Social Working for the rich

aSmallWorld.net

Members: 320,000

Perks: Chit chat with the ultra-rich on the site’s forum about the best hotels in Monaco, buy a yacht from a member on the Market Guide, scour the luxury travel guide or browse the social calendar. This is by far the most active and well-known exclusive social networking site on the web … but competition is biting its heels.

Getting in: Members, who pay no fee, induct newcomers on the basis of education, profession and their network of contacts. If you don’t know a member with invite powers, you’re out of luck.

ASmallWorld, by far the most well-known and well-attended site for digital A-listers, was launched in March 2004 by former Lehman Brothers banker Erik Wachtmeister. Born into a diplomat family (his father was the Swedish ambassador to the U.S.), Wachtmeister started networking at an early age.

“I realized there was an existing community of people who are connected by three degrees of separation: They stay at the same resorts when they travel, frequent the same restaurants and have similar lifestyles. They needed a platform to share and receive information–it was a huge untapped opportunity,” Wachtmeister says.

ASmallWorld has grown to include 320,000 members globally (Facebook boasts 40 million, by contrast) with 65% of the members in the U.K., Italy, Germany and France and 20% in the U.S. The rest are sprinkled throughout the Middle East and Asia. Wachtmeister’s site has been even called “MySpace for millionaires” by the Wall Street Journal. But Wachtmeister maintains that aSmallWorld is a niche community that doesn’t allow self-promotion or aggressive networking.

source

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