State of the Avenue: January 2012

Welcome to the “State of the Avenue” for January 2012. First of all, happy new year to everyone, both on Empire Avenue and those that are not. I hope it has been a peaceful holiday season for you and your loved ones. 2012 is set to be a year of much fun here on the Avenue. We started 2011 building on the initial idea of the Social Stock Market and we ended 2011 having created a very powerful engagement platform centered around the currency created by your social activity and engagement.

Missions, which we launched in beta just 6 weeks ago, are an example of how to use that currency for engagement. I’d like to lay out some of our 2012 goals and what you can expect from us, though I will admit we are not laying all our cards on the table here; there will be many surprises along the way.

  1. Missions. We will slowly open up Missions to the world. Initially we wanted a faster rollout, but we decided that it is best to roll out access in stages, as we iterate through the feature set to make them truly engaging. We have our eyes set on better targeting and some very innovative ideas around Missions and rewarding actual engagement in a task. For those that have expressed a desire for us to open up Missions completely, please be patient; we do want to get this right. We will have a blog post on the next iteration of Missions this week.
  2. Networks and Content. The value of an “Eave” is tied to engagement online and what you do *anywhere* in a social capacity. We will continue to add networks and improve the connections we have. Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr are very high on our list, as we continue to expand the ways you can earn virtual currency for the engagement you create in the online world. We will be working on new ways to show you the great content that is all around you, as well as highlighting relevant people you might want to connect with based on the content they’re creating.
  3. Social Stock Market. The fundamental driver of our currency and economy comes from the investments you make on our Social Stock Market. In 2012 we will make the Market a little easier to understand, so that it is even more engaging to new people. We will also roll out changes that will allow the economy to grow robustly well into the future. We will announce many changes to upgrades and how the bank is set up on Empire Avenue, and while there will be some pain of adjustment, we do believe that all the changes will make Empire Avenue closer to our target of creating an economy around your social media. We hope to make these announcements this week so you know what’s coming and when!
  4. Communities. We love community, and we love the social nature of community. We will continue to expand upon the Community features on Empire Avenue so you can be social, share more, communicate and be rewarded for being members of active Communities.
  5. The Platform. We will be releasing a second version of our API, which will give developers some neat tools. I know we’ve told you several times that the new API would be coming, but now that we’ve started to solidify the site and the experience, we think a new set of tools will send Empire Avenue happily and merrily on its way.

Finally, regarding the State of Empire Avenue Inc. Our company has expanded over the past few months to meet the growing demands of the service. We’ve hired three new excellent people in Michael Grills (e)MGRILLS, Narsimham Chelluri (e)NARSA and Dimitri Didorenko (e)DIMIDID777. We expect some growing pains in the early part of this year, but isn’t that half the fun of creating a cool start up?

So here’s to 2012! The Avenue continues to grow strong.

21 Comments

  1. Hey Dups, thanks for the update. A few follow up questions…

    1) You mentioned connecting with other networks, but do you have any plans to better connect with blogs. Right now EAv gives virtually no credit for blogging even though blogging is one of the best ways to engage online. I know there are problems with people “gaming the system” with blogs, but do you have any plans to rank and pay dividends fairly for real blogs by looking at the number of comments and shares?

    2) Do you have plans to raise the portfolio limit of 5,000? Seems like this is an unnecessary constraint on your best, most faithful users.

    3) Can you be any more specific about when the new API will be released?

    Thanks,
    Paul
    (e)PDSTEIN

  2. And following Paul, please, when you introduce API v2 allow for a generous period of co-existence of v1 and v2, first maybe a month with still the full contingent of v1 API calls and only then slowly decreasing the number of v1 API calls per hour.

    Concerning the blogs, have a look at e.g. http://www.blogoscoop.net they allow to include also a RSS feed for the comments.

    I fully agree with Paul, the portfolio limit should be lifted.

    Best,
    Dennis D.

  3. Hi @PaulSteinbrueck, we have yet to find a good scalable system that allows us to do what we want with Blogs, we are however always looking at new systems and new services which may allow us to do what we want. Unfortunately too many people “gamed the system” and we had to make changes.

    Announcements on API 2.0 and Beyond 5000 will happen in the near future, don’t worry, we have plans 🙂

    Cheers
    Dups

  4. “We will announce many changes to upgrades and how the bank is set up on Empire Avenue, and while there will be some pain of adjustment…”

    Oh, I don’t like the sound of this at all! This vague statement is enough to start a panic.

    Aside from this, thanks for the update. Communication helps!

    A big question and a little one:
    1) When are you going to hire some women at your company?
    2) If a player blocks me, could you stop showing them as a recommended stock? I assume that they don’t see my stock as a recommendation so why should I suffer? SMH

    Thanks again.

    Liz

  5. I hope the option of adding additional social media networks comes as quickly as possible. I lost my youtube connection and have contacted support about it but it’s been a while since I heard anything back from them and my dividends suffered because of it. Adding G+, pinterest and tumblr would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for all you do! Happy new year. 🙂

  6. P.S. You should have a brief guide (like 4 Steps) to putting together a decent Mission. At this point, I’ve seen hundreds of them and they vary greatly in doability, reasonableness and coherence. Mission offerers who are frustrated by a low completion rate should consider whether the problem was with the Mission itself.

  7. Hey @Liz, no need to panic 😀 but we’ll have more information out soon. As for a Mission Tutorial, we are actively working on one and more details on all that to be out soon as well 🙂

  8. Thanks, Dups.

    One more request: I know it would be a supreme hassle but I wish there was a way to return eaves to a Mission where the person can’t complete it for legitimate reasons like they discover 1) it involves spamming their Twitter followers with multiple Tweets on some topic, 2) only people in the U.S. (or other countries) can complete it, 3) they are asked to comment on a blog post that is in a foreign language or 4) they discover that the link takes them to a site where they are asked to make a donation.

    Typically what people do in these situations is invest the eaves in the stock of the Mission offerer. But it would be nice if you could just credit the eaves back to the Mission itself. Sometimes what seems like a simple Mission is a huge PITA and I’d rather give the money back.

  9. Hey Liz,

    Thanks for the feedback on Missions. We are working on changes that will be rolled out over the next few weeks that will address your issues in different ways. Stay tuned as those updates get rolled out and as always give us feedback so we can fine tune them.

    Ric

  10. >>>>>Typically what people do in these situations is invest the eaves in the stock of the Mission offerer.>>>>

    I love the idea of giving back the eaves. I have also tried to invest the eaves in someone after realizing their mission was to ask for money through paypal. They ended up harassing me over it so I paid them just to get them of my back.

  11. Thanks, Ric! I look forward to seeing the changes.

    Joanne, I had a similar situation. So frequently, Mission offerers complain about % of follow through but some Missions are definitely more straight-forward and easy to do than others. Ironically, I find that the more Eaves that are offered, the easier the Mission usually is. Some players expect you to do cartwheels for 500 eaves. I’m just going to start passing on those…there are plenty of people who will take my spot.

  12. Great to have an update! A few things for longtime dedicated users:

    1) Missions are great, and need some tweaking. Look at Favo.rs as an example of rewarding those that follow through at any level.
    2) When is the next upgrade to own more shares of stocks than 600? obviously its possible since the temporary fix of maxing up to 700 in some stocks.
    3) When will we see the lift in ability to own more than 5000 stocks? If we can dilute the market with more than a certain number of our own shares on the market, why can we not own more than 5000 shares in any total stocks owned?
    4) Communities are about conversation, although most people use them to spam messages across several different communities. When will it count to make discussions in EAv communities so that its is part of earning “points” on the overall EA score and impact the overall share price? This is about SOCIAL media, yes?
    5) Requests to add new Index categories such as SOCIAL MEDIA have gone too long without response or addition. A platform claiming social media as its heart of “influence” and operation should at least have SOCIAL MEDIA as a category for an index. When will index categories be update? If you can be CEO of Zombie whatever, why not have a category for the reason the app exists…SOCIAL MEDIA? Social Network does not cut it!
    6) Instagram is a popular social media photo sharing app. When are you going to include an app that includes ANDROID devices or other devices that allow photo sharing? While iPhoneography is a legitimate genre of photography, iPhone is not the only mobile device that can produce and share photos. Look at StreamZoo or PicPlz which works with both iPhone and Android in correlation to Facebook, Twitter, Posterous, Tumblr and Flickr to share photos AND has its own built-in social network and scoring (particularly StreamZoo, and EyeEm for that matter)
    7) Adding Google+, even if its limited by API calls or other reasons, that seems to be the most logical next step for EAv. Having a handful of people with access right now is unfair, depending on the account. When will it open to others since you can share photos, discussion, friend count, response count etc. similar to Facebook?

    Overall, EAv has grown a lot in the last year. Kudos. Plenty of room to grow in the next year. Looking forward to it!

  13. Pingback: State of the Avenue: January 2012 « Darin R. McClure – The Good Life In San Clemente

  14. Wow, @Nakeva, lots of questions there. I’ll address what I can now, though some of that will be discussed in greater detail in the coming days and weeks.

    1) Yep, Missions will be improved. Look for Targeting and other interesting ways to enhance your Mission soon.

    2) More detail on that will be announced soon.

    3) See item 2 above 🙂

    4) Communities are slated for a review and enhancement soon. I don’t have details on the timeline to share, but we are aware of these issues and improvements are pending as we continue to develop the best online game platform built upon Social Media.

    5) Related to item 4 above

    6) Three days ago Instagram announced (in this Mashable article) that they’re working on an Android app. We’re always looking at new channels to add to our connections and aren’t ruling out adding others as demand increases.

    7) Unfortunately we can’t just add Google+ for everyone until Google gives us more connections. We too are frustrated by this and are working to get more connections from Google ASAP.

    In the next few days, you’ll see more information from us on many of these topics. Feel free to weigh in with your questions and thoughts — they’re all valuable as we build a bigger and better Empire Avenue so you can continue to build your online empire 🙂

  15. @Dups, thanks for the reply. Since it sounds like you guys are stumped as far as measuring true engagement and paying a fair dividend for blogs, maybe you could talk to the people at PostRank.com. They used to have a very good blog ranking system before Google bought them and mothballed it.

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