I’ve been playing Empire Avenue for a few weeks now and I’ve found it a really compelling game for a number of social reasons. First, what is it? It’s a stock market game where you can buy or sell your friends, or other people in the social media world. You can buy or sell me at http://www.empireavenue.com/scbl for instance.
Pricing is affected by the value you’re putting into social systems. The guy behind it, Duleepa “Dups” Wijayawardhana, is here and we spend an hour talking about the game and what it really is about.
Why is it compelling?
Well, because I’m a narcissistic egotistical butthead. Of course.
But look further than that.
Three nights ago I went through the 550 YouTube accounts I was subscribed to. I ended up deleting more than 300 of those accounts. Why? Because they were providing no value. Most of those accounts I deleted hadn’t been updated in more than a year. Others only had really lame videos of their cat. Pretty low-value stuff to me. Maybe you’d like that, but I generally find TED Talks more interesting than cat videos.
By doing that my inbound video feed all of a sudden became dramatically better. Why? Because I was following people who were providing real value.
Can we share with each other the folks who are providing that real value? That’s the question that Empire Avenue is trying to solve and I’ve found it does it better than other social media systems, like Klout or Peer Index, that mostly measure how many followers and how many retweets you’re getting.
Everyone in San Francisco knows that Twitter and Facebook are building such scores about you, but they don’t share that with their users. Also, those systems aren’t going to study your reputation on their competitors or on places like YouTube and they can’t really roll in real-world reputation/authority/influence. Empire Ave can.
And that’s what makes it compelling and why I spent an hour with the CEO.