In the good old days of college, when it came time to rush or "try out" for a sorority all I wanted to do was get into the hottest one. And by hottest one, I mean the one with the prettiest and smartest girls. When I finally got in and "pledged," I began wondering why anyone would ever want to be in the Greek club. I probably should have known this from watching Legally Blonde. Sure, the parties were cool but keggers got old after a while and the girls—well, most of them—were nothing special. None of them became my best friends or remotely felt like my sisters. My experience with the all-exclusive social networking site Diamond Lounge has been strikingly similar to my sorority days. Taking social networking to a new level, Diamond Lounge is an invite-only site. A member of the site can invite you or you have to apply. Once a user fills out an extensive application, which asks for everything from your highest level of education to your current profession, users then have to wait to be accepted. If they are, indeed, given an invitation they are required to pay a $50 monthly fee. Wow, this sounds extremely similar to those sorority dues I'm still paying off. I applied to get into the Diamond Lounge a few weeks ago. I spent about 15 minutes filling out the application. I filled out my personal mission statement (with total BS). I am not sure if my application was ever reviewed since a nice woman on the Diamond-Lounger marketing team invited me to try the site out (ah, the perks of the press). I should admit here that the only reason I got into my sorority was because I knew a senior on the "executive board."
After I entered the pearly gates of the Diamond Lounge, I quickly set up my profile. Interestingly enough Diamond Lounge separates the work and play areas. There is "The Lounge" for social interaction and "The Boardroom" for professional networking. You can create a separate profile for each, and your friends are kept separate, which is pretty awesome. It is like having LinkedIn and Facebook in the same network; however, finding someone on the network that you actually know is nearly impossible. That could be because Diamond Lounge is aimed at extremely wealthy, educated people. Most of my friends spend all their money on groceries. People were, to my surprise, extremely welcoming. I've gotten countless friend requests and messages from a few people who actually want to meet up in New York. However, like being in a sorority, without your friends it's hard to want to spend a lot of time at the site if you don't have that many people to connect with. As an actual Web application, I was not impressed with Diamond Lounge. You are not dealing with a clean interface like Facebook's. Finding the correct fields and buttons is a pain and not at all intuitive. For example, a friend request alert brings you to that person's profile, but the Accept and Reject buttons are buried on the bottom of the page. Call me a sorority girl, but it took me a good 3 minutes to find these buttons on the page. All criticism aside, the one thing I always loved about being in a sorority was the exclusivity (oh, and all those dumb songs). Of course, on the inside it was never all that great, but people thought it was. So with that in mind I will be hanging out in the Diamond Lounge for the rest of the day. To all those that can't get in, so long, suckers ...
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