There has been a recent rush of activity in the iThinkMedia office due to one of the most addictive social games we have encountered: Empire Avenue. What is it I hear you ask, well:
“Empire Avenue is a stock market simulation social network game that allows users to buy and sell shares of people and websites.”
Empire Avenue was actually launched in February 2010, but only recently has seen an influx of big names get involved. Originally the makers of Empire Avenue relied heavily on funding from advertising, but soon moved away from that model once they realised the value that the communities could bring. (Also, they still make money as you can buy optional extras and ‘luxury items’)
So what’s the point?
Empire Avenue allows you to ‘buy’ shares or Eaves, (EA Currency) in any social profile on various social networks. Once you join, you can connect your Twitter account, Facebook and Facebook page, YouTube account, Flickr, and your blog, all of which add value to your share price. Your share price is reflective of both the investments made in you by others, as well as your social activity on the accounts you connect. (For me, this makes the ‘ranking’ far clearer than that of Klout for example)
I’m sure this all sounds a bit confusing and maybe even pointless to some, but those that know the value of social media will see that this, at the moment, really looks like the next big thing. But don’t just take my word for it, take a look at some of the big brands that have created an account and are engaging with people and communities already:
And the list keeps growing.
But it is not just the big brands that are getting involved, there are some really big names from the Social Media communities, SEO whizz’s, techies and more. The communities on Empire Avenue are really friendly too, helping out newcomers with tips on investing, (obviously some spam exists, but experienced social media users will gain value straight away) and are great when it comes to sharing articles and posts, (hint, hint!).
I am really taken with this social game as it allows me not only to track my progress on my social channels, but also compare it to the other big players in the industry. The value I have gained from some of the super engaged communities has seen me really pay attention to how I am performing on Twitter, Facebook etc and has helped me gain a few followers along the way! But it is definitely the new contacts I have made that are really encouraging me to try to provide value to the other Empire Avenue members, so much so that I have reached out to some real big players in the Empire Avenue community, (Jim Durbin and Dr Ron Capps) that have been kind enough to answer some questions for me that I am sculpting into a post on the importance for companies to use such tools to listen, monitor and engage with their customers, whilst being able to analyse their competitors. It’ll be posted on iThinkMedia blog soon.
In the meantime, should you want to find out anymore about what people are talking about on Empire Avenue, check out this great little page from Dr Ron Capps on all Empire Avenue articles, (I’d definitely read those of Caleb Storkey, someone else who has really helped me in the EA community) which gets regularly updated.
In the meantime, please take the time to check out Empire Avenue and invest in me! Here’s my profile (e)THEDAVECABLE. Would love to know if you’re already using Empire Avenue, how you are getting on, you’re experiences or just your thoughts!