Power to the People of Empire Avenue

I’ve been using Empire Avenue for about 3 months now and while I enjoy it, it feels like something is missing. I can’t really put my finger on it so I thought I’d survey some users and get some additional perspective.

I asked the following questions and received 21 responses.

Survey Questions:
1. How long have you been on EA?
2. How did you find out about EA?
3. What do you want to get out of EA?
4. What do you like best about it? What do you like least?
5. What SM do you use the most?
6. Has EA impacted the way you use SM?
7. Have you made any new contacts? Do you connect with them on other SM sites?
8. Do you have a strategy for EA? Have you set any goals?
9. How many hours per day do you spend on EA?
10. Will you continue to use the site?
Bonus:
11. If you are a new user (within the last 2 weeks) what are your expectations from the site?

What I really wanted to figure out through this survey was not just why people were playing the game but are they actually getting any practical value out of it. I think for the most part they are but let’s dig into the responses and see what we can discover.

Time on the site
I was pleasantly surprised that I received a response from somebody who had only been on the site for 4 hours. I just checked and CITYCHATTR (Saskia Wijngaard) is still playing and has a stock share price of over 50 with dividends of 0.37. Another respondent, CASTREZANA  has been on the site for 6 months and I am happy to say that he is doing great with a share price of 91.26 and dividends of .81 per share. I did not hear from anyone who had been on the site for longer than 6 months.

How did people hear about the site
Almost everyone who responded either found out through Twitter or FaceBook, although, a few were referred to the site by their friends and one came across it by accident.

Why do people want to play Empire Avenue
More important than how they found out about Empire Avenue, however, is what they do with the site once they are on board. Empire Avenue is a game that channels the stock market but can you actually make money by playing it? On the surface it doesn’t seem likely, however, if you look at the survey responses carefully it is quite clear that there can be significant financial gains generated through this venue. For example, ARIIX CANADA is an entrepreneur and stated that they have made a staggering amount of contacts and consider their entire network expanded by over 2000 people as a result of registering with the site. This account also is doing very well with a share value of 103 and dividend of 0.71.

Like Best/ Like Least
While Empire Avenue is certainly a place to connect, learn about social media, and just have fun there are certainly a few things about it that drive people crazy. By far the most annoying thing about Empire Avenue is that if you take a few days away from the site or from using your social media connections it is very likely that your share price and dividends will take a  hit. KRMC states “the share price can fluctuate widely and once it goes lower it is very difficult to bring it back up again.” A few other complaints are the site takes a long time to learn how to use it and the site itself can be slow at times. One last complaint is the social media sites you get credit for using are limited.

On the other hand, respondents really enjoyed the abilitiy to make contacts that they never would have made otherwise. The site also makes it very easy to connect with people on the social media sites that are connected to Empire Avenue. The site has an algorithm that is used to measure activity on the social media sites which also serves as a motivator to increase your activity in those sites. It’s also fun to watch your share value increase and interact in the hundreds of communities that have sprouted up on the site.

Strategy and Usage
Social media is the heart of Empire Avenue and all of the respondents to the survey were aware of this and the associated benefits. Of course, my sample size is small compared to the total number of people on the site and I was hoping to run across someone who’s main focus was on gaming so I could get a different perspective.

Respondents were most active on Facebook and Twitter but there are many who use LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and even eCademy. Most people spend about 30 minutes a day on the site but there are several who have it open all day and check in periodically throughout the day. The amount of time spent on the site tapers off over time. CHOCOHOLIC started at about 9 hours per day but now only spends close to 30 minutes per day.

Like anything in life it is my belief that you need both a strategy and goals and objectives to be successful with Empire Avenue. ZANZPLANS has a strategy to buy people she likes and try to find those who will reinvest in her. KCHAMP26912 says ” Yes I’m working on purchases at least 100 shares in all who have purchased 100 or more in me and matching anyone below, then I’m going to work on increasing my daily earnings so I can start putting more in those who own more than 100. On the social side I plan to get to know everyone better as time allows.” Great strategy, I say, because her share value is 119, her net worth is over $7M and her dividends are 1.34 per share.

Will you stay on the site?
Almost everyone said they were in it for the long haul, however there were a few who were going to play it by ear. 365GRATEFUL will only stay on the site if she can garner interest from others. PETERADIO can’t live without it and ARIIX CANADA says of course, it’s pretty much the future of social media.

Bonus Question
JOEBURROUGHS stated that he hoped to get some friends signed up so that he could compare networks. CITYCHATTR expects to bump up their traffic on other SM sites. Both are doing well with share value in the 50’s and dividends close to 0.40.

My Responses
Several people who took the survey wanted to know my responses to the questions. So here they are.  I started playing about 3 months ago. I’m pretty sure I heard about Empire Avenue on Twitter. Like most people I use it to make connections, have some fun, and measure my activity in SM. What I like best about the site is it encourages engagement in social media and offers you a way to measure that activity. What I like least is that unless you really invest an enormous amount of time on the site your score plateaus and is difficult to get a strong bump unless you become hyper active.

The social media sites that I use the most are Twitter and Google+. I do engage differently on social media than I did prior to signing up for Empire Avenue. I think this is due to The Hawthorne Effect. I have connected with several people on the site and carried those connections over to Twitter and Google+.  My strategy is to focus on trying to connect with interesting people, buy into at least 3 players per day, taking into consideration their activity in social media, share price, and dividends before I make a purchase.

Each month I set two goals that I’d like to achieve during the month. My current goal is to increase from 130 shareholders to 200 shareholders and increase my net worth from $745K to $1 million. I noticed that when I started setting goals and making them public, quite a few players invested in me just because they wanted to contribute to my success and help me to meet my goals. I encourage anyone playing the game to set goals and make them public by posting in the communities they are involved in.

I’m still not able to put my finger on what’s a little off about the site. I would love to hear from you to see what your thoughts are. I do think it is a fun way to make valuable personal and business connections, keep track of your social media footprint, and improve your engagement in social media.

Additional Tips for Empire Avenue
For tips and cheats on Empire Avenue click here
http://www.michaelqtodd.com/eavtwitter
http://commercialscott.com/2011/06/re-5-tips-tricks-and-tools-for-empire-avenue/

Shout out to the survey participants:

PETERADIO, KRMC, JOEBURROUGHS, EMMAG, WHOIS, SANZPLANS, RAYCOLON, 365GRATEFUL, ZAGORATH, ARIIX CANADA, PVH, CITYCHATTR, KCHAMP26912, ANJLEE, CALL, AHYNES1, CASTREZANA, FR05TY, CPERKCPA, and CHOCOHOLIC

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8 users tell me what they think about Empire Avenue

empire avenue featured

Facebook has 750 million subscribers. People on Twitter tweet 200 million tweets per day.  You Tube has 3 Billion page views per day. FlickR has More than 5 billion pictures uploaded on its site. There are over 100 million registered users of linkedIn.

No matter how hard I try I just can’t wrap my head around these numbers and the exponential growth of social media in the last two years.  Empire Avenue (EAv) is a social media game that is taking advantage of this surge.  It is unique in that it encourages participation in Social Media by rewarding your engagement while encouraging you to network with other users on the site.

After participating in several Tweet Chats where EAv was mentioned, I decided it was time to get on board. Immediately after completing the sign up process and setting up my profile I was bombarded by investors purchasing shares in my stock.  I’m not sure if it was because I signed up during a holiday weekend or it there are always investors chomping at the bit for fresh bait, but I was happy for the instant engagement.  The madness lasted probably another good 1/2 hour before settling into EAv normalcy (and by normalcy I mean the feeling you have after downing two Grande Chai Tea Lattes).

With my initial bounty of 16,000 EAVES (The EAv currency) I made several investments without any real strategy or knowledge of what to consider when I made a purchase.  I didn’t do my homework before signing up because I didn’t plan to engage until a later time. Lesson learned. Be prepared to play the game as soon as you sign in.

After making a few purchases and accepting an invite to a live chat with an experienced player

 ( <— I think it was this guy but can’t remember for sure because I was involved in so many transactions in a short period of time)

John Evangelidis ( JIANNI )
Thessaloniki , Greece

I had a much better understanding of the strategy required to be successful.  I quickly discovered that EAv was a good place to make contacts because there is a huge incentive to invest in other users and convince them that you are a good investment.

During my chat with Jianni  it dawned on me that a great way to meet some interesting people and learn more about the game would be to use the chat room as a resource. I decided I would try and interview some of the users and then write about what I learned from them in this blog.  I was successful and chatted up the following people:

ELZA VAN SWIETEN (CONFLUENCE)

Driebergen , Netherlands

KAT MCCORMICK (CALLANPARK)

Sydney , Australia

ROGER HOYT (TFLAT)

Live Oak, FL , United States

Kim Garst (KIMGARST)

Tampa, FL , United States

NIKOLA CAVIC (ORBIS)

Reykjavík , Iceland

PRINCIPE ALVERTO (PRAL)

Miami, FL , United States

RODRIGO BASTOS (BIGDIGO)

Rio De Janeiro , Brazil

ADAM WEART (AWEART)

Alpharetta, GA , United States

What I learned

1. Most of the players that I talked to  invested between 1 – 3 hours a day on the site.  One enjoys it so much that he/she logs on for up to 6 hours a day.

2. All have enjoyed playing the game so far.  Many have only been on the site for a few weeks or months. The majority said that the biggest benefit was networking with new people that they would not have met any other way.  “I have made some amazing contacts here on Empire. Connected with people that I would not have connected with on other social media platforms.” says (KIMGARST)

A secondary benefit comes about because as you use the social media you are connected to in EAv it is tracked and reported back to you thus pushing you to engage more. When I asked (TFLAT) if EAv has changed the way he uses social media he stated “Yes it has. I find that I’m using twitter more often when I haven’t been using it much. I’m also using LinkedIn when I haven’t been using it at all.”

3. One huge advantage is that the entire premise of the game is to invest in your peers through buying and selling shares of stock.  This makes it very easy to meet people because everyone has an agenda to sell themselves and buy into other players. Once you make that initial contact it makes it easier to develop a longer lasting relationship. (PRAL) stated “but i love the community feel to it that everyone connects, you make actual friend and not just a contact”

4. One negative aspect of EAv that everyone agreed on was that you have to log onto the site almost every day to maintain your stock value and when you don’t, your stock takes a large hit. Orbis noted “I dont like that going away for a few days has such a severe effect on the share price” The other negative that came up more than once was that there are many users who don’t understand or don’t take advantage of the networking capability on the site. One other “opportunity for improvement” is the site hasn’t gone mobile yet making it more difficult to connect when on a business trip or vacation.

5. Having a strategy is key to increase dividends from your investments as well as increasing your own share value. A well developed strategy is useful for getting the most out of networking.  Many that I talked to felt that networking is key and includes it in their success strategy.  Most agreed that it’s important to invest in new arrivals that appear to have potential based on their connections to social media and initial engagement in the game. Another important strategy is to fully utilize social media as it can significantly improve your share value. (TFLAT) actually wrote a blog post to discuss his strategy.

6. Empire Avenue is a great tool to make an initial contact but it’s pretty cumbersome for long term networking.  Almost all of my social media interactions take place on twitter and I have already made  connections with just about everyone I spoke to.  I noticed today that I was listed on (KIMGARST) Twitter account as one of Empire Avenue connections.  I’m going to have to create an EAv list for all of my connections as well.  I can’t wait to have access to Google+ as I already have plans to create an EAv “Circle.”

7. (CALLANPARK) had some words of wisdom when she said “Yea…but I don’t put in any CASH like the others do…that’s how the moved up so fast [don’t let them tell you otherwise].” I assured her that I would not be one of those people buying my way to the top.  Aweart stated that “One of the aspects of Linked in that I like is that you can get introduced to high influence ppl, EA gives you the same access without having to need an introduction.”

I’d like to give a shout out to each of the EAv uses who took time to talk to me about their experience on EAv. I learned a lot in our discussions and appreciate the new connections.

From my experience so far EAv can be a useful part of your social media portfolio.  It’s great for networking with people you may not have access to anywhere else. It is also an excellent tool for improving your social media footprint.

Here is a brief tutorial to help you get started. Click here if you want to some tips on EAv Strategy. Click here to learn how to obtain achievement awards on EAv

If you are a visual learner take a look at the You Tube video linked below:

I happened across the video below (it’s long but worth the watch) as I was doing research for this blog and decided to attach for those who wanted to gain insight from one of the founders.