Moral Low Ground

Economy

Netropolitan Social Network for Rich People Costs $9,000 to Join

(Netropolitan)

(Netropolitan)

Having difficulty relating to the hoi polloi crowding social media networks like Facebook and Twitter? Got heaps of money, but not so much time, to burn? Then Netropolitan Club might just be for you.

The latest entry into the social media marketplace certainly isn’t for everyone, and that’s exactly why members are willing to shell out $9,000 to join, and $3,000 in annual membership dues thereafter.

“The Netropolitan Club is a global online community for affluent and accomplished individuals worldwide to socialize in a completely private and secure manner,” the site explains, calling itself an “online country club for people with more money than time.”

Sound like some sort of social satire? It’s not.

“This is 100 percent real, and I believe there is a need and an audience for this service,” Netropolitan founder James Touchi-Peters, a 48-year-old composer and former conductor of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, told CNN.

“I saw a need for an environment where you could talk about the finer things in life without backlash — an environment where people could share similar likes and experiences,” Touchi-Peters added.

As for the exorbitant price of entry, Touchi-Peters explained that the hefty fee “ensures that our membership remains exclusive, but also private.”

“We view Netropolitan Club in the same light as any country club out there,” Touchi-Peters said. “They have initiation fees and yearly dues for members. Netropolitan is an online country club, focused on connecting members around the world. We believe there is a need for a community like this, and we are filling the need.”

According to Netropolitan’s website, member benefits include an ad-free environment moderated to ensure positive community behavior and always-available ‘Member Service Associates’ who can assist users. However, the site warns this is not a concierge service.

“Our Member Service Associates will not book you a charter jet, or find you tickets to a sold-out Broadway show. They exist solely to help members technically navigate and find their way around the social club,” the site’s FAQ page explains.

Netropolitan isn’t the first social media network targeting a wealthy demographic. For years, A Small World was the Internet’s realm of social exclusivity, with membership restricted to those invited by another one of the site’s jet-setting members. But A Small World, which has slipped into virtual irrelevance in recent years, was always free to join.

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