Upcoming Changes and Status

It’s been a while since we’ve done a “State of Empire Avenue” blogs. Well, you’re going to have to wait for a full one, we’re so incredibly busy on so many multiple fronts that a comprehensive update would take a few pages.

Community

As promised in our previous update on Communities, we’ve released many changes. The communities now function more seamlessly, we’ve fixed various UI issues, added muting and spam reporting functionality on communities and throughout the site. We’ve cleaned up the communities code ready for more features and integration with Indexes which continues. More changes are forthcoming as we get features tested and out.

Vacation Mode and Taking a break

Hey, we totally get that everyone needs a break now and then! We now have Vacation mode for you to set the social media component of your share price to stable. But once in Vacation mode you cannot buy or sell shares in others nor do you pay dividends (though you still collect). It’s available in the shop.

You can also now suspend or deactivate your account rather than deleting it. You’ll divest yourself of your shareholders (they’ll all get a full refund) and investments (you receive 50% of the value), but you get to keep your bank balance, achievements and luxury items so you can come back at a later date (but your share price will reset). It is not to be used lightly but at least the option is there.

Our API update

So we didn’t make June. The issues continue to be to make sure that when the new version of the API is released it contains much of the data changes we are making on the back end. We’d all like things to go faster and we are continuing to work hard on it all.

Market Makers, Share Prices and Dividends

We have been receiving numerous complaints about spamming and botting of other services (e.g. Twitter) in order to drive up share price/dividends and we are aware of these issues. We are always examining what changes need to be made to enhance and improve Empire Avenue and ensure that legitimate social media activity is properly rewarded, as opposed to spamming, botting and any other activity that we deem to be contrary to the philosophy of our site or the philosophy of the sites you connect.

Sometimes finding and implementing good solutions that work for the broadest set of our users (who are numerous) and who use the platform in so many different ways takes time. However, we will be looking at rolling out some tweaks over the course of the next few weeks which affect our Market Makers, Connections and hence, your Share Prices.

Your Feedback

We thank everyone for their valuable feedback as without it we cannot grow and improve the Empire Avenue experience for our users.
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27 Comments

  1. Its great to know the tings you are working on for the site. Changes are definitely needed and I’m curious to see how the tweaks affect everyone, hopefully for the best. I know your team is small with a set of large tasks and a growing network. Hit it with your best shot!

  2. You all do so much great stuff and thank you for listening and always looking to improve! Getting the content vs. spam algo tweeked I’m sure will be a huge challenge, but we’re behind you 110% in your efforts to improve that. Perfection will probably always be elusive, but improvement can nearly always be done 🙂

  3. I just wanted to say that I think you all are amazing. EAv helps people strive for excellence across so many social media tools. EAv encourages its users to go out and become more active in their online communities. Connections with real life people are made and knowledge is shared. You make us want to do more and try harder even if some people feel that becoming the best spammer they can be is the best they have to offer.

    I agree something needs to be done to discourage spamming behavior from becoming rampant and a part of the game.

  4. The anti-spam solution is simple, remove all credit for posts, tweets, photo uploads, and shouts only giving credit for interactivity in the form of likes (severely deemphasize), RT’s, @replies, comments received etc.

    quality > quantity, build real connections

  5. I would like to see an icon added to the profiles that go on vacation or take a break. The new options put in place benefit the member but there is no indication of this for their shareholder and they still need to send out a shareholder email notifying and leaving a shout out on their profile. Maybe some sort of badge if not an icon

  6. I’m still new to EAv and I must say I like most of what I see here. It seems to me that the goal for social media stardom is 2-way genuine (not bot) communication and I’ve gotten A LOT of that here, but there’s definitely still room for Improvement. This is a highly complex endeavor you’ve undertaken, I hope it becomes everything you’ve envisioned for it. Thanks for all your hard work!

  7. Thanks for listening to the community and for responding with more and more cool features. The vacation mode sounds promising. It’s too bad that people can still sell shares, creating a massive sell-off, even after paying for the vacation, but I am sure you have thought of all options before putting it up in the store. I think the pricing is very reasonable for it.

    I look forward to seeing how you battle the spam issues that keep coming up with the site. Many leaders keep leaving because it is takes “too much time” to keep up with spammers. If there is any way to reward quality over quantity it would make a huge difference to many great people. #justsayin

  8. I love that there’s a Vacation Mode option now, at least that will prevent a lot of people from fully quitting the game. That’s just sad when that happens. Also, I think Omar is right, there should be some adjustment to the scores when someone is proven to be simply spamming. Looking forward to the improvements and we really appreciate what you do. 🙂

  9. I like the changes, and look forward to seeing more. The great challenge, of course, is how best to recognize quality moreso than quantity. EA is a game, and people will figure out how to game it … which has been amply proven already, unfortunately.

    All the best to the team, who are trying to keep the ship sailing straight with a very small crew!

  10. Hey, Dups!

    Thanks for listening to all of our suggestions. I’m sure you get a lot of feedback.

    Here’s another one. I think there should be 5 blogs/RSS feeds maximum. EA only uses the top 5 social media platform scores so there is no reason for people to “creatively” find ways of including 10 or 20 or more different feeds and then asking for endorsements. You only allow one Twitter account and one Facebook profile so why allow people to have a couple of dozen feeds when they aren’t even used to calculate activity scores and dividends?

    When I see those on someone’s connection page, I just assume they are trying to game the system and it brings down my confidence in the system. I know you don’t include them all (or I hope not) in determining scores but it’s the perception that counts in terms of keeping people invested in the game.

  11. THANK YOU for the vacation mode! It came just a little too late for me this year but I will be happier knowing my next vacation doesn’t have to mean such a harsh drop in share price.

    Also, thank you for all the work and effort you put into constantly making EAv a better place and to try and keep us happy. I’m looking forward to a stabilization of the quality of content on the avenue rather than spamming or constant reposting of the same content. I’m not sure exactly how you will go about figuring out a handicap for the spam/junk postings but I am confident that you will, like you always have in the past as us users present you with new challenges!

    Thanks Dups and team!

  12. Pingback: Updated tips for new Empire Avenue players | Domino Oracle blog

  13. Right now, keeping up with spammers and trying to meet or exceed a 1% (1:1) dividend ratio makes EA a full-time job which is leading to burnout and quitting. Some of these activity rates are ludicrous (thousands-THOUSANDS!-of blog posts a week?).

    I’m hearing of people who 1) upload photos to Flickr & videos to YouTube which they’ve taken from other websites, 2) having a loop feature where every Tweet is posted as an update to Facebook and a Tumblr post, 3) send 60+ Tweets/updates an hour and 4) post gibberish blog posts or content they copy from sites like Wikipedia.

    Right now, people who do these practices are not only not penalized, they are actually rewarded with high dividends that draw more shareholders. I hope you can find a way so that only original content is counted. Then we all might be able to exhale and treat EA as a hobby instead of work.

  14. I love the idea of a vacation mode, and I’m thrilled that you’re working on the spamming issue!

    My other local (Victoria) communities are very active on Twitter, Facebook and even G+ but have given EAv a pass to date (even the ones who have signed up are only notionally here). I’m sure some of it has to do with the issues as (e)DUPS has identified.

    It’s hard to be a “normal” social media user and feel like you can play the game. You’ve got to make it rewarding for us too, and if someone like me (who might be considered to be on the high end of “normal” in activity)is asking the question – “what’s the use?” then you have to assume that a LOT of people are asking the same question.

    And THAT doesn’t lead to a sustainable game (in my opinion). Just my 2 cents.

    I look forward to “mastering” the complexities here!

  15. Nice! approach to the matter will look into getting myself one of your system on my website, need an external blog to function like wordpress, but have the same design and configuration as my site, eg being able to upload my site template into the system, like an in built blogging system with seo optimization features.

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