Expanding Shareholder Missions

Over the weekend we ran a limited, yet fairly obvious, test of a new feature we’re rolling out; Shareholder Missions.

From this weekend’s test, we’ve received a lot of great feedback, which we’re in the process of implementing as we expand the test group.

So, over the next few days, you’ll see more people sending out Shareholder Missions.

Worth turning Shareholder Mail on!
One thing we’ve noticed is that many Empire Avenue members turn Shareholder Mail off. Well, you may want to take a new look at activating the feature; you won’t see Shareholder Missions if you’ve turned it off, and we’re seeing some very cool and creative Shareholder Missions in the works. Just go to your Shareholder Mail page and at the bottom of the right-hand panel select ‘enable’.

How it’ll work
Unlike the beta test, in the next few days, we’ll be turning it on for people in batches.

You won’t receive notice that you’ve got access to Shareholder Missions, just try and set one up. If you’ve got access, you’ll get a display like this:

Our intention isn’t to turn this on for everyone, yet. We still need feedback and suggestions to make sure Shareholder Missions are rock solid.

We want your stories
Yep, part of helping us improve Shareholder Missions is the part where you get to tell your Shareholder Mission story.

So, if you’ve set up an interesting, cool, unique, funky, or just plain neat Mission, let us know by describing it in the comments below.

Also, if you’ve taken part in a Mission, feel free to tell us what you thought of it and the process.

Tip of the iceberg
Shareholder Missions is a rather large thing for us. What you’re seeing now is only the beginning, and in the coming weeks and months, more of the iceberg will be revealed.

So get us your feedback, thoughts and suggestions!

35 Comments

  1. I think missions shouldn’t be so expensive. Charging a 100% tax will discourage all but the richest players from offering them and I think they should occur more often because they are a great tool to engage shareholders.

    Also, messages say that the mission is to follow someone on Twitter or like a Facebook page or join a group but all the player really does is click on a link and get redirected to a page. You don’t seem to monitor whether there is any follow through beyond clicking on a link.

    Some stats would be nice, too. Could the person setting up the mission discover who was awarded the eaves? If so, then you could follow up with those people. It seems the least EA could provide players that are spending 100K or 1M eaves in their missions, some information on how successful the mission they funded was.

    It’s a good idea but I think you should consider bringing down the price to encourage more users to try it out and, since you are charging people to set up a mission, you should provide some service in return like information on those who were awarded the eaves.

  2. I think this is a great idea. I was thrilled when I received my first mission! All the rest have been fun, not to mention all eaves I’ve collected from it.

    Thanks for being innovative EA. That’s why I hang around!! :O)

    David Haines
    (e)DAVIDHAINES

  3. William, although I do disagree with you about charging so much to set up a mission (these messages are infinitely more rewarding than the standard “buy more of my shares!” messages I usually get), you’re right that if you go into your Sent Folder, go to the message and click on a link, you can see who won the award. So, the information IS there but it could be more obvious and I’d prefer it if it wasn’t conveyed through a pop-up.

  4. I think the missions are great however as Liz has mentioned how does the mission setter know that the acceptor has completed the mission and not just clicked the button. Example say I want some members to comment and a blog post and I offer it to the first 20, easy I count, If however1 want 1000 to follow my twitter account and following is happening anyway how do I know the mission as been successful and how can I quantify it. Ric

  5. Hey folks, thanks so much for the feedback (from those doing Missions and those providing them as part of our beta group)… some things to note:
    – This is just the very first stage of our Shareholder Missions system. We’re gauging its success, figuring out what can be improved, what works and what doesn’t.

    – In the future, watch for a bunch of improvements — some based on feedback, some we’ve already put into the development pipeline. We wanted to get the feature out there and improve it as we move forward; there will certainly be more types of Missions to provide.

    – For now, we do see the Missions as a premium way for players to get Shareholders to engage with them; as Bill said, the cost suggests that it’s not a feature you want to abuse. We will always consider the feedback on pricing, though; however, I think that most people who’ve sent out Missions would feel that it’s a fairly solid return on their investment.

    Please do keep giving us feedback; we want to make sure the feature is useful and fun.

  6. These missions have breathed new life into EA. I always read shareholder mail before but am enjoying it more now. The Halloween mission offered by Ric Williams (e)riceav was the best Halloween spook I have ever had! About the cost of offering missions, I can’t even afford to send out a shareholder email! But, Maybe like William said, the higher the cost, the less filled up our shareholder in-boxes will be.

  7. Is there a way you can provide the ticker of the sender, either by appending ?ticker=XXX to the URL or including it in the Referer URL so that if we set up a dedicated landing page we can tell who the incoming user is?

    And this would be only for those clicking on the button, not those clicking the Mission Link above it.

    Also the current page displayed after clicking a mission button always shows up with a large blank white space in Mac OS7.2 Chrome

  8. Hey all, we’re glad to get this feedback! Very exciting!

    As Tom mentioned above this is just the beginning for Shareholder Missions. Many of the features your discussing (verification of activity, analytics, etc) are very important enhancements that I know the team has discussed.

    But since this is the start, and we have to start somewhere, this is what we’ve started with 😉

    It’s important to know that we do value and review this feedback and all suggestions! We may have it in the plan, or maybe you’ve got a brand new idea for us. Either way, if you don’t tell us about it, we can’t consider it.

    So thank you for your feedback to date, and I look forward to sharing much more with the team.

  9. I’d like to respond, based on an earlier response. That of Liz. The upper one.

    “I think missions shouldn’t be so expensive. Charging a 100% tax will discourage all but the richest players from offering them and I think they should occur more often because they are a great tool to engage shareholders.”

    COST perspective:
    I think they should be expensive. Simply because I already received 20 or 30 of these in a few days. Toooo much. Imagine how many you might get when your portfolio is not 100-500, but 1000-2000. I would block my inbox, definitely. So I agree with Bill, William Pitcher: “I think it is important that the cost is high or we will be drowning in messages.”

    YET… Indeed, now only the ‘establishment’ will have plenti of Eaves to do this stuff. So how about this for an idea: make the cost relate to ones shareprice 🙂 Or to ones daily income. Maybe tax the richer folks, or reduce the cost for the newer ones. #justsayin…

    Cheers!

  10. (e)REMPIRE, as I said above, I am already getting deluged (37 messages over the weekend) with messages like “Buy more of my shares” or “I’m going on vacation, please don’t sell my shares!” or other kinds of self-promotional messages. A small number (maybe 5%) have useful content or ask to support some cause that, I agree, is worthwhile communication. But if I’m max’d out on shares for a stockholder (as is happening more and more often to me), getting a message asking me to buy more shares is definitely clutter in my Inbox.

    However, I’d argue, giving people missions is giving them something real & tangible in exchange for completing a task. It’s a reward. It’s provides much more value than messages that merely self-promotional. Plus, I’ve seen some clever mission projects which are a lot more imaginative that standard shareholder mail.

    Plus, mission messages are already expensive without the surcharge. It cost 25,000 eaves (plus 5,000 eaves for the message) to send out a mission message based on rewards alone (50 people got 500 eaves). Then, EA charges me another 25,000 eaves to send it out. That is quite a tax. It’s unusual enough I’d have an extra 30K to offer shareholders but the chances I’d have 55K freed up is even more unlikely to happen, at least at the level I’m currently at in the game. Maybe in a couple of months I’ll have that much sitting in my bank account but if EA hadn’t provided the seed money in their Beta Test, I never would have been able to participate.

  11. Well done, excellent new feature, but mine isn’t working yet! Interesting idea about the cost of a mission being different depending on the share price. New players shouldn’t find it too expensive to participate, players who are active and have been around for a long time can be justified an advantage, but at the same time it might be good to tax richer player in some way to even out the field.

  12. I regret that I am not part of the Beta Testers ( may be you could change that :-)).

    Would it be possible to do proportional rewards, function of number of shares
    held?

    That would allow to create rewards per share and supplement a lack of Divi-
    dends.

    Here is the reason: while I like to trade on EA, my work load does not allow
    me to spend my day on social networks and clean out all the spam I get there
    from “friends” who auto-feed re-tweets, re-blogs or who use auto-Likes and
    auto-comment scripts and to sort out the really serious people.

    I would like to be able to share my growth in EA with my shareholders to keep
    them interested in my shares and to stimulate other active traders to continue
    to use EA and keep the program dynamic in it’s own right by picking up this
    innovative idea and by rewarding shareholders rather than building just wealth
    with no end.

    Such a feature would make the game more realistic in as much as the company
    (share issuer) decides how much of his revenues he wants to pay out to his
    shareholders (in addition to the Divs) and we would have a possibility to compensate
    our shareholders for our lower level of activity on Facebook for example and consequently
    to make up for low dividends.

    It’s just an idea and if you implement it, I definitely would like the one first to test it 🙂

    Thanks for your developments and devotion to keep the game interesting!

  13. I’ve been doing this for months. However, instead of using a “mission system” I used the trust system. I trusted that people did what they said and they trusted I would reward them. I couldn’t just give them eaves so I would promise to buy shares, comment blogs, or RT something for them.

    I understand the cost needs to be high to prevent spam. However, I don’t think I’ll really need to do this as my version has thus far exceeded expectations and isn’t taxed. I think there is a future for the system though and new additions will increase the value and potential.

  14. Can missions be paid out of wealth or must they be paid out of liquid eaves? If we can pay for missions out of wealth instead of liquid eaves it’s a game changer. It will give value to luxury items and make it less of a burden to come up with the eaves. Selling off people to increase shareholder loyalty is counter productive imho.

  15. @Liz – I agree with Bill it need to be expensive and on the other side you can still motivate people to do something without a mission – I believe. I guess it should be even more expensive as I gat swamped with the new “Missions”

    @Scott – totally support this – a trust system is what makes relationships relationships.

    @EAV team – I’m a bit confused as shareholder missions seem to be the opposite what you are trying to achieve with your overhauled game algorithm. The missions are nothing more than “Give me a “Like” – kind of whether you like it or not but I give you cash”

    @EAV dev team – A beta is a beta. For me most missions failed as a browser opened with a frame but nothing inside. So I earned a few Eaves without conducting the actual task. I guess the technology needs to be overhauled

    All in all – keep rocking – It’s great to see new features and new development !!!

  16. Pingback: Empire Avenue Missions « Brent Knowles's Blog

  17. It would be awesome if there was an option to reward by Buying Shares!!! It would help the person being bought, help the person setting up the mission, etc. It would help to foster more relationships within Empire Avenue itself. It could be set up as 200 shares will be bought in everyone who completes a mission. Rather than say 59 left, it would show the allotted cost, so 120,189 eaves left out of 200,000. Would definitely help strengthen the interaction within Empire Avenue itself!

  18. So, Liz, you’re actually saying you agree with me? 🙂

    But, instead of make the charges differ, based on income or savings… Dillon, I like the way you’re thinking 🙂 🙂 And how about splitting the mail up by nature:
    * PRIVATE mail
    * SHAREHOLDER mail
    * MISSIONS mail
    That might help to reduce the levels of ‘annoying’ (imo many are) shareholder mails…

  19. I’m not sure if this is where you want the feedback,,, but most of the time the frame shows up at the top but the webpage doesn’t display. I usially have to click the link.. I am using a Chrome browser if that helps…

  20. Here’s my take on the shareholder mission business model:
    I am
    • purchasing a mission template ( seems reasonable)
    • taxed at 100% (seems outrageous)
    • purchasing a ‘like’ (unreasonable! Suppose the end user is not interested in my offer, EAVES notwithstanding?)
    • purchasing a pageview (unreasonable. This can be accomplished for free on other platforms)
    • What happens to end users who have already liked my page? If I offer ‘x’ amount of EAVES for the action, that end user who already liked me gets nothing as is the case with two of the mission offers received from higher end players in whom I invested, endorsed and liked months ago.
    In short, Empire Avenue is cutting into my profit margins as a small business owner.

    You are encouraging me to disable shareholder mail.

    Shareholder email was once a method to inform shareholders of progress on the EA platform or to share information about my business – for free is now a place to sell and spamming my inbox.
    I received 22 of these missions in one day! That is excessive – don’t you think? If I hold shares in 2000 members and all use the mission business model in the same week, that is spam no matter how you slice it.

    The mission business model requires more refining, or, a business person with real-world business experience to make it feasible on this platform. But when you cut into profit margins, you have lost me as a potential mission customer

    Thank you,
    Ellen J. Harris aka (e)HARRIE

  21. I agree with Ellen, but would suggest that perhaps the “Mission” offers be strictly limited to the Microloan model aka William Pitcher’s Kiva sponsored campaign, which I think is brilliant. There are many other microloan sites that EA shareholders could joint venture, but how these are vetted may be the 900 pound gorilla. Wish I could be more definitive.

  22. Bill, Ellen, others. Thanks for this feedback! The dev team is reading it and discussing it.

    We love the Kiva campaign William Pitcher has organized, and are looking forward to seeing how it develops and how we can help out.

    Regarding the cost of the Shareholder Missions, yes it is high. These are intended to be premium items, not for casual, daily use. And you’re only seeing the very beginning of the Shareholder Mission system. We have big plans for them, as you’ll soon see.

  23. I think the missions are great. They have boosted the EAv economy when at a time when recent changes hurt it, both in scoring and in departures of some high DIV producers.

    The problems I see are the following:

    They are a bit of a contradiction, paying for Likes and such, but it really doesn’t bother me. Virtual Currency ultimately SHOULD translate into real value.

    They undermine non mission shareholder mail (which should be less expensive unless you send more than one per month.) The missions should be in a separate area completely.

    Claiming a mission should “Auto-Thumb” the mail. I’ve found myself missing that pat when directed elsewhere on the interwebz.

    I like that they are a out of reach from most of us, it gives us something to work toward.

    New users should get a one time mission, free, to use within X number of days (and possibly after X number of active days on the site… I would NOT make that consecutive btw), and will be limited to a few predefined options. Those options would be created with the idea of demonstrating the value of EA, reinforcing the stickyness of the site, and fostering the relational aspects of EA. And anything else you can come up with to keep noobs around longer!!

    Summary: Big potential, I like it.

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