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I recently received an invite to the Beta phase of Empire Avenue which is an online stock exchange for individuals and businesses. The basic concept is as follows; you set up an account which pulls in your data from twitter, Facebook and your blog and uses it to asses your influence, then the Empire Avenue community can decide whether or not they want to invest you. Your share price rises and falls based on trades and your web activity. It is all fairly simple and hugely addictive! There is no real money involved, just the Empire Avenue currency – Eaves.
There are huge Social elements to this, you can search for people or businesses by interest and then ‘follow’ them much as you would in twitter, giving you an instant network of like-minded souls that you may or may not want to invest in. There are more search options than this, and the fact that you can search by location allows you to easily scope out potential investments in your locale. There is a nice looking and easy to use ‘shout out’ system that allows you to interact with your shareholders, targets and followers. Your actual share price can also increase if you are being actively social on the site by sending out ‘shout-outs’ and messages. There is a peer endorsement angle too, as it requires 5 people to verify your blog before it is taken in to account for your influence score.
All in all it is an impressive concept that blends the community aspects of Social Media with a gaming aspect build around competition and self promotion. Empire Avenue will have great uses for businesses once it is fully up and running, there are great possibilities for networking, profile raising and pure promotion. It will be very interesting to see how it will develop and what new features will appear as the Beta testing continues.
Update 07/06 – The guys at Empire Avenue launched new features today, the most important being the creation of set communities for cities, countries and also by a huge list of personal interests. Sociality and community is clearly in the lifeblood of EA and we like it!
Update 09/06 – Yesterday the Empire Avenue community was well and truly duped by a fake Mashable (Pete Cashmore) stock that attracted big buys and big growth. EA did get to the bottom of the issue and removed the stock and gave people their investment back at the stock price of the time of intervention. Very noble move from the EA team!
See what the tweeple are saying about Empire Avenue on twitter search here
Want to join in? We have three invites available, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you one!
If you are already using Empire Avenue and would like to invest in The Social Penguin Blog, you can do so right here