Well – then here maybe a game you should consider exploring. It is actually much more than a game.
The general mechanic of Empire Avenue is this:
You invest in your friends by buying and selling virtual shares. The more active they are the further grow their value and if you invested early your’s grow too. Becoming wealthy is the goal.
Now this looks like so many other games in the social web. There have been games like "Be a tycoon" or "Sell your friend" and more. Pretty much all were just that – games. But Empire Avenue is very different:
Social Capital Rules
Almost all games have defined rules that are inherited in the game mechanic and pretty much everybody has the same chance to win or loose based on how you play the game and how well you know the rules. Some are based on pure luck – others have some random events or have any kind of event generator to generate events that keeps the gamer going. Not so in EAv (Empire Avenue).
In Empire Avenue the rules are based on your real life engagement in the social web. If you are very engaged contributing content on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Youttube, LinkedIn and obviously in Empire Avenue, your value grows up. Those of you familiar with the Social Media Academy methods, you know about our NCP model: Network – Contribution – Participation. Empire Avenue is building on that idea. It’s not only how big your network are but home much you do with it. And here it is not only how much you contribute but how much people actually appreciate your contribution (participation.
So your value in EAv is not based on any random number generator, or arbitrarily developed game events, no, it is a reflection of your real life involvement with the people you are connected with.
Much More Than a Game
Given the way the ‘game’ is structured, EAv is much more than a game. It is actually a very interesting – if not the most powerful – social media monitoring tool. However EAv is not monitoring what other people say – but it is monitoring how active other people are and how much influence they have due to their activities. Social Media Monitoring came originally from the stock broker world where stock broker monitored what’s going on around a company and made a significant part of their decisions based on market sentiments – long before social media became so popular. Now, all this gets to an interesting new level as we can see who the real influencers are. It takes more than a blog post to dive into the depth of influencer identification but once you start playing you get pretty quickly an idea about who you should play with, why and how.
The Best Business Is A Fun Business
This has not changed, the times we had real fun with our customers and prospects usually also created the best businesses. Executives complete multi million dollar deals on golf courses, country or yacht clubs, cool companies through crazy parties or do other creative stuff to have fun with their clients. So why not moving also in the day to day business some more fun into our stiff business lives. You probably saw me tweet or post about EAv in the last few weeks not only "after hours" but actually during the day. Why? I realized it is much more fun to chat with a customer about buying some stock from each other than exploring the ROI of rathersomething.
A new connection platform
One of the top gamer in EAv is Chris Latko his stock symbol: CLATKO. He invested in me early on, when my share price was around e20 (20 Eaves) within just two weeks my shareprice doubled and so did my part of his portfolio. I was lucky because I could join his private investor community on EAv. This is a community he manages for his portfolio. It’s a great place to meet other cool people – and as EAv is design – people who are really active in the social web. As it appears I spend more and more time on EAv to meet and engage with people who all have something in common: They are all highly connected, communicative, early adopter and forward looking individuals. It”s basically the Social Media Avant Guard – very much like Twitter in its early days.
When I started in Twitter in 2007, most of my friends thought that I’m really off now. "Do you have nothing else to do?" or "Did you retire" were some of the comments. Well – I guess EAv is similar. Yes, it is a game but the most playful way to learn everything about social capital and social dynamics you need to know. AND it is a very interesting way to meet highly networked and communicative people – and you see right away who is and who not.
If this review was inspiring or helpful, please consider investing in me – obviously only Eaves not real cash 🙂 And while we still struggle with the differentiation between company and individual presence on EAv, the Social Media Academy is of course also on here: http://www.empireavenue.com/smacad Person versus Company will be a new post soon 😉
For some more detailed tips about how to use EAv, here is a post I recently did on my personal blog.