What’s New in Social Media?

September 29, 2014

Blog | Culture | What’s New in Social Media?
What’s New in Social Media?

Fed up with Facebook? Tired of Twitter? Alliteration aside (see what I did there?), if you’ve grown weary of the old social standbys, you have two new platforms to consider.

For the well heeled with $12,000 to spare, Netropolitan.club promises to be the online destination for those whose interests lean more towards luxury cars, fine wine, and exclusivity. Like traditional country clubs, membership includes an initiation fee and annual dues. Founded by the 48 year-old former conductor of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra, James Touchi-Peters, Netropolitan aims to connect people (ie, those over 21 who commit to posting only in English) who’d like to chat about the finer things without criticism. Something Touchi-Peters felt was lacking online.

Thanks to the hefty fees, members will enjoy an ad free user experience, and according to their media specialist, privacy that results from the site not being indexed by search engines. Built using a $60 WordPress template, functionality is extended by way of BuddyPress, PaidmembershipPro, and Slider Revolution, the latter of which, coincidentally, has been receiving some unwanted press thanks to a security vulnerability.  The site also features moderators who will curtail bad behavior and overt self-promotion. Though “Member Service Associates” are available to help users navigate the site, you’ll be out of luck if you need assistance selecting your Nantucket Reds.

If you’re not inclined to shell out thousands of dollars for private digital schmoozing, consider Ello, the invitation-only site that intrepidly declares, “You are not a product.” Ad-free, tracking-free, and as of this writing, fee-free, the earnest Vermonters who founded the site are hoping to squash Facebook by giving users the freedom to… use aliases and avoid feeling like a number.

While it sounds cozy, it begs the question: what’s the value proposition? With no viable revenue stream, mobile app, privacy settings or hook (ie, what makes it a fundamental part of your digital life), it’s anyone’s guess how Ello will survive.

Ello was crowned a safe and hipper haven last month after some of San Francisco’s beloved drag performers were caught up in Facebook’s algorithm debacle. A boycott ensued and while Ello is a friendlier stage, it’s not revolutionary. It’s a neophyte lacking in design, privacy settings, and it seems, a serious business plan.  Better? Not necessarily. Newer? Definitely.

While we wait to see what’s next for both platforms, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Are you using Ello? What about Netropolitan? Find us on Twitter @GeekHive.

Heather Waters

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