Netropolitian is looking to make a big social media splash. All you need is a $9,000 entrance fee and time to spare.
What would you do if part of the 1% but found Facebook to be a bit too pedestrian and trite? (Who cares about things like choosing between rent and car insurance.)
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Well, if you’re James Touchi-Peters, you create Netropolitan—the world's first exclusive, online country club. In fact, the website's tagline is: "the online country club for people with more money than time."
Speaking to CNN, Touchi-Peters said he saw the real need for the club when first-world problems remained a bit too common. "I saw a need for an environment where you could talk about the finer things in life without backlash."
So a bit technological wizardry, a high entrance fee, and some snobbery help to create "an environment where people could share similar likes and experiences" that include European vacations and basking on the deck of a yacht.
Oh, that entrance fee? A whopping $9,000 for the first year and $3,000 for every year after. And just because you plop down thousands on an non-indexed site—so no one can find links and join in the conversation—doesn’t mean there aren’t rules: you still must use your real names, and be 21 or over.
CIO's Bill Synder noted "there’s no vetting process, no other requirements and no discrimination." Save for that pesky fact of being poor. Michelle Lawless, a former television anchor whose Media Minefield PR firm is handling the Netropolitan account, told the columnist that the entrance fees nets users encrypted messages and proper guidance by moderators.
When speaking to Tech Times, she also mentioned that “users also get unlimited cloud storage” that will not be as vulnerable Dropbox or SkyDrive.
All the media attention has drawn so much traffic to our website that it's overwhelming our servers.— Netropolitan Club (@netroclub) September 17, 2014
According to CNN, the users may form groups, but the grouping is unnecessary as the clientele is very limited and everyone has access to the accounts. In fact, "a select group of pre-qualified members" have already been initiated into the site.
And that wizardry has an on call "Member Service Associate" to help with all tech issues. However, this isn't like a concierge, since the associate "will not book you a charter jet, or find you tickets to a sold-out Broadway show." In other words: stick to the tech worries. If you want a concierge service, go hire your own.
Don't try to spam posts with your businesses, either. The former Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra conductor wants those playing such a high fee to remain unbothered by overt networking. "This is 100% real, and I believe there is a need and an audience for this service" outside of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
NPR's Audie Cornish points out the fact Netropolitan isn't entirely original. "Six years ago there was Social1000. Then there was the $100 phone app known as I Am Rich."
Of course, if you find this a little bit over-the-top, the founder wants to remind the general public that Netropolitan is no different than any other country club. "They have initiation fees and yearly dues for members" and maintains a social network of elite as well.
Lawless told Tech Times that "James and others have mentioned feeling judged for talking about certain topics on other social media outlets. Like they were bragging and met with a little ill will.” And like any tightknit circle, those in the ranks will never “verify the identity of any of our members.”
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So if you want to join the “several hundred members” who’re already a part of the pact? Put down close to $10,000, don’t talk about the site to just anyone, and update folks on your latest adventure where a yacht forgot to buy the right bottle of champagne.