17 2 / 2013
Advice to New Players of Empire Avenue
At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all, I’ve been playing Empire Avenue (“EAv”) long enough to give some sound advice to new players. I think you’ll see the value in this advice as you confront the early days when EAv is a mystery.
First: Empire Avenue does have a learning curve, so one step at a time!
- Fill out your “Profile” because investors want to know about you.
- Add a “Portrait” picture because investors want to see you.
- Add all your “Connections” as quickly as possible. This is especially important because investors want to evaluate the depth of your social network.
- Keep as many of your social network “Connections” active as possible, especially during the first week because investors want to estimate your earnings power for the future.
- Don’t feel compelled to make any purchases (investments) your first couple days. Take some time to get to know your investors (more on this later).
Quick Course in EAv “Network Activity”
- Become familiar with all of the sections of your “Profile” page, each section is important for measuring your success.
- Your “Network Activity” is measured daily by EAv and used to calculate “Earnings” and generate “Dividends.” Tip: Only your top five network connections are used for calculations!
- Your “Network Activity” is used by EAv to calculate “Connection Scores” on your profile page, and your scores are a measure of your “Earnings” power.
- In the first weeks, players watch for good “Dividends” and the daily ratio of “Dividends/Share” to “Share Price.”
- The Dividend to Share Price ratio is calculated by dividing your Dividends by your Share Price. (For example: a 0.20e “Dividend” divided by a 25.00e “Share Price” * 100 yields = 0.8 ratio (anything above 0.5 is good, 1.0 is great).
Quick Course in EAv Investing
- Purchasing shares in others (building your “Portfolio”) has no direct connection with the value of your shares; however, people who purchase shares in you (”Shareholders”) generally expect some “reciprocation.”
- In the first weeks, in any reciprocal investments, you should not feel an obligation to “match” the purchases made in you. The math of matching is not in your favor. You won’t offend an experience player if you purchase a small lot of shares (eg: 5 or 10); they should understand your situation.
- In the first weeks, you may choose many different strategies but as a general rule, buying shares with good Dividend/Share Price Ratio is a sound practice. Daily dividends provide you Eaves needed for purchasing. However, many of the best long-term investments have a track records of rising price but relatively low Dividend Ratio.
- In the first weeks and generally, it’s rarely a good idea to buy then sell shares because buy & sell commissions reduce your return by 10% or more.
- Building EAv wealth is similar to playing a game; however, the real wealth in EAv is comes from the usefulness of it’s Social Networking.
Quick Course in EAv “Social Networking”
- Many people who join EAv do not have a clear idea about what “Social Networking” is, so you can learn a great deal from EAv about social networking.
- Simply stated, your interactions on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Flickr, LinkedIn, Wordpress and other “Connections” is the measure of social networking. You’ll need to focus on how you use these connections; for example, I found that my best social networking activity is created through WordPress blogging and interactions.
- The value of Social Networking comes from getting to know the people or groups you associate with.
- EAv itself has it’s own social networking tools which include “Communities” and the messaging we do while interacting with shareholders.
- EAv can enable you to extend the power of your social networking through the use of “Missions.” You also extend the power of others by performing Missions for others; reciprocation in EAv is very powerful.
Next Steps: There is more to Empire Avenue than can be explained quickly, so it is essential that you read the Empire Avenue Help. In addition, there are many good blogs that will help you. And as you advance, you’ll find several tools to help you manage.
Finally: Don’t let the seemingly intense activity of EAv to upset you. Good players leave because they take it too seriously. Steady as you go!
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13 12 / 2012
Earning 100,000e Per Day
A few months ago, I was very impressed when I approached 25,000e per night. I felt I was rolling in Eaves and could buy, buy, buy. Last week I topped 100,000e per day and I’m still finding I don’t have enough Eaves to buy all I want to buy. heh.
I’m over six months into the playing of Empire Avenue. I’ve learned a lot along the way. I’ve grown my weath to almost 25,000,000e and I’ve met some fascinating and supportive people.
There seems to be a long vesting period in EAv. So many people come and go, over 95% go, that some old-timers are very cautious about your longevity. I’m not doing all that well compared to the people who are really engaged, but I’m glad to be part of the EAv gang.
21 10 / 2012
Stabilized & Moving Up
When I last wrote about Empire Avenue I was concerned by how many of my investors had dumped my shares during my relocation. I’m happy to say that after some slowness in getting my Earnings and Dividends moving up, things are stabilized and moving up again.
Buyers Back/Sellers Gone: One good outcome seems to be that the types of investors who dumped my shares without regard to my temporary change in status are gone. I’ve had 1 share sold this week vs 867 shares sold by 3 people last. Otoh, 76 people bought 7,940 shares this week vs 60 people bought 7,074 shares last week.
Buying & Selling & Buying: Interestingly, some of the people who dumped my shares are back buying my shares. I know this because I flagged the people who dumped me. I’ve seen some of those people more than once, they buy then at the first sign my shares are stalling they dump. This is so unwise because it costs them 15% Commission (round trip + 2nd buy) to do this. Unfortunately, when someone dumps me like that I feel they aren’t interested in being part of my social network, so I dump their shares in response. I don’t buy them back though.
Strategy Intact: I’m happy to say, the EAv Strategy I wrote about in late July (almost 3 months ago) remains in tact. That’s a big YAY! The unknown is, since I started my WordPress centric strategy, one of my blogs has moved to the Self-Hosted WordPress system. I’m hoping that all the social activity will acrue the same or better stats as when WP did the hosting. My main blog is still hosted by WordPress, and stats seem to be good.
11 10 / 2012
Impact of Move on EAv Account
I did everything in my power to prepare people for the two weeks of inactivity that accompanied my move. Nonetheless, many didn’t get the message and paniced as my Dividend declined.
Still, the jumpy investors reminded me of my own jumpiness when people disappear for that long. You never know when someone has just lost interest. HOWEVER, the difference is, I check to see if my investments have left any kind of message indicating if the absence is temporary. I’ve weathered many slides when investments let me know they will be away awhile. In fact, many of my best investments have had dips like this.
When anyone just disappears with no word, they have to accept the consequences and rebuild.
I left word but I’ll accept the consequences and rebuild myself. I left a lot of notices about my absence and am frankly glad to be rid of investors that are that jumpy. One guy (who owned 40 shares) had the audacity to tell me I should distribute my accumulated Eaves to shareholders. I did do that before receiving his email, but I found his email to be so grubby (I know, what a word! heh).
04 9 / 2012
On July 26th I made several changes to my Empire Avenue strategy. At the time I was toying with the idea of focusing entirely on my WordPress blogs, Being Yordie Sands and iRez magazine. I was hopeful that this new strategy would make it easier for me to have a social media presence because this is really what I enjoy best, photography and writing.
After a couple weeks of sliding, I started to see the new strategy taking hold. I was even surprised to see my Klout score jump +15 to over 70. In addition, my Alexa ranking is climbing, WordPress stats are rising and my EAv WordPress score has me ranking at #24.
All of these improvements are proving to me that the time I spend in WordPress social networking is paying off in terms of my rankings and stats. Pretty cool, no?
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26 7 / 2012
Day 116: My Difficult Decision
I see people seem to leave of Empire Avenue far too often. They seem to leave in three ways: Terminate, drop out, take a break. With the exception of people who officially Terminate, it’s not always clear when players have dropped out or taken a break.
Termination: I think this is a mistake unless you see that this game/business will be of no value in your work.
Dropping Out: I suspect that players who drop out are just fed up and need a break, and they just walk away never to return. This may be ok for them, but there shareholders may go through an agonizing decision process as they watch share prices continually slide.
Taking A Break: There are a lot of ways to take a break, sometimes the change in status is barely a ripple, sometimes it’s as bad as players who just drop out. I’ve seen many examples that can only be explained as people becoming occupied with other activities then returning and their shares eventually returnto their former levels.
A Problem With Empire Avenue
I’ve seen far too many friends and acquaintences just disappear from EA. I believe I know enough about Empire Avenue to understand what happens in most of those cases. And I’m sorry to say that I believe EA is flawed as a game and a business because it doesn’t provide people with remedies for managing the demands of the “game”. Your stock begins to fail as soon as you need time for your real life.
In the recent survey circulated by Paul Steinbrueck (e)PDSTEIN, this problem was addressed. And in follow-up articles and comments I’ve read, it’s clear that this is a major problem that not only limits the growth of EA but also threatens it’s future.
My Problem With Empire Avenue
The truth is, I’m struggling with the daily pressure to drive Network Activity. This has gone on for several weeks and it’s taking a toll.
Regardless of all other considerations, I’m facing the harse reality that the amount of time and effort it takes to keep growing my earnings & dividends, plus keep managing my portfolio has reached a level I can’t justify at this time.
The even harser reality is, for Empire Avenue to be useful for me it would have to recognize the two blogs I write for because this is where I want to direct my daily activities. Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are important parts of my social network, but with only one of my blogs being recognized I have to seek other activities to generate the Network Activity needed to feed my daily Earnings & Dividends.
My Difficult Decision
I am going to have to push my Empire Avenue activities down to a level where they no longer interfere with my main goals related to writing for Being Yordie Sands, and iRez Magazine.I believe EA can be helpful to me in building my audience and brand, but for now I feel many activities are taking away more than giving.
EA has helped me create a social network and I’ll focus on strenghtening that network. My top connections are through Facebook but I’ll continue to work on my Twitter & Flickr connecitons. Those contacts are valued and I’ll continue to devote time each day to strengthening those bonds.
The thing I can’t predict is how the changes in my activities will impact my Earnings & Dividends; however, I won’t allow myself to worry about these daily fluctuations. Many experienced players have told me to be patient, and I believe this is the only way I can move forward. Pushing just takes too great a toll.
06 7 / 2012
Day 86: Strategy
I believe my shares have appreciated pretty well in the past three months, but recently I’ve had a couple bumps. I believe improving my Empire Avenue strategy will help keep that uptrend in tact.
A few days ago I wrote about some Lessons Learned in Empire Avenue. However, there is one more lesson I need to note, I’ve found that the strategy I use needs revision regularly. However, I am lucky enough to know from my experience in investing that if you are constantly changing your goals and strategy you’ll create a situation that increases mistakes.
It’s Not A Game
EA has characteristics of a game and is enjoyable as a game, but it isn’t a game. EA’s strength is a community of people with many different interests and objectives who recognize it is for promoting ideas and projects using social networking.
In my Lessons post, I felt the need to say, ‘I do missions because I want to help you and if I perform a Mission for you, you have the right to tell me how to do that job. However, if you invest in me, you shouldn’t expect to have a right to tell me how to invest.‘ For me, that was like drawing a line because I recognize I can’t please everyone.
The first attempt I made to define a strategy has undergone many changes. However, trying to adapt to those changes is just too demanding. So, I need to define a strategy and live with it. I believe I can define a strategy that will carry me forward for 90-days. And I’m certain that strategy will be tested as my shareholders & investments grow, but I must have a means of reducing the amount of time it takes to participate in this “game.”
I believe it is possible to treat EA as a wealth building investment activity. It can also build a social network that can help me promote both my online goals, but also goals of friends and associates. And I believe those two activities can be separate. So, I have three elements to my strategy:
- Build Wealth
- Build Social Network
- Develop Relationships
Building Wealth: My wealth building strategy isn’t directly tied to my social network building strategy. Going forward I’ll reduce time I spend evaluating small investments; consequently I won’t consider reciprocal share purchases for shareholder investments under 25 shares. In the past month the ROI on my investments has dropped from 0.68, consequently I’m re-focusing on stocks in uptrends with good dividends. Also, I’ll continue to reduce speculation in “Recent Arrivals”, because I’ve found a huge percentage of them fizzle out rapidly. NTL, it is still fun to search out the bright eyes of new people with the right resources, so I’ll continue to search.
Building Social Network: In the past I’ve gone first to my shareholders as a source for building my social network. I’ll continue to give preference to shareholders, but too often I’ve seen shareholders I’ve wanted to be part of my social network dump my shares at the first sign of weakness. I understand that each shareholder has their own wealth building goals, so I don’t think this is the best place to look for building a social network. What I’ve discovered is that missions offer a great place to find people with compatible interests. As an example and reminder, I’ve found a lot of kindred spirits in the photography, blogging and even scuba communities.
Develop Relationships: I believe in developing individual relationships with people who recognize the reciprocal nature of social networking delivers the best quality. And I prefer quality to quantity. This type of networking can be time consuming, but it is more understandable to me and I believe analytic engines are looking for these types of connections.
I’ll be back to revisit this strategy at the end of September.
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03 7 / 2012
Day 83: Lessons Learned
I’m planning to wrap up my comments about Empire Avenue. This is part one of a two part series; this part is Lessons Learn, part two is my EA Strategy.
My Empire Avenue experience has been a process of discovery. I’ve learned many things about EA, more that I wanted to for any “game” I play but certainly not enough to use EA as an effective business tool.
Lessons - Investing & Missions
#1 - There are some great people in EA. There are people I’m glad I discovered or who discovered me. The people I’ve connected with share experiences and help promote my objectives because they know I’ll help promote theirs.
#2 - Reciprocation is at the core of EA. However, many players don’t understand this or practice it. Some players believe a share-for-share purchasing strategy is reciprocation. Some have a more global view which includes things like Network Building, Follows, performing Missions, etc. Some buy & sell solely based on ROI on their investments.
#3 - With so many types of investment objectives, there are groups in EA of all kinds, both public & private: information sharing groups, various civic groups, groups dedicated to specific buying & selling principles (share-for-share reciprocation, for example).
#4 - Many well meaning EA players create Missions. A huge percentage of those missions are either: 1) Too complicated to be bothered with; 2) “Bombing” missions that not only get discounted by social network analytics, but also push the bombers closer and closer to the “spammer” classification; 3) Reward too little for the work being asked; 4) Have too many conditions that exclude (for example, mission requires a half dozen networks likes but many people don’t have all the networks).
#5 - Many mission takers treat the missions with too little respect. I could say much more about this, but I believe anyone who has ever Published a Mission knows their are downright thieves in EA.
#6 - Many player strategies employ techniques that constantly buying tiny lots of shares (even 1 share) on their investments on a daily basis. I believe this is intended to do two things: 1) Keep their names on my radar; 2) Distribute available income using software that spreads it equitably across their portfolios. In my opinion, the first goal is annoying, the second is admirable. It may not be related, but I’ve noticed that some players turn off messaging perhaps to avoid being bombarded with these constant reminders.
Lessons - Empire Avenue Issues
#1 - Empire Avenue deliberately makes this game difficult to comprehend. This is why that within 90 days they lose over 95% of the people who join, when you include people who just stop playing but don’t leave (sorry I can’t cite the source, but I’ve seen stats like this).
#2 - Empire Avenue changes its method of gathering network activity and calculating the results in the form of Earnings. Sometimes these changes can have serious adverse effects as was noted by Paul Steinbruek when a change sent his network activity down. I’ve found the EA discounting mechanism to be brutal.
#3 - For some ridiculous reason, the nightly Earnings shown to you is not the fully adjusted number shown to investors. This irritates me to no end.
#4 - Empire Avenue does not appear to have a robust testing lab. I say this because the technical problems I have using Internet Explorer are many.
I have been fascinated by Empire Avenue, but it’s like a moth to the flame. I’ve endured my newbie phase and fallen prey to my own ignorance of the game. However, I am Experience Level 8 now, an “Analyst” and I’ve learned enough to map out a rigorous strategy now. And I’ve written down these observsations because I want to have them here to remind me as I move forward.
I’ll map out my strategy in Part 2, but here is my guiding principle:
I do missions because I want to help you and if I perform a Mission for you, you have the right to tell me how to do that job. However, if you invest in me, you shouldn’t expect have the right to tell me how to invest.