Over the last year, a perception has developed that there are some techniques which make it possible to unfairly ‘game the system’.
And over the last year, we’ve been listening to your comments and suggestions (thank you!) for ways to improve the game, the user experience, and to make the system more fair for all. We’ve been implementing and enhancing our system based, in part, on that feedback.
These enhancements better position Empire Avenue for growth, and for a host of new features we’re working to release over the next three to six months (some as soon as next week!)
On dividends and earnings
Recently many of you noticed one of the effects of some of these system enhancements; increased (or decreased) dividends and earnings. These enhancements, basically, treat old and new members alike and levels portions of the playing field. You can expect more of this type of enhancement down the road as we strive to make Empire Avenue fairer over time.
Behind the curtain
At a high level, lets look at how Empire Avenue has previously been evaluating content and activity, and how they are being evaluated now.
- rewarded low quality, high volume network and connection activity
- did not adequately reward high quality activity and reaction to that activity
Basically, the old system was based on very simple formulas, along the lines of (for Twitter) “tweet this many times, earn this much”, followed by an adjustment based on a users’ network scores. There was no difference if one of those tweets was retweeted 100 times, or not at all. Also, it was cumulative over all networks. So high dividends would frequently come from accounts posting large volumes of content to every network they have. Finally, as we added more and more connections, the old system was becoming more unwieldy.
- Earnings will now better reflect your Network Score, activity and reaction to that activity.
What does what – how earnings and dividends are calculated
So, specifically, here’re some of the ways that content creation and activity will impact your gameplay, no matter what your ‘Empire Avenue Player Style’ is:
Your earnings and dividend payout for each network depends on three factors:
- Your daily activity on that network (tweets, posts, photos, videos…)
- Your audience’s reaction to that activity (in the form of likes, comments, retweets, shares, favorites…)
- Your Network Score on that network (Network Scores are based on a several-week-lookback measurement of your activity and audience on that network.)
To maximize your earnings and dividend payouts, you should:
- Empire Avenue: Login and do some transactions (even if you just buy or sell one or two users) regularly. Send shareholder mail and be active in your communities, and get others to respond to your posts.
- Facebook, Facebook Pages: Post statuses. The more comments and likes you get on those statuses, the better.
- Twitter: Post tweets. The more people retweet you, the bettter.
- Flickr: Post photos. You don’t need to post 200 photos every day, just get people to interact with the ones you do post through their comments and favorites.
- YouTube: Post Videos. Again, no need to post 20 videos a day, just get people to interact with the ones you do post through their comments and favorites.
- Foursquare: Check in to locations. Busy, verified locations (like those with specials) are worth much more than frivolous ones like “my basement”. Write tips, and get others to complete them!
- Instagram: Post photos. The more comments and likes you get on those statuses, the better.
- WordPress: Post blog posts, and get others to comment on them.
- LinkedIn and Blogs: Due to limited available information about these connections, we pay a lower, fixed amount for Blogs and LinkedIn. They only contribute to your earnings if this amount is among your top five earnings.
- All Networks: Your earnings and dividends will increase as you increase your Network Score. Your Network Scores are based on the above factors, but over several weeks rather than just over the last day or two. They also depend on your audience size, so increase the number of your followers, friends, or whatever, and your payouts will gradually increase.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, user feedback has been the driving reason for many of the changes we’ve implemented over the last year, just as it will be for many of the upcoming changes you’ll see ‘on the Avenue’ in the coming months.
So please, if you think you have a way to improve *your* Empire Avenue experience, let us know, or leave a comment here.