When Scott Monty sent me an invite to play Empire Avenue, the social media world’s hot-product-du-jour, I groaned. Why do I need another distraction to distract me from all my other social media distractions, I asked him.
He answered with tweeting brevity. “It’s fun,” he said. “It does what Klout is supposed to do, but we rate our own friends.
Both statements interested me. We can never overrate the value of fun. And I have long been interested in the numerical rankings that several social analytic services have started using to rate people and the social media influence.
So I took a quick look at Empire Avenue. That was two days ago, and now I am immersed and addicted. I feel like scrawling across the screen, “Stop me before I invest again,” but I am too busy playing to stop long enough to scrawl.
Empire Avenue, is modeled after Wall Street. It creates a virtual money, which t oddly calles “eaves.” You start by offering shares in yourself and buying the shares of other players. It is already well-populated and you will see many of the familiar names. The usual early adopters got there first and therefore their stocks are leading the market.
Right now it’s easy, fun and everyone seems to be making money, um…eaves. But that may change, as often happens in the market. I also think the EmpireAvenue folk will make it a little harder for everyone to get rich quick. They start you with 10,000 eaves, but their obvious monetization strategy is to sell you eaves in return for the more generally used dollars.But what is going on, is that people are ranking their peers in a marketplace environment. I’m not sure that your stock price can be equated to influence, as Klout claims it’s scores measure.
But I do think that it shows the street creds of people in social media, and your stock score says what people think of you while your Klout score shows the result of computer-based data analysis. This is the wisdom of a crowd vs the stats of a spreadsheet, and I for one, will go with people every time. I think Empire Avenue is social analytics at its best.
Look someone up on Klout and you see a screen filled with boxes and numbers. Look at Empire Ave and you see the faces of people you may know or have heard of. Which do you prefer? I’m no great expert on predicting the future of start ups, but I find this game to be very viral and quite promising. Of course, in time, people may figure ut how to game the game. Then the results will be tainted and the fun may go a tad sour, but we shall see.
You don’t have to get as analytical as I have been doing over at Empire Avenue. Just play it for a while and [heh] remember the first 10,000 Eaves are free.