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The 11k Club and the Allure of Exclusivity in the Digital Age
By: Jennifer Stack
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Social experiments are nothing new, but in the digital age they are wrought with crowd-sourced impact and unsolicited commentary, changing the both the purpose and outcome of the investigation. In digital social experiments there are multiple variables existing in a microcosm. A perfect example is The 11K Club, a website pitched purely on the idea of “11000 places available. Applications Close on 31st October 2012. Apply to Join.” Birthed out of a moderately successful bookmarking site, the now-defunct Favilous, is the exploration of exclusivity's repercussions. For some, exclusiveness is alienating and synonymous with polarity, but for others, it is a beacon of belonging and identity. Information requested on the applications is limited to name, email, reason for joining, location, and availability on November 11. 
Reasons for joining have showcased the philosophical “New experiences are one of the most exciting acts of living. They simulate your mind and free your creative emotion, thus liberating your thoughts from the tension of a daily routine. This could be one of those moments,” the daring “Sometimes, you have to take a risk, to open doors and make a step in a dark room, even if you don't know what you'll find inside. Sometimes, you have to be the first, part of the happy few, But sometimes, questions are more important than answers,” and the curious "It's intriguing...I've never done anything like this before; taken a blind chance; made a huge leap. I'm at a place in my life right now that requires a major change, and I think this might be it.” The social media components of the experiment have resulted in limited results; the Facebook page boasts only 75 Likes and the Twitter page only 29 followers. However, mainstream media has provided extensive coverage. The website features no social integration or Facebook Connect, a fact that one of the two co-founders addressed, explaining "...we wanted the sign-up process to be completely hassle free and remove all barriers of entry. The Facebook Connect option didn't allow us to ask a user 'reason for joining' — which is the key part of the site.”
The ultimate benefit of the club for those who sign up, aside from quenching curiosity, will be revealed on November 11. Thus far, 13,401 Applications have been received. Terms of application can be found here; they detail your consent to allow your information to be used for whatever purpose is decided by the cofounders, an interesting opportunity for corporate brands. In response to questioning about the involvement of or potential partnership with brands, C-Founder Steve elaborated via e-mail: “We can't give too much away about the site I'm afraid but on October 31st all will be revealed and we think members and press will be pleasantly surprised. “

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About the Author
Jennifer Stack is a Social Media Strategist at a digital advertising agency. She was a 2011 Notable.ca YP Social Media Finalist. International Marketing Communication, MA. International Marketing Strategy, MSc. LinkedIn + Twitter.
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