in a while – always slow. Secondly, it tries to be everything – a contact manager, a search engine, people directory, photo sharing and rating service, messenger, forum, and so on. Needless to say, it sucks badly at most of these. There is not a single function that works properly.

But, the main thing is that it works. The web site is very popular in Russia and lots of people register there every day. I myself managed to find and connect with people who I lost and forgotten a long time ago.

When I think about how these things work, this quote comes to mind (from Pirates of Silicon Valley movie):

Steve Jobs: We’re better than you are! We have better stuff.
Bill Gates: You don’t get it, Steve. That doesn’t matter!

61 thoughts on “Odnoklassniki.ru – Russian classmates”

  1. For me, Odnoklassniki.ru is more of a social experiment rather than a tool. I am in contact with most of the people that I want to be in contact, and without social services at that. Those that I miss, probably don’t use computer at all, so it really doesn’t much matter which site to use to locate them.

    I’m glad it works for you though. :)

  2. I don’t find odnoklassniki paricularly slow, but I do find them extremly unreliable – about two thirds of my outgoing messages disappear – a waste of my time as well as something potentially demagining to my (reestablished) relationships with my classmates.

  3. I don’t know. I personally like odnoklassniki. It ‘s never been slow for me. Well, I guess, like they say :”Whatever turns you on”, guys. :)

  4. I always wander how the some people can very negative. I am the person who is against the myspace.com because there is really a lot of bed stories and a lot of happened with children. What about your examples? There is no doubt! There is no comparison with myspace.com! There is no children involves on this site. Everybody is old enough to take care about them self!
    I have not used any site to make a conversation with somebody on Internet, but this one is fine and fast! It is not a truth you have to have a deal with somebody to get a access and bla, bla, bla…… and many many others good things…..
    Be positive and happy!
    With respect, Natasha.

  5. Odnoklassniki is down for a second day. The sait is good but requires much more attention of the moderators. And it is slow anyway – this is true. It also does not function properly, at least, sometimes. But it seems we have nothing better at the time being.

  6. I cant complain about the website and i like all those bits together ” a contact manager, a search engine, people directory, photo sharing and rating service, messenger, forum, and so on.”
    I found that website being very result orientated , i have found what i wanted with limited info i had = which is great !
    Yes i have to confess i have had a problems to log on… but it doesnt bother me much

  7. Olga,

    there are many other specialized web services – each one doing a good job in its area. I think it would have been much better to utilize them via integration rather than spending valuable resources on re-inventing the wheel.

    But after all, who am I to judge… :)

  8. to leonid
    But after all, who you are to judge ( sorry )- i could not resist :)
    Anyway – i went on one of those using yr words “specialised website ” . I have to tell you it was Rabish ( from capital letter ) . I have not achieved what i was after.. With supid odnoklassniki web site – i got what i wanted – i have to admit i dont care abou resourses and re-inventing a wheel .. i could not care less .If that is what i want — endof the story

  9. Я пытаюсь открыть сайт одноклассников уже которую неделю и у меня ничего не получается! Браузер сообщает что связь прервана или что адрес сайта не действителен. Помогите плз, оч хочу найти людей на сайте!

  10. с одноклассниками какая-то проблема – регулярно недоступен в последние две недели… надо просто переждать.

  11. Timur,

    probably vkontakte is better than odnoklassniki. The point of the post was different. The point was that some sites rise to the top, even though they suck badly. Nobody cares, even me sometimes.

    Odnoklassniki is just another site like that…

  12. By a chance came to your site, have read the postings and decided to check out ‘odnoclassniki’. I cannot connect at all! For me it is indefinitely slow. But it would’ve been nice to see ‘рожи’ of faded away friends and acquaintances.

  13. Sasha,

    so many people complained about access to Odnoklassniki.ru recently, that I now have this sneaky suspicion, that the site might be blocked by corporate firewalls and proxy servers. If you are accessing the web site from work and it doesn’t open, try checking it out from home.

  14. Maintenance of the site sucks, that’s right. However this is probably the largest database of russian speaking folks. I personally found many people I would have never expected to find. Bad thing is that I cannot open this damn site from home. From some other locations it works well, though. There’s lots of complains about this in the web.

  15. пыталась открыть”одноклассники” но с домашнего компа ну никак не получается ,даже через приглашение от друзей. Зато с BlackBerry , без проблем, но не могу получить подтверждение о регистрации . Не понятно какой там идиот сайт делал, если он блокируется большинством компов в Сев.Америке.

  16. odnovnye providery v Kanade (Bell, Rogers) blokiruyut odnoklassnikov.ru. Dai ne tol’ko ih, mnogo sitov iz .ru blokiruetsya ili postoyanno, ili po neskol’ku chasov v den’, e.g. kleo.ru rabotaet nepolnyi rab. den’, etc

  17. The reason why Odnoklassniki.ru is blocked in North America is that it is hosted on a web server which had bad reputation in terms of internet security (don’t know exact details, but probably some internet attacks originated from same or similar servers). This is official posiiton from Rogers.

  18. Hey folks
    I discovered the way to bent this f__king block. You go to Russian sites through KPROXY.COM. First google it and then type odnoklassniki.ru from inside. I use this method to trick my my sysadmins at work.

  19. This is frustrating when you can not sign into the website, but I forgive it all for the results. I just got am e-mail today from the guy who went to school with me 20 years ago in the Ukraine and today we live in the same city in Canada. Emazing…

  20. The solution that worked the best for me was going throgh OpenDns (www.opendns.com) and setting my browser as instructed. This way I have overridden Rogers blocking.

  21. If you are getting server not found errors, Add the following yo your hosts file. http://www.odnoklassniki.ru c1.odnoklassniki.ru c2.odnoklassniki.ru c3.odnoklassniki.ru c4.odnoklassniki.ru c5.odnoklassniki.ru c6.odnoklassniki.ru c7.odnoklassniki.ru c8.odnoklassniki.ru c9.odnoklassniki.ru c10.odnoklassniki.ru c11.odnoklassniki.ru c12.odnoklassniki.ru c13.odnoklassniki.ru

    Note – this may change in the future. Use a web-based DNS lookup site like http://www.dnswatch.info for update information

  22. Guys… the web bolg creator especially…. why don’t you straiten out your English grammar first, and then try post your ugly criticism… why can’t people just be positive?… ;-))) (listen to me! I am telling you, negativism is so contagious!)

  23. If I alter server settings to gain access to this site, will I be leaving my computer/LAN susceptible to the hack attacks? I’ve been leaving abroad for over 10 years now, and was looking to get connected with some of my old classmates.

  24. I’ve tried odnoklassniki.ru and I really love it. It is sometimes slow, but since I have found there my friends that I’ve not talked to for more than 20 years, it’s fun.
    But something is wrong today with that site, I can’t access it. And even George suggest is not working.

  25. I tryed to get to the Odnoklassniki websie for the past month. Thought it went bankrapt or thomething. Than in one of the forums I found how to get to them. That worked for one day. I also have been using Vkontakte website for a couple of month, and as of tooday Faken Rogers had locked accsess to it too. I’ll wait till Ted Rogers’s dogs will come to collect on my outstanding bill of 4 month. They will be looking at one of many not cureble delinquent accounts once again. For now I will be looking for a new ISP provider and a satellite TV.

  26. Guys! I tried it and surprised: it’s working pretty well and fast, and I found some lost friens… The site was blocked at my work, but I figuret it out how to do it. Just a tip for you: try odnoklasniki.ru instead of odnoklassniki.ru (skip one s). It’s working… And every time when navigating to next page, delete extra “s”. Sometimes, it’s good to be illiterate!

  27. Lucy V,
    Thanks a lot!! We got new filter at work and your suggestion to delete extra “S” got me thru. Yes, odnoclassniki.ru maybe not the best site to
    navigate, but it helped me and a lot of others to get reconnected.
    I found people I never though I will ever talk again ever..

  28. ==the web bolg creator especially…. why don’t you *straiten out* your English grammar first, and then try post your ugly criticism… ==

    indeed, Zoe… about YOUR grammar first.

    (the ugliest comment on this blog so far)

  29. С Новым Старым Годом вас, дорогие друзья!
    Я думаю, стоит согласиться, что при всех технических недостатках, ресурс одноклассников очень здорово раскручен и несмотря на то, что идея неновая, заимствованная, администраторы сделали его удобным и легким для навигации. Не могу пожаловаться ни на скорость , ни на проблемы с вводом паролей – всё работает чётко, не хуже чем yahoo, google, yandex и Эпрочие популярные сайты. Это мой личный опыт, захожу на одноклассники ежедневно – пожалуй в ноябре был денек, когда с сервером были проблемы пару часов, но потому всё снова наладилось. Ну бывает…
    Дорогие мои, я приношу сердечные извинения, что пишу по- русски. Просто вижу в этом еще один ироничный момент сей дискуссии – вся критика и негативизм выложены” нашими людьми”, нами, кто заканчивал русские школы, кто наверняка отлично разговаривает по-русски, кто шагает на odnoklassniki.ru чтоб найти потерявшихся однокашников. Вместо заслуженного спасибо администраторам, однако, нам привычнее сказать свое фи, да при этом сделать это на английском, подчеркнув свою эээээ…-исключительность? избранность? назовите , какие еще мотивы писать отзывы на русский сайт, который едва ли посещает хоть кто-то из истинных носителей английского языка, на английском ?
    Нет, может оно и ничего, но я пожала плечами в недоумении. Кроме нас, русскоязыких, это просто неинтересно никому. С любовью к великому и могучему, одноклассникам.ру , английскому и всем вам, поздравляю еще раз всех с Новым годом и давайте почаще говорить друг другу и друг о друге приятное.
    Всех благ.

  30. Элька,

    и оригинальный пост, и ваш комментарий были опубликованы не на сайте odnoklassniki.ru, а на сайте mamchenkov.net, который ведётся на английском языке, и который посещает приличное количество людей, по-русски не понимающих.

    Все последующие неанглоязычные комментарии скорее всего будут удаляться.

    (All non-English comments will probably be deleted.)

  31. No problem, I am not going to be offended if you delete my comments.
    My apologies to those who don’t speak or read Russian. I meant to say thank you to people who are in charge of odnoklassniki.ru and wish everybody happy prosperous New Year of 2008.

  32. For those of you who are unable to connect to odnoklassniki from North America, use an anonymizer proxy. I had the same problem for a while from England, my school blocked it for whatever reason. All I used was a web-based proxy to get around it. There are plenty of decent one’s out there, the one I tried is hidemyass.com.


  33. Well something is wrong with odnoklassniki. I live in North America. I tried a few dozen types of web-based proxies with no success. It says “Failed to connect to a specified host” Anyone else having this issue? Please share what you did to fix it. Thanks!

  34. Serge, u not the only one who’s having a problems. I guess they getting slammed 2 many people using it. I really like the idea of this site, but well….
    I hope they will fix somehow.

  35. A long time Facebook user, Im actually pretty impressed with O. Its pretty basic, if not primitive and ugly as anything. You cant really pimp it up too much and almost all my pics have been blocked. but its getting there. I find the only time i can’t sign into Odnoklassniki is in the morning (in Sydney Australia that is), when its the middle of the night in Russia. I think they do their updating/revamping/whatever then. So i just dont bother around that time. Otherwise its been awesome.

  36. I too, have not been able to log in to Odnoklassniki half the time I try to go there. The site is slow and some of my replies disappear just before I am about to submit them. I think this site might be overhwelmed and is running out of steam. It’s so annoying. I do like the site and found a bunch of old friends there, but there are some huge issues with it, I hope they get fixed soon. :(

  37. I have been trying to find classmates from Ukraine for years. Many of them I knew were still there, but quiet a few moved to other countries. Odnoklassniki.ru made that possible. Not only was I able to reunite with classmates, but also friends from the neighborhood and others. The two main pros for this site are ease of use and popularity. Even my friend’s 60 year old mother who barely uses computers can upload her pictures with no difficulty. The popularity aspect is also quite important, since Russian people all over the world are using it to reconnect with friends.

    The cons are most of the issues described above. I will not list them since others did a much better job, but I do agree with them. Nonetheless, I love this website and am planning on using it for years to come.

  38. I’ve been using the site for a few months now, it’s a great social platform, and I have actually located many of my classmates, may of whom I haven’
    t talked to in 20 years. Their membership numbers are skyrocketing, no wonder the site is down for maintenance (or simply not responding) 2 out of 10 times that I visit it. When it is up, it does get slow sometimes, although it’s not always the site itself but their affiliates and ad partners (e.g. yadro.ru) that contribute to that. From a technical standpoint, they are doing a decent job caching page fragments – those of you who have designed web apps capable of sustaining hundreds or millions of hits per month will agree that this is no trivial task.

    That being said – I remember reading somewhere that they supposedly raised some cash (a few million USD). If that in fact is true, and they are no longer on a shoestring budget, there is no excuse for the site to go down as much as it does.

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