Publishers Invest in Online Social Network

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The Washington Post Co. and Knight Ridder were part of a $6.3 million financing round announced last week for San Francisco online social networking company Tribe Networks Inc.

The investment signals the opportunity publishers see in the new concepts of online social networks like Friendster and community bulletin boards like Craig's List. offers nearly 7,000 communities geared to specific interests, allowing members also to post classified ads for anything from cars to jobs. It boasts 48,000 users. Tribe Networks said it plans to sell paid listings and targeted advertising.

Mark Pincus, the company's chief executive, said the model could be transferred into what he calls "Classifieds 2.0," which emphasizes user-created content and community.

Venture capital firm Mayfield led the round. The contributions of The Washington Post and Knight Ridder were not disclosed.

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