A social network for the country club set — with a $9k fee

Courtesy of Netropolitan
James Touchi-Peters, a former Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra
conductor, founded Netropolitan.club, an online country club “for people
with more money than time.”

The country club, long a venue for the wealthy to socialize over golf and fine spirits, is going digital.

Netropolitan.club, an online country club that costs $9,000 to join, went live Tuesday, the brainchild of former Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra conductor, James Touchi-Peters. Touchi-Peters said the idea emerged whenever he’d find himself out of town and not feeling like he could talk to someone with his interests.

“It’s not a tangible club, but on the other hand people are used to online environments now,” Touchi-Peters said. “The online world has matured to the point where people will accept this. I don’t think that was true three or four years ago.”

The service — which bills itself as “the country club for people with more money than time” — appears to blend elements of Facebook and Twitter: members can follow one another, carry on conversations both public and private, and post advertisements in a classified section. Though it’s live now online, it will be a few weeks before Netropolitan.club’s mobile apps are ready.

Where it deviates wildly from most all social networks is its fee: the $9,000 required to join includes a $6,000 entry fee plus a $3,000 annual charge. All in an effort to both vet members while making it possible for the site to be ad free, Touchi-Peters said.

Still, why not just create a Facebook group or seek like-minded peers on a free message board?

“We went to enormous lengths to make this data secure. That might be worth that fee; a lot of people are tired of having their data sold and being advertised to the hilt,” Touchi-Peters said.

Communication on Netropolitan.club will be encrypted and not indexed for search engines, Touchi-Peters. He said he’s been asked how he could keep an upstart site secure when institutions like Chase Bank have trouble protecting their websites.

Twin Cities Business“It’s actually easier if you’re a smaller company, not harder,” he said, declining to elaborate on the site’s security measures.

Also kept close to the vest will be how many members Netropolitan.club has, their identities, and the size of the company, which will be headquartered out of Minneapolis. Because the concept is novel, Touchi-Peters said, the company isn’t quite sure what potential value it has. He said interest is high early, but he’s invested in making sure Netropolitan.club doesn’t go the way of the many—far less high-end—social networking upstarts that don’t make it.

“Most online communities fall apart at some point because of the natural weight of the people who misbehave,” Touchi-Peters said. “We’re a private community, so we should be able to avoid those problems.”

This article is reprinted in partnership with Twin Cities Business.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by E Gamauf on 09/18/2014 - 09:49 am.

    Online Gated Community

    It had to happen.

  2. Submitted by E Gamauf on 09/21/2014 - 10:45 pm.

    Hold that train, Conductor: A Millionaire’s Dating Service

    UP NEXT: A Net Worth Dating Service.

    Exclusivity is not Just for MENSA anymore.

    We already have dating services for people of a specific faith,
    and we have one for farmers only.

    Only a little tongue-in-cheek:
    It stands to reason we should have services for Conductors!
    Small though that community may be.

    The thing I don’t get:
    How does this guarantee that all the members will care about orchestras?

  3. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 09/18/2014 - 03:18 pm.

    I’d give a wide berth to anyone who says they are looking…

    …for “people with more money than time”.

    • Submitted by E Gamauf on 09/19/2014 - 09:21 am.

      Darn it… I thought music was the common element!

      He’s from Red Wing originally & was a conducting prodigy.
      I suppose he will be successful in this endeavor too, because people love exclusivity.

      If he has another agenda or schema, its not coming through in the article.
      We are left with the caricature of a network for people with “more money than time.”

      Its always a problem to find a clique who intensely shares one’s range of interests.
      People are by & large dilettantes in most of the things that pass by.

      I merely wonder how that translates into this social network.
      Affording that exclusivity alone reads to be the prevailing criteria.

  4. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 09/18/2014 - 04:23 pm.

    An online community for the better element

    At last! The worthiest people in society no longer have to mix–even online–with the little folk. Now, they can wall themselves off yet further from the masses, and have their own little world. Their world will be filled with others of the same interests–i.e. enough disposable income to fit in.

    PS for Mr. Touchi-Peters: I’m curious as to how many members of a classical orchestra would be able to afford the pleasure of being online with the right kind of people.

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