back to article Hate Facebook? Hate it enough to spend $9k fleeing it? Web 'country club' built for the rich

Social networks for the rich and famous are nothing new: the first one started about ten years ago. But, this week, a new site called Netropolitan has emerged, and thinks it's cracked the reason why so many of them fail – they just weren't charging enough dosh. "No one has ever thought of charging a substantial fee for social …

  1. David Webb
    Paris Hilton

    How do you know....

    How do you know if your friends are on this site? If I'm plonking down 9k of my tax avoi.. err. hard earned cash then I really would want to know if my criminal part... err.. friends are also members of this exclusive club.

    Paris, because she's an exclusive club to enter too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How do you know....

      "How do you know if your friends are on this site? If I'm plonking down 9k "

      Sorry mate, you're missing the point. The people wanted here regard 9k in the same way you or I regard1.49 for a cheesy mobile phone app. The vermin this site hopes to attract spend the money you and I regard as "house" money on a car. The money you and I spend on a car, they see as watch money. The money you and I regard as "once in a lifetime holiday" they regard as magazine money.

      Put it this way: You've earned a few millions, you have bought the cars you want and a few houses, plus all the trinkets. You have a yacht if you want one. And still there's a few million in the bank. Are you going to be shopping at Aldi to eke it out? And if not, would you give a hoot about a few thousand?

      Tim Worstall needs to do a piece on how money works for the obscenely rich.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: How do you know....

        > 9k of my tax avoi.. err. hard earned cash

        > my criminal part... err.. friends

        > The vermin this site hopes to attract

        "On Appeasing Envy"

        ... the envious are more likely to be mollified by seeing others deprived of some advantage than by gaining it for themselves. It is not what they lack that chiefly troubles them, but what others have. The envious are not satisfied with equality; they secretly yearn for superiority and revenge. In the French Revolution of 1848, a woman coal-heaver is said to have remarked to a richly dressed lady: “Yes, madam, everything’s going to be equal now; I shall go in silks and you’ll carry coal.”

        1. David Webb

          Re: How do you know....

          The rich stay rich by figuring out how to spend as little of their cash as possible, it's true :D

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: How do you know....

            "The rich stay rich by figuring out how to spend as little of their cash as possible, it's true :D"

            Yep. Often by stiffing their vendors, suppliers and contractors and anyone they can get away with.

          2. EddieD

            Re: How do you know....

            Terry Pratchett articulated this theory perfectly:-

            http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/72745-the-reason-that-the-rich-were-so-rich-vimes-reasoned

      2. Ben Bonsall

        Re: How do you know....

        If you've ever seen the film 'the million pound note' that's how money works for the rich.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    This too will probably fail.

    Funny thing about the rich AND famous is the "famous" part. They want to be seen going to the country club or the exclusive watering hole. How will they ever be seen going to an exclusive website?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This too will probably fail.

      The RaF's Publicity Manager will liveblog tweeting about it (except on Tuesdays, when she tweets about liveblogging it)

    2. janimal

      Re: This too will probably fail.

      I'm sure the subscription is within the Daily Fail's budget

    3. Ted 3

      Not conspicuous enough! --> fail

      Agree with your sentiments, Mark 85.

      Ol' Touchi-Peters has made a logical error here in thinking that a social network is analagous to a country club and thus can charge the same for exclusivity. However, the situation is not the same, and not just for the reason that the article states (the physical facilities and well stocked bar).

      The one overriding difference is that spending up big on country club membership/mega yacht/private jet/supercar is that people can see that you have indeed spent up big. Put it another way, spending $9000 on a social media membership that the hoi polloi cannot see is just not visible, it is not conspicuous consumption. And in these cases, conspicuous consumption is the whole point, with the emphasis on 'conspicuous'.

      So its a fail...and to paraphrase F. Groucho Fitzgerrald, I won't belong to a club that would have me as a member...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Not conspicuous enough! --> fail

        Put it another way, spending $9000 on a social media membership that the hoi polloi cannot see is just not visible, it is not conspicuous consumption. And in these cases, conspicuous consumption is the whole point, with the emphasis on 'conspicuous'.

        Depends who you're talking about. Some people buy the fast cars and hide them in a garage. It's about the pleasure they get from owning them. Some people don't give a damn what others think about them. Some like to show off. Trying to lump any one group of people into one category is silly.

        Also you've made a logical error of your own. There are 3 lots of people that any status-conscious person is trying to impress. Those below who must be dazzled by the bling, those of the same status who must be seen to be kept up with, and those above who must be fooled into thinking you've caught up (or are about to). So you can't impress the hoi polloi by joining an invisible group. But you can impress the other people in the group, by the fact that you had the $6k joining fee to blow, and didn't mind the annual membership.

        1. Mark 65

          Re: Not conspicuous enough! --> fail

          Another fail is that with the country club you don't just get to plonk your dosh on the counter and you're in. You're vetted and need to be approved of before you can join so that everyone knows you're a good egg and their type of person. The $9k is just the first line of defence. It may work differently in the US but in the UK I'm pretty sure that it's cash + approval that ensures the exclusivity. Seriously, an exclusive website? FFS.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This too will probably fail.

      "How will they ever be seen going to an exclusive website?"

      Obviously, through the internet fast lane using their Ferrari, Lambogini or Porche plans in the multi-tiered internet. If they're super-rich, they might even pay for the Bugatti plan.

      Each of these exclusive plans includes the ability to dramatically slow down all other commoner's internet connection using the same route. And a special annoucement protocol invented for them to broadcast that a VIP is on the same line!

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  4. Ratstick

    The private jet on their landing page is RUBBISH! It's not even a Gulfstream 5! I'll take my money elsewhere. I'm off to Wetherspoons.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      That's fine, but the only jet you're likely to encounter in there is the Vomitstrream...

  5. tomp83
    FAIL

    Privacy?

    The whole thing sounds crazy to me, but then I saw this from their TOS on the join page:

    "3. We strive to make this service and your data private – but we cannot and will not guarantee such."

    So whats the point then?

    1. OhDearHimAgain

      Re: Privacy?

      That's just the lawyers covering everyone's ass - if you guarantee it, you have to compensate when you don't achieve it, and if humans are involved it WILL leak.

  6. ashdav

    Give James Touchi-Peters his due.(Is that a real name?).

    He's just trying to make a few quid.

    If he rips off the gullible/narcissistic rich rather than the plebs who cares?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I doubt it will be the rich but it will be the narcissistic. My sister used to work for a company that specialised in leasing/financing (not sure which it was) cars to the subprime element. You wouldn't believe the lengths people would go to in order to show off. People living in council properties without a pot to piss in would borrow money from friends and relatives to get together the (necessarily) oversized deposit for something as sensible as a BMW M3 before invariably defaulting on the payments within 6 months. The company makes its money through the deposit as they're pretty certain a reasonable percentage will default. Immoral? Certainly. But then again, although they may well have needed a car it didn't need to be a brand new M3 did it?

      Greed and narcissism are two things you can count on in life.

  7. Steve Knox
    FAIL

    Security? We've heard of it...

    ...have to swipe an on-screen bar to get in, something Touchi-Peters thinks will fend off automated attacks.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Sure, because nobody's ever found a way to programmatically inject input into a process before.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So, why don't these rich country clubs that already exist just create their own social media and allow the existing members to join for free. Then, they can link all the other country club social media sites together and have an elite social media experience instead of the Walmart version that is Facebook or whatever poor people use these days.( isn't that how Facebook started, an elite college joining with other colleges? I did NOT watch the movie).

    1. Queasy Rider

      That was my first thought, well except for the free aspect of it. I'd still charge them through the nose to use the service. After all, nobody rich values anything that is free.

  9. janimal
    WTF?

    The last thing I would do...

    if I had that kind of money to throw away, would be spending all day on a computer looking at pictures of people's cats (on luxury yachts).

    The reason I spend all day on my computer is because I am not rich.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Agreed.

      The rich don't need a social network on a computer, they already have one in Real Life (tm).

      It's the poor schlebs who use one, because they can pretend they have a life on it.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sweet music

    I wonder how many Miriam Abacha, wife of the late Sani Abachas they'll have registered?

    For the upmarket fraudster, this must be a happy day indeed - the money might be harder to get out of them, but at least you know they've got plenty and are at least dumb enough to swallow 'digital country club' as a concept.

  11. Munin

    Oh, is that all it takes?

    So a ~$30/mo VPS, a wordpress install, and a rapidssl cert are all it takes to get rich people to hand over several thousand bucks?

    I should get in on this racket.

  12. mrvco

    Wannabes

    So this social network is going to be full of people that can't actually afford to pay $9k, scrounging together $9k so they can try and scam or leach off people that can actually afford $9k, but in reality it will just be a bunch of other schleppers that just wasted $9k.

  13. frank ly

    So true

    "At some point you get to be middle aged and realize your life isn't like others,"

    Indeed. I realised I was special when I turned 40. People had been telling me for years. Now, for a reasonable fee, I'll be able to mingle online with my peers.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "At some point you get to be middle aged and realize your life isn't like others,"

    Don't worry, being an annoying prat isn't that bad.

    You could be poor!

  15. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Meh

    LinkedIn

    ... for snobs then.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Exclusivity

    $3K per annum hardly seems enough of a barrier to ensure that I don't have to rub shoulders with the wrong sort in my virtual country club.

    Are they not providing a means for existing members to approve the applications of prospective members?

  17. lostinspace

    From their website: " The entire service is inaccessible from the public Internet"

    Eh?

    1. Lionel Baden

      baked in VPN possibly

  18. CleatsAndCode
    Thumb Down

    So...

    A small VPS

    Wordpress

    Buddy Press

    Swipe to login, or bypass by just using the wp-login.php

    Brute force still possible. Takes all sorts I guess.

  19. OhDearHimAgain

    its for the kids

    I can't see the R&F wanting this for themselves, but I can see them paying for it for their kids - keep them away from the rif-raf, make sure they mix with the "right" types, like the lovely Paris Hilton (above) - what a role model to us all.

  20. Joe Harrison

    Been there done that

    Just around Y2K I was working for an organisation that wanted to sell what would today be called "private facebooks" to professional membership organisations. It was not a bad idea from the perspective of that time but ultimately failed.

    The only point of being on a facebook or a linked-in or a <next big thing here> is that everyone else is on it. Who wants a phone that can only dial a closed group. Sorry but this is doomed.

  21. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    Fools and their money.

    Hmmm, an online forum full of braying twats bragging about the latest petrol driven penis substitution they've just plonked in the one of their many garages, sounds like a barrel of laughs!

    Facebook might be shit but at least I haven't forked out $9k for the privilege to read shite by a load of twats I probably wouldn't be seen dead with in public, on FB I can get it for free.

  22. Jim 59

    Interesting story. If you want to become super-rich, don't buy shares in this site. Like all of us, the super-rich want to interact with their peers, I guess. But they have places to do that. If you were a billionaire, working 1 or 2 days a week, you might invite a few other billionaires on your yacht for fishing in St Tropez of wherever, then jet off to see how your Scottish estate is doing. You won't be short of friends, that's for sure.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    9 grand to chat to my rich friends from the comfort of the bar on my yacht? pfft, i'll keep sending the helicopter.

  24. jzlondon

    The tagline of the website is "For people with more money than time".

    More money than something, that's for sure.

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