Tuesday, January 24, 2012

So... what's that about exclusivity?

I remember a scene from David Fincher's 2011's film, "The Social Network," where the Winklevoss twins and their business partner, Divya Narendra, are talking about creating a social networking site that requires all members to be fellow Harvard students. But why Harvard students? Is it because having the 'harvard.edu' email address is one of the most prestigious email addresses in the world? Does it demonstrate that you are apart of a higher class Ivy League education? That you have money and can afford to be paying the $60,000 a year tuition? Yes, well, that's exactly what they want it to mean. Here's how it went down in the film:

Cameron Winklevoss: Well, we have something that we've been working on for a while and we think it's great. It's called the HarvardConnection. You create your own page, interests bios, and friends. 
Tyler Winklevoss: And then people can go online see you bio request to be...
Mark Zuckerberg: Yeah, how is that different from my MySpace or Friendster?
Tyler Winklevoss: Harvard-dot-E-D-U. 
Cameron Winklevoss: Harvard.edu is the most prestigious e-mail address in the country.
Tyler Winklevoss: And the whole site kinds based on the idea that girls uh...
Cameron Winklevoss: Not to put anything indelicately...
Divya Narendra: Girls wanna go with guys who go to Harvard.

So what does all of this mean? That the internet is a place where you can be judged based on social class? In the film, Mark Zuckerberg catches on to the Winklevoss' intentions:
Tyler Winklevoss: The main difference between what we're talking about and MySpace or Friendster or any of those other social networking sites...
Mark Zuckerberg: ...is exclusivity. Right?
Divya Narendra: Right.

So just as Facebook started off as exclusive (at first, only Harvard students were allowed to join, now its expanded to anyone... yup, that's why we have annoying 13 year old cousins adding us, or worse, your parents) a new site has been proposed offering another social networking site for the elite, the rich, "one percent." This week, a website called Toplink will be launched as an invite-only social network to the richest and most powerful people in the world. This article explains it all: 

What do you guys think? Do you think exclusivity of a social network reflects our real-life society? Do you think it would make a website more or less successful? Do you think they all face the fate of Facebook, and will eventually become open to the public?

(Movie quotes from here

1 comment:

  1. What a great movie this was! I remember when I first got Facebook I had to get invited by someone else from my school's network. Does anyone else remember that?