Sometimes I am on the cutting edge. Other times I lag behind. With so many various social media outlets, it's difficult to know which are worth spending your time on and which are not.
I'm a little behind the curve on EmpireAvenue.com. While sites like Klout and Kred have attempted to measure what a person's true influence is in the social space, I believe EA (as I will refer to it going forward) has trumped them by creating a social game/simulation that measures real-world social activity in a meaningful way.
I may be a couple years late from being a pioneer in this space, but I'm in now. You might want to consider joining as well. Read on...
Unlike the giants of the social space, EA isn't attempting to replace them. Instead, they encourage members to not only use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram, Flickr and others, they measure the value of your social interactions by tracking your activity and placing a value on it.
This plays out in the form of a virtual stock market, where every member is given a symbol (mine is (e)JoelComm), and other members buy and sell shares of symbols based on share price and dividends paid out by those shares.
The currency of EA is called "Eaves". You begin with a set number which you can use to invest in others. As you participate by investing and others invest in you, your Eaves increase. In the beginning its easy to increase because others love to invest in newbies! It's a very supportive community.
Rather than investing in a person, you are investing in how that person interacts with others in the social space. Someone can buy and sell shares of others all day long, but if they want to have real increase in the value of their shares AND the dividends that their shares pay, they need to use social media the way it was always intended to be used... socially!
In other words, your value is driven by the things you are already doing in the social space. Tweeting, posting status updates, liking posts, comments, plussing, uploading photos... these are all quantifiable activities that feed into the value of your stock.
While number of followers or fans you might have can play a role, only those who truly engage with others over the long-term will become truly successful on EA. And how is success measured? Well, in my mind it isn't about how valuable your own shares are. It's more about the value you bring to OTHERS in helping them increase their value. If I believe you bring value to the social space, I will buy shares in you. As I invest in you, my Eaves increase as you demonstrate how social you are by bringing value to others. As a result, your value increases and you can pay it forward. On and on it goes.
My friend, Mari Smith. She's very social and a good investment!
It sounds complicated. It's really not. And it's fun!
It gets more interesting, because there is real-world value to the Eave virtual currency.
Any member can put forth a "mission" which other members can participate in. For example, one member may offer to pay 3000 eaves to anyone that will "like" their Facebook page. Another may offer 4000 eaves for a retweet.
AHA! Now we have a way to generate FREE traffic to our social pages, blogs, websites, apps or whatever else you might wish to promote. The more social you are, the more eaves you can earn and the more missions you can set forth to make yourself more visible. It's all about more!
I just signed up a few days ago (as of this writing), and I have already accumulated 1,000,000 eaves. I have invested 90% of my eaves into others who I believe will be active in the social space and steward my investment well.
Is Joel a good investment? My dividends are rising!
There is much more to say about Empire Avenue. The are community groups, achievements, leaderboards and other activities and fun ways to track your influence. I believe Empire Avenue is the first site to get influence measurement right. It is here to stay and should be a part of your social media mix.
Even my son is in on the fun. Think I invested in him? You betcha! (You should too...)
And don't take my word for it. When you see people like Warren Whitlock, Mari Smith, Chris Pirillo, Robert Scoble and Shawne Duperon using a site, that should tell you all you need to know.
I hope you will join me on Empire Avenue and play this social simulation with me. It's absolutely free. And I will make sure you are rewarded for doing so!
If you follow my link below, you will get credited with BONUS Eaves to help you get started on Empire Avenue! I don't get paid any money for this endorsement. I believe the site has real value and I am spending a great deal of time investigating the ins and outs of how it works. I am considering writing a short ebook on the topic as well.
Are you ready to join me on Empire Avenue? Click here to join Joel on EmpireAvenue.com!
Leave a comment on my blog with your EA username and I will buy 200 shares of your stock (the maximum allowed for all new people). I'm happy to support you in your growth and I believe you will really enjoy Empire Avenue. Of course, I would be happy if you purchased some of my shares with your eaves as well. Once you are signed up (it takes just a few seconds to get started), just search for my symbol in the search form. It is "JOELCOMM"
I'd like to give a special shout out to Chris Pirillo for his useful Empire Avenue tutorial. Thanks, Gnomie!