First Days on Empire Avenue and Understanding How It Can be Addictive – Part 1

How and why I became tradeable

Just in case you haven’t caught up with the Empire Avenue phenomenon and don’t know what it is or does, here is the self-description from the site:

Empire Avenue is the Social Media Exchange, where you can invest in any social media profile by buying their shares, meet new people, unlock Achievement badges, and earn boatloads of virtual cash by being active and social online! Buy shares in your friends, your followers, people with similar interests, brands you love, celebrities – anyone! All using a virtual currency and all for free!

Empire Avenue - The Social Exchange
With hindsight, there was a good chance that I could have ignored the email invitation to join, which arrived a few days ago from my friend Shawn Honnick.

The fact that I gave the matter some further consideration was influenced by the fact that, a day or two before, I had watched part of a video by Chris Pirillo, Why You Should Join Empire Avenue – a Social Media Exchange demonstrating how Empire Avenue works and how he was participating. I didn’t get back to watching the video right through and at that point it did seem like a rather frivolous game of buying and selling shares in friends and others, using an in-platform currency curiously named Eaves.

I was intrigued by the fact that Chris Pirillo was so active on the platform, but at that point it didn’t quite seem like my thing.

But after receiving Shawn’s email I asked myself whether or not I should I try it out, at least so that I would know how it worked? After all, I’ve often signed up for new social media platforms on the basis that it was easier to see for myself than just read about them. Twitter in 2007 for instance. LinkedIn in, what, 2004?

That was then. For quite a while now I’ve not been driven to check out bright new shiny social media platforms.  Even if I were to restrict myself to the ones which seemed to offer some business utility, there are just so many, and as it’s not my core business to test social media applications, I have been seriously limiting my experimentation.

What made the difference with Empire Avenue was that a quick check on Google showed that, besides Shawn Honnick and Chris Pirillo, a number of other social media leaders for whom I have great respect were using Empire Avenue and what they were saying about it intrigued me.

Especially, in reading some of the discussion on Quora and in blogs I was intrigued especially about comments on what Empire Academy might be bringing to the field of the measurement of influence, a topic which really got my attention recently through taking the Social Media Strategist course with the Social Media Academy.

So finally I took the plunge and opened an account with Empire Avenue.

People have commented adversely about the UI

It was all a bit bewildering at first. I began to understand why some people commenting on Empire Avenue had remarked on the need for a better, more easily navigable user interface.

What was this? People were buying shares in me already!

While I was still stumbling around to find out how it all worked, I noticed that, among others, Chris Pirillo himself had bought a whole batch of shares in me. Then some more people who had evidently made a judgment that my shares might increase in value – as I’m happy to say so far has been the case.

It’s not just about buying and selling

As well as the whole trading aspect there are communities – of location and of interest. There is a limit of two city communities available at no cost. I could buy more, with Eaves or a combination of Eaves and US dollars. So far I’ve joined the rather small local community for the Gold Coast, Australia, where I live, and the much larger one for San Francisco, one of my very favorite cities in the world and where I have quite a few friends and colleagues.

On the communities of interest side I’ve joined the Social Media Community and, with only one more available free of cost, I am holding off joining another until I know my way around a bit better.

I’ve already met some quite interesting new people, both those who have been perspicacious enough to invest in me (that’s a joke – if I use a smiley it will throw this whole line out and I couldn’t resist the quip) and those I’m meeting in the EA communities.

Tomorrow, in Part 2, I’ll share some fruits of my online research, some interesting discussions and helpful blog posts.

In the meantime, if you are on Empire Ave, my ticker symbol is DESWALSH – right now it is moving, although not with a bullet (yet!).

If you are not yet there and intrigued enough to want to try it, you can use this link as an invitation, or answer one of those email invitations from your friends (both inviter and invitee benefit with some bonus Eaves). Or you can join directly and forego the bonus. (Update: someone said the link for my invitation – in the text – was not clear, so here it is “in the open”

Ticker symbols for people mentioned here: Shawn Honnick SHAWNBLOG, Chris Pirillo PIRILLO

I’d love for you to share any experiences you have with Empire Avenue or opinions for or against.

Des Walsh

Business coach and digital entrepreneur. With coach training from and its Graduate School of Coaching, and a founding member of the International Association of Coaching, Des has been coaching business owners and entrepreneurs for the past 20 years. Over the same period he has also been actively engaged in promoting the business opportunities of the digital economy. He is a certified Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) coach, and a certified specialist in social media strategy and affiliate marketing.

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  1. I am / was user #5,986 on LinkedIn. No joke. 😉

    Never been SO addicted to a game, because I can finally use all these gestures to have fun and give back to my community like never before. I was on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. anyway!

    What’s funny is that so many “social media” waggletongues pooh-pooh it as pointless (which is what they said about Twitter in the beginning, too). Moreover, if they DO decide to jump in, they treat it like every other network they’ve joined – and that simply won’t work.

    “The iPad sucks, but I’ve never used one.” What sucks is that kind of armchair analysis and punditry.

    I sent Shawn (he and I go waaaaaaaaay back) an email list of tips for my strategy – that might help you form your own direction. There’s no right or wrong way to use EAv once you’re past the given rules of netiquette.

    [And I think “Empire Academy” is currently a typo.]

  2. Thanks Chris

    Your enthusiasm has always been an inspiration.

    And early investment in me on EA was a great incentive for me to put some effort in, which seems to be reaping some results so far.

    If I can’t get that list from Shawn I’ll get back to you.

    And thanks for flagging the typo – now fixed.

  3. Pingback: A good video to watch from Chris Pirillo « Eaveness
  4. I am a bankruptcy lawyer from Louisville and a good friend of mine who is an SEO/Social media marketer started telling me all about Empire Avenue a couple weks ago, and how I can its going to be the wave of the future. I’m an amateur at search engine optimization, and granted, my profile on EA is going to need some major work, what I really like about it is that it gives me a good general direction for seeing how progressed I am in social media. Granted, one site, or just scores on a game can’t tell me how close I am to where I need to be in social media, but it’s definitely a useful guideline, and a really easy way to get a feel of what direction to head in!

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