Why I Think Empire Avenue is a Winner

April 26, 2011 · 11 comments in social analytics,Social Media

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.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Empire Avenue: What’s All The Shine About? — [mcgraw | marketing]
May 4, 2011 at 11:07 am
First Days on Empire Avenue - Part 2
May 5, 2011 at 9:50 pm
Empire Avenue Strikes Out — Global Neighbourhoods
June 3, 2011 at 7:45 am


patmcgraw May 2, 2011 at 8:10 am

I am struggling with this for a variety of reasons starting with my complete and total lack of interest in anything Wall Street. (When I say ‘fun’ and ‘game’, Wall Street does NOT come to mind.)

But my main question is this – what is EA? Is it a game or is it a way to gauge your social media street cred? My initial reaction is that it’s more of a game that requires too much time that could be spent interacting with people.

But it’s new. It’s very shiny. And it has some high profile early adapters singing its praises so my guess is that it will appeal to a segment of the social media world and have some impact on some people…but it will be a niche player.

chiprodgers April 28, 2011 at 8:10 am

Hey Shel, I signed up and gave access to my Twitter account, but I froze when I tried adding my FB account and got this screen:


Not very comforting and the TOU doesn’t help alleviate the worry. Your thoughts?

Kaykas April 26, 2011 at 10:54 am

@EvolveTom i hear you Tom. personally i don’t find that part of your product to operate in the same way as Klout, Peer Index, etc. i’m only a focus group of one of course :) that’s not to say i don’t like EA, i do, i just really don’t see you competing with Klout because i find my interactions with you to be active, not passive.

AdrianChan April 26, 2011 at 10:35 am

@shelisrael @AdrianChan No kidding! Somebody restart the Gilder report! Short sales would = unliking. Give the system up/down votes. Would be v cool.

EvolveTom April 26, 2011 at 9:59 am

@Kaykas Actually, Empire Avenue has an absolute “set it and forget it” element — you can just have it measure your engagement (which is the same stuff other services have access to), though we have the additional networks you can connect. If you want to really tap into the platform, though, then yeah I’d suggest being engaged. Pretty interesting to see how some companies are driving share prices up… it’s really all about that two-way communication.

Kaykas April 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

i have enjoyed EA over the past week or so but i think it serves a different audience than Klout and as such i don’t see them as competitive. EA requires you to be active with it to be successful (not a bad thing of course) whereas Klout is passive. regardless our personal preferences it’s the passive scoring that makes Klout and their competitors valuable. set it and forget it (and allow advertisers to use it to contact you) is a value proposition that is substantively different than EA.

shelisrael April 26, 2011 at 8:09 am

@AdrianChan Short trading will be very interesting. We’ll see what happens when we start selling our tweet pals short just to make a few Eaves.

AdrianChan April 26, 2011 at 7:53 am


I’m having the same experience — you think they’ll give us futures indexes, short selling, and options trading? ;-)

Both EA and Klout are meta social — where EA is brilliant (to the point of being silly) is in how it’s added interaction to the meta. Now “scores” are not only much more dynamic, members can take action on their scores. A properly social game in which the virtual currency and goods are just that much more relevant than, say, a zynga game.

It’ll be interesting to see what kinds of strategies people adopt. Recommended buy lists? Market trend newsletters? Perhaps that’s all too much. I plan to have fun with my shareholder newsletters ;-)



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