Empire Avenue is a social game which aims to connect people together via their social networks. It works like a stock market where you buy and sell shares in other Empire Avenue members. The best people to invest in are the producers and influencers, people who make a lot of Facebook and LinkedIn updates, who use Twitter regularly, upload videos or comment on YouTube and share pictures on Flickr. The more a member interacts with social media and the more they inteeract in Empire Avenue, the higher their share price goes. By investing in people who are active you can build up a portfolo and earn Eaves, the currency in Empire Avenue.
This is a free website, but you can buy additional Eaves for real money. Quite why you would want to do this I am not sure, it strikes me a little like those services that offer Twitter followers or Facebook friends for a fee.
Empire Avenue is a strangely compelling website. It makes great use of gamification elements and allows a member to easily post all their actions and updates and unlocks to their social network accounts. The list of social networks is limited to those listed above. This is a little frustrating as for instance I use Picasa for my photos and won’t be changing to Flickr just for Empire Avenue. Each time an account is linked, an achievement is unlocked. Achievements can be unlocked by writing blog entries, performing a certain number of share transactions, joining communities etc.
There is also an element of business social media similar to the way companies have a presence on Facebook. So far I haven’t really worked out what the companies are doing here but as Empire Avenue seems to be thriving I guess they are scared of missing out on something that could be potentially huge.
There is a lot of potential here, Empire Avenue is another way of finding people, working, working out who are the thinkers and influencers in areas of interest and has potential for linking people by interest, geography, profession etc. I am undecided on members being able to buy extra Eaves sa it seems to be a little too much like buying influence. However I can see that Empire Avenue have to make some money somehow. I will keep having fun using this site for at least a few weeks before I can really be certain whether I want to continue. I think this might just fill a gap for me. I don’t really like Facebook, it just doesn’t do it for me. I like Twitter but there is a very low signal-to-noise ration. Yammer is fantastic but is locked to my professional life. This seems to be a nice umbrella for all these services and networks, and creates a fun environment to aggregate them all together.
You can view my Empire Avenue profile if you would like. Invest in me if you wish, I may just make you some Eaves!