Posted by Mitch Mitchell 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 WordPress.com 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?