Empire Avenue – Social Gaming with a Purpose

Minter Dial President, The Myndset Company

Posted on May 23rd 2011

Empire Avenue – Social Gaming with a Purpose

Social Media Monetized?

If you are interested in digital marketing and/or social media marketing, and you have not heard of Empire Avenue, then I think you need to know about it.

Now that I have become (drum roll) a Vice President (top 5%) on Empire Avenue, in the social networking category, I feel I am empowered to write it up.

Started as an invitation-only site in February 2010 and then went public in July 2010, Empire Avenue is a cross between a game, a social media network and a way to measure online influence (i.e. in social media, very much like Klout or Hubspot’s Grader).  In effect, it’s structured like a stock exchange, where the value of your “stock” is based on the social media activity and influence in your network.

Tricks to the Trade

There are two ways to “play” the game.  In other words, your value can go up via two different channels.

  1. You invest in social media talent and high flyers whose price you believe is undervalued and your stock will reap the stock price gains and dividends thrown off by these producers.
  2. You yourself are a social media producer/influencer whose value will increase through your activity.  So anyone can play — including brands (eg Toyota, Intel, Starbucks).  It’s free, although you can also “buy” your way in with some hard cash, too.

The game tracks all your investments and also allows for steady interaction with the other players.  I have slowly begun to intereact with other like minded individuals and have found the experience rather enjoyable.  There is all sorts of dealmaking going on.  And, according to your activity, you can win vapid awards and promotions, as well as some extra Eaves (game cash).  There are several strategies that seem to be emerging, for example, mutual investing, regular social activity.  But, it is still in its early days and I think the sooner you get in, the more likely you are to get basement prices.  If the game takes off, then all the “early adopters” will gain big time.

Certainly, I hope you will consider joining.  And, at current prices (43.83 eaves as of May 23 2011), I believe that I am good value!  My stock price is generally (83%) driven by my social media acivity, with the remainder from my stock pricing prowess.  My ticker is MDIAL and the recent trends have been good.  Plus, I give out a decent dividend.

Empire Avenue Prospects

Empire Avenue, which is a startup out of Edmonton (Canada), is just now beginning to pick up steam in more mass manner.  I don’t think it has hit any tipping point yet, but once the mass media gets a hold of it, I have no doubt that it will start booming.  For now, it is only in English.  Personally, I think it is great.  AND, like all social media, better to consider it as a longer-term play if you want to get the most out of it!  Who knows, maybe these eaves will turn into a pot of gold (wishful thinking).  Come and play and tell us your thoughts.


Minter Dial

President, The Myndset Company

President and founder of The Myndset Company, Minter Dial is a professional speaker & consultant on Branding and Digital Strategy, working for several blue chip companies, including Orange, Kering and Redcats (ex PPR), Samsung, Remy Cointreau, L'Oreal and Tencent.

Previously, Minter led a 16-year international career with the L'Oréal Group – including 9 different assignments in France, England, USA and Canada. In his last post with L'Oréal, Minter was a member of the worldwide Executive Committee of the Professional Products Division, responsible globally for business development, e-business (Internet, intranet, CRM), education & communication.

He is based out of Paris, France, and is able to deliver speeches in English, French and Spanish. He can be contacted at minter@themyndset.com.  You can find Minter on Google+

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Posted on May 29th 2011 at 8:23PM

What are the demographics of an average user? Do you see Empire Avenue more as game or are players using it for business networking? Do you connect with the same people also in Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin?

Posted on May 31st 2011 at 6:58AM

I have not been able to find out how many people are currently on Empire Avenue (EA), nor any data as to the typical profile.  Intuitively and from my experience, the early adopters are clearly all closely linked in one form or another to social media -- in other words, not necessarily representative of the broader population. 

Re your second question, I see EA as a hybrid.  Its success resides on being fun (game) and purposeful (business). As such, you will find a wider audience appeal, making the reasons for playing broader.  Were it to become too businesslike, I believe the buzz would be taken out. 

To that end, I have seen many participants that are only playing the game based on the investment opportunity (the pure game aspect) and who do not themselves have a social media presence to speak of.  Between gamers, self-promoters, heavy bloggers, brands and EA enthusiasts, to my understanding, it is quite a mixed breed.

To answer your third question, I find that the networking is different from the other social media platforms in particular because of the different communities to which I belong, where the membership is different from the people I have been following or know in the other SM circles.  I haven't yet transformed an EA acquantaince into a real-life meeting, but I have had a few unique exchanges that I am sure will one day convert.

Posted on September 8th 2011 at 9:41PM
This kind of game is a very ingenious ay of testing potential market dynamics. I must confess though that I only play games for fun and relaxation, that's why I prefer Jewel Quest 2, I don't think I'd be willing to engage myself in a game that demands me to think too much in my spare time, I just don't function that way. Thanks for keeping us updated!