Empire Avenue: The Influence Market [Plus: New WP Plugin]

You may have heard about it. You may even be annoyed by some people tweeting too much about it. It’s called Empire Avenue, and it can be highly addictive! Let me tell you more about what it is and what it can do for you. Also, I’ll introduce a new WordPress plugin I made to integrate EA (Empire Avenue) in your blog.

What is Empire Avenue?

Empire Avenue is a stock exchange game based on online influence. Unlike the actual stock exchange, on EA, not only companies can have stocks, but individuals too. You can finally buy and sell shares in your friends, family or anyone in the world. EA is a game and no actual money is used, instead all transactions are made using “eaves”, the EA virtual currency.

Share prices are based on various variables all related to the user’s online influence, including the amount of activity on social media websites (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr), the number of friends on Facebook, the number of followers on Twitter, the amount of traffic on the user’s blog(s), the number of replies/retweets of the user’s posts… What happens on the EA website itself also influences the user’s share price. The more a user’s shares are sold, the higher the price gets.

There are many ways users can earn eaves that they can then invest in someone by buying their shares. First, every time a user’s shares are sold, the user receives part of the eaves. Everyday, when the market closes, an amount of eaves is given to every user based on their activity during that day. Part of this money is divided among the user’s shareholders as dividends. Finally, there are many achievements that a user can unlock, such as having a given amount of outstanding shares. Some of those achievements come with a reward in eaves.

Only a Game?

Is Empire Avenue only a game or can it be of any use to individuals or companies? It certainly is more than a game. It is an awesome way for individuals to quickly make connections with many interesting people and to discover companies and their products.

Companies can also get a lot from using EA. On this matter, Carmen Gerea ((e)CGBW2) on EA wrote a great article (in French) stating interesting ways companies can use EA: finding influential people, targeting people who like a brand, create communities and more. As with the other social media tools, creativity will be the key to finding new ways to take advantage of it.

Where Do I Sign Up?

Empire Avenue is still in beta and in invitation-only mode. However it will open up to everyone on July 28. In the meantime, I have some invitations left, so contact me on Twitter or leave a comment if you’re interested and I’ll send you an invitation. By the way, my ticker on EA is (e)OL so you can follow me (and buy my shares of course).

New WordPress Plugin

If you have a WordPress blog and use EA, you may be interested in the new plugin I have created. For now, it includes two features. First, it automatically convert EA tickers written as (e)TICKER to a link to the user’s EA page. For example, (e)OL is converted to (e)OL.

The second feature is a widget to easily add the EA badge to your blog. See at the bottom of the sidebar on this page for an example.

Please visit the plugin page if you are interested.

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