While somewhat of a traditionalist, I do enjoy exploring new things and I ran across a new social media toy today that is fascinating. Empire Avenue (www.empireavenue.com @empireave @dups) is a "social stock market, where you can grow your social capital online." Empire Avenue combines the qualities of social media, gaming theory, and incentives/rewards into an integrated experience.
How it works - when you are communicating, listening, and following people throughout the day on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr, and writing blog posts, you will earn Eaves, their virtual currency as well as earn dividends for those who have invested in you. The greater your social media presence and influence, the greater your stock price. Empire Avenue states their objective is to help "create 'value-based' relationships, a deeper relationship than simply 'following' someone, in a completely less intrusive context than becoming 'friends.'"
I was on a call today with Ric (@Fishmammal), Empire Avenue's VP of Strategy & Business Development, who walked us through the site and capabilities. Sign-up and getting started are a little more complicated than Facebook and Twitter, but like most web 2.0 tools, you have to get past the initial apprehensions and jump in with both feet. Buying and selling social stock and watching your bank rise (and fall) can be addicting.
There is also an interesting brand play as you can access what Empire calls social media mavens who can be leveraged to help promote your brand. According to their web site, AT&T, Ford, Oreo, Dell, and Toyota have all used Empire Avenue for business.
While you are there, buy as much LESMCP as you can afford. I am up almost 17 eaves today already.
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