There are times (post the online gaming, wikipedia, gmail, facebook era) when I feel that everything new that could be created/developed on the net has been done already….& then something new hits you !
Actually this is something which happens often in life….but didn’t expect it to happen frequently on the net…

The spotlight in this post is on Empire Avenue – a social stock market game which runs on people rather than the business world…or you can think of it as the social network which combines all the others out there…or in Tolkein’s words – “One ring to bind them all” (ok …I rearranged some words of his famous lore…but you get it!)

Basically, once you register on their site, you become an entity in which people can invest in. The price of your stock fluctuates depending on your social activity which is why its a good idea to link your other social network accounts with this site.
Unlike the others, Empire Avenue encourages you to be active on the other social networks like Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, WordPress, FourSquare, Instagram, youtube etc.
(Note : For those worried about the privacy of lets say your fb messages, you don’t have to worry. Only your public messages show up here. The private ones add to your social activity & are thus responsible for your stock price but they remain private.)

You can invest in other people or companies (like WWE) too. The virtual currency here are Eaves. You earn via completion of missions (if you wish to take them up) or via dividends of your investments. The usual tools used in stock markets also exist here (like stock price alerts).

Once you invest in others, you can follow their social activities (eg: you get an intimation of their recent blog entry) & thus expand your online social network.

The best thing about it is that its so complex (which is why I like the whole system of the original Financial Stock Market) & we can use it in a number of ways :

  • You can use it to connect with people of similar interests
  • You can play it to compete with others by leveling up since its after all an online game.
  • Brand managers (or even us normal bloggers) can use the ‘mission’ functionality (rewarding people with Eaves) to gain more hits on their online campaigns/posts.

The only problem it has is that it lacks help pointers which should be sprayed all through the site….kinda like ‘bubble notes’ which should appear with helpful tips when we click on some uncharted part of the site. So the initial learning curving is quite high. But once you understand it its fun.

The good thing about it is that it kinda gels with my new year resolution – To be more active on the blgoging world 😛

As a parting shot, I will leave you with the following links :

  1. Empire Avenue Tutorial
  2. A registration link : Register here (I think we get some Eaves as reward if you join via this link)
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