Modern Mating

When Technology and the Sexes Collide

Friday, May 12, 2006

Social networking for jet setters



For those who disdain mingling with the hoi polloi, there’s a social networking site that fits the bill. Conceived during a boar hunt by Erik Wachtmeister, a former investment banker and the the son of a Swedish ambassador to Washington, aSmallWorld.net was founded to cater to the networking needs of the elite. Nicknamed “Snobster”, aSmallWorld claims almost 75,000 members culled from the jet-set. The site has tweaked its membership criteria several times, making it increasingly difficult for someone new to join.

Unlike on Friendster or MySpace, where signing up is straightforward, it is first necessary to be invited to participate by an established member of aSmallWorld. The site says it is “designed for those who already have strong connections with one another,” and if you don’t happen to know someone who is already a member, the site also advises that “you simply need to be patient.” You know, while you get to work at knowing a better class of people.

However, if you happen to know the odd supermodel who’s willing to invite you in, you’d better be prepared to comply with the strict, but mostly unwritten, rules of participation. No flame-wars. No pestering celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Paris Hilton or Quentin Tarantino. No unwelcome business pitches. Because if you run afoul of the rules, you risk being banished – without notice -- to aBigWorld.net. Complying with the code is worthwhile, however, if you want a place to find out about polo ponies, air charters, and maitre d’s, aSmallWorld is an excellent place to connect with fellow Eurotrashers, who can keep you apprised of the best places to get contraband Cuban cigars in New York City, and who can direct you towards the hottest nightspots in every corner of the world. And without these kinds of connections, your quality of life may truly suffer.