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What It Takes To Play Empire Avenue

Posted by on Mar 8, 2012

Back in October, I wrote about this kind of interesting online stock market type of game called Empire Avenue. It’s like playing the stock market, only it’s based on social media, or some of it. At the time I had only been playing a couple of weeks, so the jury was still out. I thought it was time for a follow up on the whole thing.

Basically, this is how the game works. You are judged based on how you participate in social media. When I initially joined, I thought that a part of its purpose was to help you make connections through your social media outlets; that’s not quite true unfortunately, although I have made some. Instead, there are things you’re kind of expected to do in order to get your stock price, since everyone has a price, to go up, thereby encouraging others to invest in you, which is also what helps your price go up.

A bit more detail. When you create an account, the expectation is that you’re going to link to all of your social media outlets. This means Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, your blogs, and other accounts if you have them. This is how they track how much you’re participating in social media.

They also then track how much activity you have on the game itself. This second part doesn’t seem to impact your growth at all, but instead impacts whether you’ll fall or not. By this I mean that it helps the worth of your account, which they track in eaves instead of a true monetary thing, go up or down. You can acquire great wealth in game terms; I’m worth more than $3.5 million at this point, but its virtually meaningless because wealth is only how you get to gauge yourself; it’s not anything that people use in evaluating whether or not they should buy your shares.

What makes you valuable? How much you participate in certain ventures. Blogging on self hosted platforms means virtually nothing because, like Klout, they don’t have a real way of evaluating its importance. For instance, I have 5 blogs and occasionally I’ve had 5 blog posts on the same day. But it’s not counted for almost anything so I could pretty much eliminate my blogs from consideration without having it affect the game. However, if I had a blog, or a Tumblr blog, for the game those can be measured, and thus people with those platforms get a lot of juice; the same probably can be said for Blogger blogs, but I’m not as sure about those.

What I’ve noticed is that if I post a lot of things on Facebook my growth the next day is, well, growth, and good growth. This more I post, the higher it is. Posting things on Twitter don’t count as much unless you’re posting things and including their name in on it; that’s why you see so many people with these things flying on Twitter all the time; it promotes the site, they like it and reward you for it. I’m a big user of Twitter for the most part, and thus you’d expect that my score would reflect that but it doesn’t unless combined with a lot of things being put on Facebook.

I have to do that because I don’t have a lot of activity on LinkedIn, I don’t have a Four Square account, I don’t have a Flickr account and I don’t have an Instagram account. Other than Twitter, I’m really not someone out there posting stuff just to be doing it, and I only know about the Facebook thing because I did an experiment. Truthfully, if you participate minimally on Empire Avenue but a lot elsewhere, you’ll benefit a lot. Actually, the game pretty much ignores LinkedIn as well unless it doesn’t have anything else to look at; that’s in their rules as well.

A prime example is the account for Chris Pirillo, who many people know as one of the top social media personalities in the country. I have him on my watch list because he’s in the top 3 for highest stock price, and is almost always in some manner of growth. His most recent week (as of Sunday) looked something like this:

* 31 Empire Avenue Actions this week

* 81 Facebook Posts, 1393 Comments, 2866 Likes this week

* 214 Tweets posted this week

* 4 upload sets to Flickr this week

* 63 Videos posted to YouTube this week

* 42 blog posts this week

Notice that he barely participates on the site? But look at everything else; which of us as an individual could even think of coming close to doing this much stuff? I can match the tweets, but that’s about it.

In the long run one has to determine what they’re playing the game for. If it’s to try to get a really high score you might have to think about what else you’re willing to give up to get it done. I have read where some people say they spend 3 to 4 hours a day working on trying to get their stock price up; that’s just incredible. I almost dropped this game a month ago because I was thinking that it’s way too much work. I mean, I play games to win, and now that I know the commitment it would take to win this game, I know I’m not up to it. After all, I have to try to make money right?

I have connected with a few people, but I think I’ve only really talked to 2 of them. As I stated in the previous post, conversation on the site is pretty much nonexistent. I did join a community here and there, but either the group was fairly dead or it involved people mainly posting links here and there but not getting any comments and not commenting on anything. Frankly, I’d rather take my chances with the blogs. 🙂

What will I do? It’s something I have to consider within the next couple of weeks. I do have some fun, but now that I know that participating in the game as far as buying and selling shares of others really has no impact on my price, and knowing that I’m tired of posting things to Facebook just for the sake of raising my score on Empire Avenue instead of because I found something in my travels that I think others might want to see, it might be time for it to go the way of Klout for me and just stop playing and take my attentions elsewhere.

Definitely something to think about. After all, I have gotten some Twitter followers out of it, and about 75% of the meager number of people subscribed to my YouTube account came from this game. But without any interaction is it really reaching my objectives for the amount of time I’d have to put into it? If you play, do you have any thoughts on this?

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wow…sounds like a whole lot of online activity to do just to build an online rep! That’s some drastic stats but these people do exist. An interesting thought definitely. Never really cross my mind how these could bring in the moolah! Too bad I don’t play any of the stuff you mentioned.
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March 8th, 2012 | 12:42 PM
Susan Silver:

One issue I have had with Empire Avenue is that it has become abandoned by many. Once it got flooded with buy back spam (all that stuff we hate on our other networks) people left. But, I have stayed for one reason.

I have friends in some of the communities who are awesome. I support them and so I come by and chat. I don’t play the game at all anymore.

March 8th, 2012 | 12:54 PM

I’m glad you found a community, or more, that you like Susan. Each one I’ve joined has left me, well, frustrated. At this juncture it’s just not a compelling feature for me. And if you don’t really play the game does that mean people aren’t buying your stock anymore either?

March 8th, 2012 | 2:21 PM
Susan Silver:

Yep, I get bought usually after I participate in a Tweetchat. If you get retweeted by someone with enough influence your price can go up really high. Sometimes I can build a relationship with that person if I can get them to come over to my blog or follow on Twitter. It is very fleeting though and if you drop down they are going to most likely sell you. Got to take your opportunity to connect when you have it.

I should also say though that Influencer Advertising is a gem. I use it to promote give always and my best content.I also use share holder mail and that has actually helped me make some friends as well. I don’t run missions though. It just feels empty because I know they are doing it to earn eaves.

March 8th, 2012 | 2:34 PM

Here’s a funny thing Susan. First, thanks for retweeting this article. I saw that a lot of other people retweeted it. However, no one else has really commented on it from your tweets, and I’ve got the feeling that when I look at my stats tomorrow I’m going to find that not all that many people even read the article. That’s kind of interesting I’d say, and goes to your point of a quick blip on the radar and then nothing.

March 8th, 2012 | 9:30 PM

I have never heard of it before but it is really cool game and I’m going to test it out right away. This will surely help me become more productive with my social media campaign, or what do you think Mitch?
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March 8th, 2012 | 7:35 PM

No Olawale, I don’t think it will be productive at all. That’s not its purpose. It’s just a game, and yes, you might end up connecting with a few people here and there, but you’ll get no real benefit from it if that’s what you’re hoping for. Guess I didn’t quite get that across here.

March 8th, 2012 | 9:31 PM

I remember your previous blog post, actually I haven’t try this one yet, participated in something similar about 3 weeks ago, but abandon it as I think I can do much better if I put myself in real work being more sociable.

March 9th, 2012 | 7:06 AM

Carl, if you don’t have all that much free time don’t lock yourself up into this one. It can take a long time just to get it going; as I said, I’m evaluating whether it’s worth it.

March 9th, 2012 | 2:48 PM

May be I will give a shot, or not exactly me, a person that I used to work with just lost his job and asked me if I can outsource some work, actually he can do some social promos plus bookmarks and can give a shot with this one.

March 10th, 2012 | 8:09 PM

Yeah Carl, I’m thinking that this wouldn’t be the kind of game that would use your time all that well.

March 11th, 2012 | 1:48 AM
Lily Rose:

This sounds really interesting. I always say that I’m very reluctant about my social media. Perhaps a game would improve my attitude.

March 9th, 2012 | 8:30 AM

It might or might not Lily Rose. If you go into it knowing it’s just a game instead of looking at it for social media then it might work out.

March 9th, 2012 | 2:49 PM

Hi Mitch

I disagree actually, I’ve found empire avenue to be outstanding in terms of being able to connect with people that I had not connected with on twitter and facebook.

It is also a good reminder that twitter is not the only social media platform out there.

I find a huge amount of value from the site, for example I’ve been able to run missions for 2 new friends (I met them through empire avenue) who are in competitions and helped them get up into currently 2nd position each, in the next week or so they should be in first.

I have some amazing new friends because of the game and I have reconnected with some twitter friends who I had lost touch with over the last 4 years, so in my opinion the game is awesome….


Terry Rota (tpr2 on EA)
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March 10th, 2012 | 12:06 AM

Terry, I’m glad it works for you but overall I don’t see it. I’ve connected with no one on the site as far as any kind of conversation, even when I’ve visited their blogs and commented; actually, not a single person has ever even commented on my comment. Sure, people connected with me on Twitter and on Facebook, but until your message here no one has ever talked to me about anything other than Empire Avenue, and that’s in the Empire Avenue group itself. As a social media platform, at least for me, it’s been pretty useless; as a game… well, that might be a different thing.

Glad you shared your opinion though; I appreciate that, as it brings another dimension to the discussion.

March 10th, 2012 | 12:13 AM

I used to be Empire Avenue quite a lot and at first it was a lot of fun, but as with anything it just got a little time consuming and it was pulling me away from my blog and my work, so now I just stop by on the odd occasion to check my stats. But besides from doing that I don’t really bother with it at all
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March 10th, 2012 | 12:27 AM

I knew that Karen because when I first signed on you were there and doing a little bit, but then I saw that you’d dropped off. I fully get why, and yet I still go for now. lol

March 10th, 2012 | 12:32 AM

Hi Mitch,
I found your blog here because you bought some of my shares on EAv! I’ve been on for about 10 months now, I believe. I was ready to give it up a few months back because of the time factor and whether it was really worth it (and my stock price was struggling!).

I have connected with some great people through it, including a few in person. So I think that is a plus. Conversations on EAv on minimal, but it’s a gateway to other channels. It’s also another way to promote your own content. I haven’t sent any shareholder mail yet, and don’t respond much to it because it’s become overwhelming (too much “mission” spam).

I do like the stats feature (under “advisors”) that measures your activity on different networks. I don’t invest any real money into it the game, but it can certainly require a time investment to get up to speed. Now I’ve got it down to a little time in the morning and evening when I buy back my investors, such as yourself. By staying relatively active on my preferred networks (I’ve been using Instagram a lot this year, too), my share price has steadily increased. But I still sometimes questions whether it’s worth the time. Thanks, Mitch!

March 18th, 2012 | 5:41 PM

Thank you Mitch (I never get tired of saying that lol) for your contribution here. I’m still playing the game, but I can guarantee I’m not putting any money into it either. It does take a lot of time, and not just in the game itself. It takes time finding other content to post in places like Twitter or Facebook, and of course we still have to work on making real money right? I haven’t met anyone because of Empire Avenue, but obviously I know some local people who are there. I haven’t figured out how to share my content there; I’ll have to ask you how I can do that sort of thing, other than having some people endorse some of my blogs.

For now I’m still enjoying the game part, but it can be exhausting as well.

March 19th, 2012 | 2:27 AM
Jake Tyler:

I think it really depends on what you use it for. I mean I’ll put it into perspective I am hear reading your post because I am an active EAv participant. And I am leaving a comment because I was interested in your article. By my definition you just recieved targeted traffic from EAv even though your clearly not a fan. I think it is important to understand this is a game not a social meet and greet. I use the game as a measuring tool and since I have done it my main business has been fantastic. I mean if my twitter score isn’t high on the game its because I am not interacting with my twitter community enough or because my content isn’t good enough. If I fix these things my followers interact with me more on twitter and my score goes up. The game is just a measurement of what you are already doing. If you are active in your social media communities, then this should be easy, however if you slack of and arent consistent, the game will show it. If you use EAv as a social media measuring tool, you will see the true power it has in helping anyone become a maarket leader in their chosen niche

March 27th, 2012 | 11:43 AM

Interesting take Jake; you now make the third person from EA in six months who’s visited this blog; the other 4 are still looking for some love.

It is a game, a game I’m still playing, and it’s not that I don’t like the game part. I don’t like that it was presented to me as a social media thing where I thought I’d be meeting all sorts of people and instead I not only meet very few people, but I end up having to post a lot of content in social media circles outside of what I’d normally do just to try to get my score to improve. I feel that my actions aren’t normal, and that’s somewhat bothersome. You can’t just work the game to progress; you have to game all the other social media sites to score points.

So that’s my gripe. The game is fine, but some of the stuff one has to do feels false.

March 28th, 2012 | 2:07 AM

Hi Mitch

I’m not sure where to start – I love this “game” 🙂

I play Empire Avenue, (I have your shares) and its the best thing that I have done since I became a member on Twitter. I now have a huge community of friends and supporters who I support also. I have had many career opportunities from it through the people that I have met. Which led me to my current position with someone I met through the Empire Avenue community. I have learned so much about social media over the past year from seeing how the scores affect my social media and from the fantastic people that I have met. With respect to it taking up time, this isn’t true in my case – I try spend 1 hour per day sometimes every other day on empire avenue – at this moment in time, I haven’t been to do buy backs for 4 days and I am still increasing – sure my score only increases slowly but it always increases. It dips now and then but it soon goes back up again. I just go about my daily business on my networks as normal, without falseness. I may have changed the way I now share pictures or small things like that but nothing too different. Missions have changed this slightly as they can help, and they also can get more people to see your work than might not have before. I hardly ever tweet about empire and my score is in the 50’s – I might see if tweeting about it does work 🙂 I can’t praise this tool enough and the users on it.
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April 28th, 2012 | 11:34 AM

Hi Michelle, thanks for writing.

I still play the game every day but there are days when my score’s going down and I have no idea why because I’ve followed the regimen. I’ve only had one day when I’ve had my score going up more than 1 and that was the day of the “palooza” thing; can’t even remember what it was called. lol

I’ve noticed that even when those folks with very large share prices let it go for a couple of days their price starts dropping almost immediately. Maybe that’s how the regular market goes as well; I’m not sure. Maybe one day I’ll figure it all out and my share price will escalate but it’s going to have to do it in 30 minutes or less. lol

April 28th, 2012 | 11:46 AM

hehe good luck with it – yes you can do it in 30mins a day – the thing that takes the time though is following people on their networks – if they buy me I might do two at that time. Maybe this is something you are not doing. I’m not sure – sometimes it drops when I feel I have had a good day 🙂 I’m not too worried about that, its the connections more. BTW I have not put any of my own money into it either.
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April 28th, 2012 | 1:00 PM
Tom Cooley:

I’ve been on Empire Avenue for over a year now, made some great connections, collaborated on projects with people, gained a bit financially and have been the beneficiary of some amazing gifts from others who I know only through the game.

The first thing to know is that on site interaction is not how most players use the game. We take our new friendships to our social media sites of choice – there are many large Empire Avenue Facebook communities, to give one example.

Secondly, Empire Avenue wealth and share buying have a huge effect on your share price – buying shares in others on a daily basis gets you buys in return, which increases your share price and it also increases your dividend payout if you do it on a regular basis (which makes you a better investment).

Thirdly, it doesn’t take a lot of time to do it, assuming you already use social media – if you don’t, the game probably isn’t your cup of tea anyway. I use the site to invest in others – it still registers as Empire Avenue activity even if I don’t actually visit the site. Once you familiarize yourself with that or other similar sites like you can log in for 10 minutes a day to do share buys and get a great deal of benefit from that activity. Then, use a few social media sites regularly and consistently and connect with people from EAv on the sites you use.

I found your blog via my friend Michelle who posted about it to Facebook. We likely would never have connected were it not for Empire Avenue. You’ve got an excellent share price, dividend rate and social media scores. Your Linkedin score will contribute daily to your dividends as will any blogs you have connected as such and post to. In short, you have a great thing going (which is why I own 600 shares and am upgrading to 800 even though we haven’t connected). Seems to me like you just need to join and post occasionally to one or more of the EAv FB groups to find the Empire community. My personal recommendation is but there are others as well.

April 28th, 2012 | 5:55 PM

Glad to meet you Tom. I did go back and edit your comment by adding some spacing; hard to read as one long paragraph like that. lol

The communities weren’t working for me initially because it seemed no one was talking to anyone else, if there was any interactions at all. It may be the format; it’s not like a traditional forum format so messages are odd and not formatted all that well for conversation. I just joined another community to see if I can get any comments, one that’s an interest of mine but hadn’t had a comment in 2 months; so far nothing. I’ll check out the community you mentioned above. I’ll also look at that website.

I’m glad you’ve had the opportunity for some extra growth. As some EA people eventually find this post, which, as you mentioned, you’d have never known about if Michelle hadn’t seen it, maybe there’s the opportunity for better things to occur and a better understanding. I do know that I’ve asked some questions on the EA group on Facebook and never gotten a response, which is somewhat discouraging. Still, I view it as a game and thus have continued playing because of that; I don’t play many games, let alone online games.

Thanks for your position here; hope to see you more.

April 28th, 2012 | 10:06 PM

Hi Mitch – Just picked up 600 shares of (e)MMitch1. I’ve been on EA over a year now and overall have found it to be an invaluable experience. Michelle posted on Facebook about the article so here I am. Most of the relationships with other EA players is built on Facebook, Twitter, and G+. The communities within EA have not fared well, but for many it serves as a launching pad to build relationships on the big networks.

Admittedly, it does take a lot of time in the first 4-6 months. If one wants to get the most out of it they really need to spend 15+ hours week during this period to get the most out of the experience. It’s not for those seeking immediate gratification. Would I do it again? Yes. Is it for everyone? Absolutely not.

If your livelihood is in Social Media, Marketing, some areas of Technology, I would suggest to those to seriously consider participating.
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April 28th, 2012 | 6:23 PM

Hi Steve,

As the article states and as I’ve said in other comments, I still play the game. But I also work for myself, so spending 15 hours a week in what’s now about 7 months of playing the game isn’t feasible. Except for that one Palooza thing (just can’t remember the name) I don’t spend more than 30 minutes or so playing, yet if you check my stats out you do see that I play the game every day. There’s still a lot of stuff I don’t understand, and you’re right, the communities aren’t all that great on the site and I’ll add that sometimes getting answers to questions on the Facebook page is less than satisfying.

I haven’t seen any EA stuff on G+ yet; where would I find any of that?

April 28th, 2012 | 10:10 PM