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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.