I’ve been playing Empire Avenue for about 6 months, and it’s probably the main reason why I’ve become much more prolific at blogging, Tweeting, and generally getting more active within social media.
The premise of Empire Avenue is simple. Users are companies, and their online activity is treated as an asset. The number of friends you have on services like Twitter or Facebook are your consumers, and the content that you produce is your product. In theory, the better the quality of your product, the more your virtual stock will be worth, because more people will want to consume it. Currently, I’m worth about 42.5 Eaves (the virtual currency):
That’s not a huge amount, but that’s OK, if I tweeted more, I would be worth more, if I added more blogs, I would be worth more, but at the same time, it would probably mean that I would spend even less time with people like this:
The fact is, that once you get into the habit of doing something, it tends to be something that you don’t have to think too much about, and become something that you enjoy more.
Beyond the mechanics of the game, Empire Avenue is also a proper social network in its own right. Members are encouraged to share great content with each other, and are also able to build strategic relationships that are mutually beneficial. Users are able to build their own micro communities around specific interests such as work, sports, or even zombies, and connect with others with shared interests.
The thing that really differentiates Empire Avenue from other networks is the way in which relationships form is entirely different. Whereas the core of your friends or followers on Twitter or Facebook is formed from the people who you have a close relationship with off line, Empire Avenue relationships are formed in a completely different way – users find each other based on shared interests or goals. Some strong relationships on the service are formed around abstract things such as share value, or return on investment figures – I fill my virtual portfolio with high value users because I know that they continually provide excellent content in a stable manner.
I’d like to think that the people who invest in me feel the same.