I was going to call Empire Avenue my new addiction, but I think that’s an overstatement. There are many who would disagree, but I don’t consider myself ‘addicted’ to social media.
What is Empire Avenue?
Empire Avenue (EAv, @EmpireAve, #EAv) is The Social Media Stock Market. Your value in the market is reflected in the content you’re producing online and your interactions in social media, plus how much people are investing in you on EAv. Sounds like something I’d like, eh?
The currency in EAv is ‘Eaves’:
You can use your Eaves to invest in other people. One interesting trait is that people who aren’t on Empire Avenue have value in the market. My Facebook friends who haven’t signed up for the site have a value of 9.75. (For reference, as of this writing, I’m at 64.54, Mashable is at 163.08.)
You can have a personal or business account. I don’t think the functionality is different. It’s free to sign up for either. I have a business account for The Official Roni Weiss Company.
What’s the point?
For some, the goal is probably just having the highest stock price possible. Makes sense.
For others, it’s about making connections to people that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise (and, as always, with social media, strengthening the connections one already has).
“In all things, moderation.” Some combination thereof is probably the best path.
Why is it fun?
I met Dups (Duleepa Wijayawardhana), the co-founder/CEO of EAv at an Empire Avenue event in Seattle. He talked to the crowd about how EAv is meant to have different aspects that appeal to different people. They have all sorts of accomplishments that you get, with badges, a la FourSquare. You can comment on people’s profiles, a la Facebook. All the standard trappings of social media, plus the ‘game’ (read: stock market) aspect.
I dunno if I’d call it ‘fun’, but one clear result of having a personal stock price is that it’s another metric to obsess over, like my Klout and Peerindex scores… And my amount of Twitter followers… and my amount of Likes…
Why would I want to be on it?
As a general pitch, social media provides an opportunity to connect to new people/businesses and strengthen already existing contacts.
With EAv specifically, I’ve been happily surprised at the amount of people who’ve connected with me via other social media after investing in me on EAv. Twitter followers and Flickr contacts have increased since joining EAv. When I first tweeted about Empire Avenue, I got a response from William Pitcher of Empire Building Network. Not only does he have a lot of info on EAv, he became a valuable contact for other projects that I’m pursuing.
Empire Avenue allows for a different form of connection than you’d have elsewhere. In broad terms:
Facebook: Family and friends
Twitter: Everyone/everything, not necessarily personally, with the ability to hone in
LinkedIn: Business contacts
Empire Avenue: Influencers and people/businesses you might not be able to contact otherwise
What’s the downside?
I’ve been a bit peeved at the Facebook and LinkedIn requests I’ve gotten from people that I’ve never met who want to connect to everything of mine after seeing it on EAv. But given the choice between over-excitement and under, I’ll take the former, as it doesn’t take much for me to just click ‘no’.
From the beginning, I saw the possibility of really addictive behavior, re: the site. Chris Pirillo made mention at the the event that he lost 5 pounds his first week on the site. And you can tell from his 251.65 price that he’s a pretty active guy on the interwebs. I don’t spend that much time on it per day, considering, and I feel like I’m getting benefits from the site.
There’s really no downside, honestly, other than those annoying Facebook/LinkedIn adds. You can just minimize your involvement, if you’re worried about getting too into it. Of course, if you’re not convinced to be active in social media yet, none of this will have persuaded you. But if that’s the case, I’m curious what got you to the end of this post?
You can join Empire Avenue (and give me 2,000 precious Eaves) by clicking here.
So even if you never use the site, hey, I get some imaginary currency.