The Fame Dame

bryan 5 The Fame Dame“It’s all about the wife,” said architect and designer Campion Platt recently, at a benefit on the lawn of Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center in Southampton. “As long as you remember that in life. …” Nearby, Mr. Platt’s wife Tatiana—socialite, former AOL executive and proprietress of the social-tracking Web site FameGame.com—posed for pictures nearby in a strapless white party dress. Mr. Platt held her drink contentedly (a seltzer water; she is four months pregnant).

“I’ve been eating Parmesan and Gouda, but what about stinky cheese?” Ms. Platt, 38, wondered to Sessa von Richthofen Johnson, wife of Page Six editor Richard Johnson. This will be her first child (Mr. Platt, a decade her senior, has a son from a previous marriage), and thus far it is not interfering in any way with her packed calendar. On August 14, she will co-chair a gala at the East End estate of writer Jay McInerney and his wife, Anne Hearst, benefiting Anthony Kennedy Shriver’s intellectual disabilities charity Best Buddies; moving tickets had been a challenge. “The economy,” she said with a sigh. “Plus, it’s on a Thursday.”

The crowd at Watermill was migrating toward the dinner tent. Ms. Platt looked around for Mr. Platt, a former model and onetime André Balazs associate who helped build the Mercer Hotel and Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont, remarking that she doesn’t like to be away from him at all right now. In a circle known for marriages of practicality, their evident mutual adoration is widely envied. “If you ever see a couple coming back from the beach hand in hand, that’s them,” said Ms. Platt’s friend Patty Raynes, daughter of the late billionaire Marvin Davis. “They’re the most romantic couple.”

 

 

‘GENIUS FRIEND’

A few days later, Ms. Platt, wearing a snug brown sleeveless dress, pink lipstick and a glistening tan, breezed into the Cupping Room Café in Soho, near the New York apartment she shares with her husband (they also have homes in Watermill and Palm Beach) and ordered the French toast. She was marveling at a sonogram from the day before—“Something out of Hellraiser!”—and insisting that “it’s summer, and I’m taking it a little bit easy.” Nonetheless, she had but an hour or so before a meeting with potential “content partners” for FameGame, which has become a familiar, if somewhat confusing, phenomenon to a certain class of self-Googling New Yorkers.

Many, including this reporter, have been surprised to discover their own “profiles” on the site, complete with “friends,” biographical information, news mentions and pictures. Across the top of the screen, a ticker digests and quantifies everyone’s relative exposure (140,000 profiles and counting) and assigns it a value. On a recent night those on the upswing included Hills star Lauren Conrad (+5.81 percent), journalist Hud Morgan (+15.56 percent) and billionaire Ronald Perelman (+21.35 percent). “My friends are still trying to figure out how it works,” Ms. Platt admitted, shrugging. “They don’t understand the whole system of an automated feed, so they’re like, ‘Where did you get that information, and how did you know I was at that event?’ Well, you were at that event, right? It’s not any big secret.”

Most of the content for the profiles is generated automatically, by “scraping” top news sources, but a person can also claim her profile by registering for free and upload what she wishes, taking some control of which news mentions appear, which committee memberships, which social connections. Kind of like a “press kit on themselves,” as Ms.Platt put it; the kind of thing Tinsley Mortimer and Lydia Hearst have been doing ad hoc for years, now gathered in one convenient place. So far, she has not had to erect any security measures against the kind of bitchy tampering and bickering that took place on the notorious now-defunct site socialiterank.com. By contrast, Ms. Platt hopes to make the fame machine more efficient, democratic and transparent to social aspirants and organizations—and, perhaps, transcend its grind in the process. “There are still people all the time who are figuring out ‘You’re behind FameGame?’” she said.

 

MS. PLATT STARTED the site with two partners last fall, funding it entirely herself, shortly after ending a 12-year tenure at AOL, where she was a senior vice president and amassed a reported $75 million in stock, a figure she refused to confirm. She met her husband on a blind date at Raoul’s arranged by a lawyer friend in 2002. They were engaged two years later, during a surprise vacation he’d planned in Iceland. “We stood on top of a waterfall, and he took out a ring and said, ‘Will you marry me?’” she said. “And I was just like, ‘AHHHHHHHHH!’” They married in 2004 at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach and renewed their vows a year later in Morocco with 40 friends, then again a year later in Portugal.