Social network requires members to be voted in
You may have already gotten one of the pink envelopes containing your invite, your identification number and the tagline “10,000 USC students will never get in.”
If you haven’t, don’t worry, you’ll have a shot soon — but you better hope you’re cool enough.
The invites are for a new social network called EliteVille, set to launch on Oct. 1 at 40 campuses in the eastern U.S., including USC, Clemson, the University of Georgia and the University of Maryland.
EliteVille and its CEO Vladimir Kachur, a first-year graduate student at USC, make no secret that exclusivity is the No. 1 draw for the new website. Not only is the USC EliteVille only open to USC students, it’s only open to the most interesting 62 percent.
“I don’t want any old creepers who are living somewhere else hanging out here,” Kachur said. “The whole key to this is proximity, the people near you. The people here aren’t pedophiles, they are students here, now.”
Kachur began seeking his masters of accounting degree at USC in January. He said there was no easy way to meet and interact with a large group of other students, so he decided to create his own. He brought in his sister, Anastasia Kachur, and a Ph.D. student, Shamsulhaq “Shams” Syed, to help.
Kachur, who speaks in a distinctly collegiate dialect, said he invested close to $20,000 of his own money to start EliteVille, LLC.
“I was good at picking stocks bro, I’m serious, not a joke,” Kachur said.
Initially, the site will let in 2,000 USC students without a hitch. Those are the lucky ones. Those who try to sign in after that will be placed into groups with two other applicants.
The members of the site will then vote for the most interesting person out of the three. Those who get chosen 10 times in the random popularity contest will be let in. New members will be able to see the 10 people who voted them in.
Those who don’t get chosen 12 times will be rejected, and won’t be able to try again for a month. In that time, those excluded better hit the gym or find something to increase their “it” factor. If they try and get rejected again, they’ll have to wait three months. If they try again and fail, Kachur said the site might reject them forever.
If EliteVille’s members hit 60 percent of USC’s student population — or 60 percent of the student population at any other university — the site will start kicking out the least-active members to make way for new applicants.
EliteVille’s buzz has already attracted many comparisons to BeautifulPeople.com, another site that prides itself on exclusivity and whose members vote on new applicants.
“It sounds degrading,” said Emily Moore, a first-year business student. “It would make people feel bad.”
Kachur dislikes the comparisons. He said that his site “isn’t a shallow club.”
“Some people were writing to me on Twitter that EliteVille is wrong for rejecting so many college students because thousands will be rejected,” Kachur said. “That’s a fact, but that’s the price you have to pay to put the most fun people in one place.”
Kachur stressed that his site is about much more than physical attractiveness.
“I don’t care about bringing in the most beautiful people, that’s lame bro, that’s not fun,” Kachur said. “ ... Attractive or not, let’s say some crazy guy who is an awesome chess player, bring him in man!”
The founder said the site is much different than current college networking king, Facebook, which similarly began as an exclusive social network for Harvard University students.
“Facebook to me is like an old Nokia phone — everyone has it, it’s uncool, the features aren’t interesting and it’s boring,” Kachur said. “You can disagree with me, but that is a fact, bro. EliteVille is an iPhone — it’s fun, not everyone will have it, it has cool features, it’s innovative and it’s new.”
Kachur said Facebook was only for keeping up with people you already knew, whereas on EliteVille you could meet new people without being labeled “a creeper.” He said the site will launch without a profit model, but he left open the possibility of an “untraditional” way to make money off the site in the future.