Empire Avenue – The social media game where individuals and businesses buy and sell virtual shares of each other. Your share price is based on share trading activity coupled with your influence on the major Social Networks. The trading is done with virtual dollars called eaves. There are dividends, shares outstanding, and share price graphs to name just a few. Empire really has so many variables within the game. If you want to start making connections Empire is a great environment. Now, if you want to jump in and do it right, expect to spend at least 10-20 hours per week playing the game. I’d say for a good 4-6 months. Well you didn’t think you were going to build relationships being in there 10 minutes a day did you? My Facebook, Twitter, and G+ accounts are saturated with EA friends. EA has been worth every minute. It’s all real life and the people you meet on EA are real. If your ego can handle be sold I would highly suggest Empire Avenue.
Klout – I can feel the cringing by many as this is being read. I know, they had privacy issues and their scoring wasn’t transparent. Tito pass me a tissue. The real problem was too many weren’t happy with their scores. It also made for non-stop complaining and bashing on thousands of blogs that brought some nice traffic. Let me take a step back. So Klout is the standard of influence online. They came up with that tag themselves. As we know influence is subjective, so there is no right answer. Evidently many didn’t like the answer they received in form of a score. Klout made a change in their “algorithm” in late October. The result, most users suffered a 5-20 point decline overnight. That pushed many over the edge. It definitely wasn’t the best PR move I agree. Today, just two months later, Klout scores are definitely more stable. Klout remains a great way to build rapport with other users. You can build Lists within Klout and give something called +K’s, which are a nice token of appreciation to someone that influenced you in a certain topic. You get 10 +K’s daily to give out to other users. Klout also has something called Perks. Based on your Klout score and influential topics, you are rewarded with perks. These perks include discounts, gift cards, and even a Windows phone. Klout is always trying to get better and never sits still. You can’t make everyone happy. I think Klout will only continue to improve in 2012.
Triberr – This is an incredible site where bloggers help bloggers. Triberr is the brainchild of Dino Dogan and went live earlier this year. Each tribe has a chief. The Chief invites tribe members and manages the group. Excuse me, he or she manages the tribe. Each tribe has a name that follows a theme (i.e. Social Media, Health, or Parenting). Everyone in the tribe will connect their Twitter account and Blog RSS feed. Once your blog post is published it automatically comes into Triberr through the RSS feed. Up until about a month ago you could set it to automatically tweet out your tribemates posts. It was discovered that this was not copacetic with the Twitter TOS (terms of service). So currently it is a manual process, but still worthwhile. A semi-automated process is being worked on for the first quarter. Anyway, I think you can envision the power of users tweeting your blog post out consistently. Imagine 50+ users tweeting out your message. A dream come true.
Athlinks – Athlinks is primarily a site for Runner’s and Triathlete’s. While you can connect with friends, add videos, and photos, Athlinks race results database is its strength. Let’s say you ran 5 races in 2011 and joined Athlinks today. Well chances are your times for those races are in the database. You just need to confirm that you’re the owner of that time. Your history just needs to be uncovered. Athlinks has a robust schedule of upcoming races which you can search by State and/or Month. If you don’t see a race that you’re running, you can add it in just a few minutes. If you’re running in a future race, add it to your profile and about a week after the race your time will show up in your race history. If you run races or are thinking about it, go register today. Athlinks has a lot to offer.
Spotify – Spotify is a digital music service that really exploded onto the scene when Klout gave as a perk earlier this year. Listen, Spotify doesn’t have every song ever published in its library, but it has a vast selection. You pick the songs, albums, or artists that you want and save to your account. This service is free. If you want to upload to your iPhone or Android there is a $9.99/mo charge, but no charge per song like iTunes. A few months ago they teamed with Facebook, and now you can link your FB account to Spotify. This allows you to share on your wall what you are listening to at the moment. You can also subscribe (no charge) to other FB friends music. If you like what they’ve compiled, simply subscribe and you can listen to their music. Of course, you can keep this all private if you wish. Unlike some other services out there, you can listen to what you want, when you want.