What’s Empire Avenue About?
If you are an active participant in any of the usual social media channels you’ve probably seen Empire Avenue mentioned. Empire Avenue is billed as a “Social Media Exchange”. Basically a stock market where you can invest in other people, brands, companies, etc… that are big players or not so big players in social media.
You start by setting up an account and pick your ticker symbol. If you sign up soon there are still plenty of great symbols available (I have WHIS for my personal accounts and CROWD for my startup CrowdMesh). You can then earn virtual currency, called “Eaves”, by linking your accounts and participating in social media (twitter, facebook, linkedin, etc..), or on EA’s Communities.
With your eaves you can invest in other stocks, buy boats, planes, houses, etc… Those investments can appreciate and pay dividends or the opposite of course. That’s what makes it a market! The market aspect of EA is fairly intriguing as the value placed on stocks is driven by the market (people buying and selling your stock). They do have some anti-gaming features in place so one person can’t overly inflate another persons stock. My thought is as the site matures your EA stock value may be a better indicator of your social clout than Klout currently provides. But, it remains to be seen if they can garner enough users to make that viable.
The one thing I was a little disappointed in were the communities. There wasn’t much participation or interesting conversations. Mostly annoying “buy me” pitches. I think that’s an area they need to reevaluate as I don’t think people are looking for more general forums to participate in.
Overall, I like the concept and think it has good potential. Beware, it can be a little addicting to be able to buy stock in people you know and follow.