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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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.
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?
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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16 6 / 2012
Day 66: Returning Sunday
Sunday afternoon my “Vacation” officially ends. I’m not sure exactly what time I go off vacation mode due to unclear instructions from Empire Avenue, but I’ll start trying to push account activity beginning tomorrow morning.
Lessons Learned: When I began playing Empire Avenue I found myself swept away, like in a race. Seemingly every day I found more things that needed my attention and action, and by the time I pushed the “Vacation” button, EA activity was becoming unmanageable for me.
My methods for handling EA engagement had been overrun, but worse, EA activity was draining time from the content I want to create. And basically, that content is what drives my network activity. So, it was a downward spiral.
During the past week I’ve reassessed my involvement in all my projects and activities. The reassessment was a good exercise and helped me weed out projects and activities that are overreaches. I even put my novel on hold till 2013, put I’ll probably fire off a related story from time to time.
Reprogramming: I’ve made adjustments to enable me to continue including Empire Avenue in my daily activities. Here’s what I’ve come up with for now:
- Limiting my investing to four specific days of the week.
- Increasing content delivery to increase network activity.
- Add more inter-connectivity between networks.
- Reduce daily Missions by half, if possible.
- And soon, another connection I’m still fiddling with.
Expected Outcome: Some of the changes I’ve making should begin generating more network activity. However, reducing the number of Missions I perform will take some tweaking to find a good balance; so, this is a little but of an unknown.
I noticed that when (e)LAURIED returned from her vacation (although I’m not sure she used an EA Vacation) there was a brief dip while she began regenerating her network activity and earnings, so I’m assume my shares & dividends will dip briefly. However, my immediate goal is to generate activity & earnings to enable dividends in excess of 1.20 Eaves.
Thank You: I didn’t know what to expect when I bought this “Vacation” but I was worried that it could be a real setback to the progress of my shares. So, thank you to shareholders who have not sold. Thank you to the shareholders and friends who’ve given me advice, and special thanks to Gregory Jackson who introduced me to some simplified investing techniques.
10 6 / 2012
Day 60: Reassessing & Reprogramming.
Today I sent a notice to shareholders that I’ve purchased a “7-Day Vacation” which prevents changes in share price from lack of activity. I’ve had a good run but demands on my time have made me realize I need freeze everything in place while I reassess.
“I’m taking a Vacation break. Share prices are fixed at currently level and my understanding is no dividends will be paid. I’m doing this to give me time to re-assess my level of participation in Empire Avenue and to resolve some technical problems.
“IMPORTANT: I ask investors who are primarily invested in my shares dividend/ROI to consider selling during this 7-day vacation while price is fixed.
“Last Thursday my networking activity, including missions, earnings and investment activity peaked. That would have been good but the experience was excruciating due to severe problems related to recent upgrade to IE 9 browser. Since then I’ve needed to shift my focus for a few days and in those days my dividend slipped below 1.00e this morning.
“After I resolve the browser issues, I expect to be making changes. I’ll be changing how I manage investments, plus how I generate my network activity. I don’t know exactly what those changes will be yet and I can’t estimate future network activity, earning and dividends. However, I do expect there’ll be a dip as when I re-engage and introduce changes.”
The demands on my time from Empire Avenue and my many other projects is forcing me to re-assess how I handle all of those projects.
Most troubling to me is the fast that my blogs are receiving a small percentage of the time needed to shape them into what I want them to be. So going forward, I need to focus on this first.
Also troubling is the increasing time it takes to review my investments in the manner I’d like to, with personal attention to each one. I was ok managing 200 shareholders but 400 is, well, twice that amount and that means twice the activity (actually more).
I think most people in Empire Avenue have faced the issues I’m facing and have found solutions or left. I don’t plan to leave so I need to find some solutions. Thanks to various groups I’ve been given access to FB group files, blogs and really a wealth of information. I’ll be looking at this information for guidance.
09 6 / 2012
Day 59: Catching Up
In the past few weeks my shareholder base has more than doubled. This has put my “interpersonl system” to the test and it failed. I’m not satisfied with what I’ve been able to reciprocate, not to the extent I would like to. I continue to feel that I’m a day late and dollar short on catching up with my investors.
One good thing is my daily dividend income, it’s now over 34,000 eaves but my return has dropped a couple clicks though. This income is making it possible for me to add to shares I hold of existing shareholders. It may be of interest, but this past week I sold the last of investments where there was no reciprocation.
I continue to dabble in IPOs but generally sell when when they falter and there’s no reciprocation.
07 6 / 2012
Day 57: Share Price Breakdown
Today my dividend income was over 33,000e, puny by the standard of many, but very useful to me at this stage. My plan is to expand my investment base every day now. I’m not sure it was wise to focus so much attention on my getting dividends but this income is very useful now.
I believe my “Share Price Breakdown” indicates that I’ve not bought enough shares in others and I think my strategy to put my income to work will balance out my chart. We shall see. Here’s my current chart:
The pie is currently broken down 59% “Outstanding Shares” and 41% “Social Media” but I can’t relate that breakdown to any metric I can wrap my head around.
02 6 / 2012
Day 52: The Diff
Dear Diary (*smiles*)… Each morning I awake to a wealth of Eaves from dividends received from the night’s processing, currently over 31,500 Eaves. That would have seemed like a lot of Eaves a few weeks ago but those Eaves don’t go very far at all. Aside from saving for “Bigger Piece of the Pie”, Missions and purchases of high yielding shares, I am confronted with pressure to narrow The Diff with ever shareholder.
The Diff: The Diff is the difference between the shares my shareholders hold in me and shares I hold in them.
No-Matching Strategy: There is no requirement for closing the Diff by Matching. However, there seem to be a lot of players whose have an expectation of share matching, either all or in part. So, if you don’t match what they’ve bought into your shares, then they may feel this shows disinterest. I don’t know for certain, but I know what I see. And I do know I feel the pressure to close the gap, especially when someone invests 800 shares in me and all I can manage is 25 shares in them.
Strategy of Reciprocation: My strategy isn’t based on Matching, but it does focus on Reciprocation. The investments I make are focused on adding shares that grow the daily dividends I receive, while also building my social network. At the moment, I have a wealth of investment choices that don’t require Matching, but I can see that if my portfolio grows very large, I may have to add Matching to the mix.
Pressure of The Diff: Every day I get new shareholders buying my shares. Even if I reinvest all the Eaves they invest in me (for anyone reading this who doesn’t know, I receive only 10% of what is invested), I still have a 90% Diff. This instant Diff creates a lot of pressure.
Until I find a way to automate my ideas about reciprocation, I’ll still evaluate every new shareholder on an individual basis. I’ll still seek to find a balance between narrorwing the Diff and Reciprocation. And that’s all well and good to say, but I still feel the pressure of The Diff in much the same way I feel unsettled by selling any person’s shares. No matter how you spin it, the stocks are people.
Each day, my strategy seems to become more complex as the nuances of the game continue to reveal themselves to me. I can’t wait to look back on these entries in a year.