Friday, May 18, 2012

We gonna rock down to Empire Avenue / And then we'll take it higher ...

It seems to be an unwritten rule of Empire Avenue that, if you're going to play, after a while you need to write a How To WIN At Empire Avenue post. So, this is mine. Except, I can't tell you how to win, only how I enjoy playing.

If you're trying to be King or Queen of SEO and drive massive traffic around, there are folks there who can help you, but I'm not one of them. If you want to make a few quality connections, play a game that doesn't require a huge amount of time to derive satisfaction from, and is only as social as you want it to be, then EAv may, just may, be for you.

If you haven't seen it, you are probably wondering what it is. It styles itself as a virtual stock market for people who do social media of one form or another, and generally more than one form. It's really not a stock market though, even if it looks a lot like one in spots. Sure, you buy and sell (but I don't recommend selling, we'll come to that later) and earn dividends on your holdings like you would on equities but the pricing isn't really market driven.

Buys increase and sells decrease your stock's price, but your price is also influenced by your holdings and activity. I read somewhere early on that you shouldn't let EA automatically release more shares of your stock due to dilutive effect and that sounded reasonable, more of something means each unit will cost less, right? Supply and demand is Econ 100 ... but that's not at all how EAv works. You want to keep selling and let EAv release more and more for other players to buy, that will only help you. If people can't buy you because all your shares are held, that will hinder your growth.

OK, so why even grow? What the point of the whole thing?  Just as in the real world it's all about the benjamins, on EA it's all about the eaves -- the virtual currency of EA. Eaves are what you buy stock with. Eaves let you buy upgrades so you can buy more of the stocks you like and do other neat things every now and again in EA's marketplace. Eaves also allow you to buy missions (but not too soon), and this is where it gets interesting and can have an impact outside the game on your social properties. You can offer missions to ask people to do things like click on a link to your blog and leave a comment, or RT for you, or watch a YouTube video. They have incentive to do these things so they can earn eaves for completing your mission.

Sound a little fishy at this point? Why buy someone's click? Don't people say they'll do something and then not do it?  As for the last, yes, they sometimes do -- but there are ways you can minimize that -- and yes it is a little like bribery. Isn't all advertising though? Your social fortune will still rise or fall based on your content and how much people like or dislike interacting with you. EA is just another way to say, "Hey, did you know I'm here?"

Mission-scammers are one of the things I dislike most about EA. But, if you offer decent missions,  and don't write a laundry list of things for people to do for some pittance, folks are generally going to give you a shot and do something small for healthy dose of eaves.

If you have just gotten started, or about to start (use my referral, if you don't mind!) there are few things I would recommend to help you get going and not get discouraged the first time you're sold and your price starts dropping:

Missions weren't available when I started, I wish they had been. Do them, but don't start running them right away. Use your eaves to invest. Missions to invest in people are great deals. Build your portfolio and set yourself up for future earnings without spending an eave.

Don't take missions you don't have any intention of completing. You can check the link before completing the mission. If somebody is asking you to share something your social network connections aren't going to like, then just skip it. There's plenty of missions. And, obviously, check the best paying missions first.

Invest in a mix of your fellow newbies and in stocks that pay high dividends. Buy and hold. If you sell a stock when it's doubled or tripled since you're initial buy, you'd be a fool to sell it, it's going to keep going up  and you're selling not only it's current value but it's future increased and dividends. (OK, so some people quit and their stocks plummet -- if someone disappears for a month or more and the stock is in a death spiral you're not going to lose anything by selling. Just don't jump the gun and sell a stock because it declined two days in a row. People go on vacations and come back.)

If someone says, "buy me back or I'm going to sell you," your best bet is to ignore them and just look at their dividends. If you should have been holding them, then buy them because it's good for your portfolio. If your eaves are better spent somewhere else, take the hit when they sell and forget about it. Someone who plays that way probably isn't going to be a good connection for you anyways.

Buying back. This is a tough one. I really want to buy back everyone who holds my shares, and I'm working on matching or at least maxing in all my shareholders. However, you're going to slow your growth down in you buy a bunch of .10 avg. daily div shares just be a good buy-backer. Get good value and build your war chest, then circle back and buy back your less valuable shareholders.

Engage. Endorse peoples' blogs. If somebody runs a mission that pays well and was worthy your time, make sure to thank them for it.

Be prepared for the day a bunch of the big timers who bought 200 shares of you when you were new (and cheap) sell them off. It's going to drive your price down and it doesn't mean your stock is going to die. They'll buy you back when you're rising again. You'll see.

Basically, if you play with integrity, and interact with others who are doing so, you'll have fun driving some traffic to your site(s).

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