This is a long blog post with many details. So before I continue, I’d like to invite you to contact any of us through @empireave on Twitter or on Facebook at facebook.com/EmpireAvenue if you want to ask questions.
1. Major Announcements
During our Communiteam Meetup in Edmonton at Hudson’s, we announced one of the biggest milestones in our small company’s history: On July 20th, anyone will be able to join Empire Avenue. Now this does not mean we are out of beta or even finished, far from it, however, it means that we think it’s ready to let anyone in and see how much of the world we can take on!
Oh, we also have some photos of the Communiteam Meetup.
2. Virtual Investment Earnings (Dividends)
As you know every morning you receive virtual dividends based on how your investments did in their activity on their various social networks including Empire Avenue. We’re changing the calculation. As of this morning, your dividends are based on the number of shares you own in a person compared to the total amount of shares that the person might have.
We are doing this for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s more intuitive, if you own a small amount of shares you should get a small amount of payback from your investment and so on. Secondly it balances everyone a bit better. Almost everyone will see their daily virtual dividends rise, but some, especially high end users will see a drop. This system is much more manageable and far better for the future health of Empire Avenue’s economy.
You might note that we now have a “Verified” sticker on the profile of brands that we have verified as being “real”. This is to prevent the huge influx of fake accounts which have been created in the past week. We take the integrity of the site and the product very seriously. We will actively ban and suspend accounts which are fake when it comes to business and brands. From now on, if we cannot verify the authenticity of your involvement with your business/brand account, it will remain “Unverified”.
To Verify an account, we will look for a number of different things, including whether you have access to hook up Twitter, Facebook and other pages related to that brand. You can request verification by our Empire Avenue team by e-mailing email@example.com. Admittedly we’d like to get it done as fast as possible, but it make take up to a week depending on our resources.
Unverified Business/Brand accounts may find that their share prices do not rise as fast, are limited from purchases in the store and cannot engage with other users as fully as verified accounts. At this time, we will not verify Personal Accounts and there is no charge for our Verification process.
4. Improving our Servers
We will be performing a system-wide maintenance on Empire Avenue starting at 00:05 Mountain Time, 02:05 Eastern/Chile Time Tuesday July 6th 2010. The downtime will last no more than 2 hours while we move to new servers! Yes we’re improving our systems before we launch on July 20th!
5. More City Communities
As a result of the Chilean Avalanche, we’ve added a bunch of new City Communities. As of today we’ve got a spanky-new process to help speed addition of these new communities and it’s really quite simple:
Of course, we do have some requirements that are essential for us to create a city community:
- The form must be complete
- Airport code is required. Must be airport nearest the city. If more than one city share an airport that’s OK. http://www.world-airport-codes.com/ can help.
- Population must meet or exceed 40,000 in latest census / wikipedia data
That’s it. Want a City Community, just let us know. We’ll set you up; it’s that easy.