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Empire Avenue: What My Stock Price Doesn’t Tell You

by Mike Newton on April 23rd, 2011

Empire Avnue Logo

Two days ago I read a blog post by Jeremiah Owyang about what could be the next major social media platform–Empire Avenue.

For the uninitiated, Empire Avenue is a stock market where you trade in what some are calling social currency.  Basically, you link any one or all of the five major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and LinkedIn), and the game ascribes you a “stock price” based on your number of followers and a number of other things (if you’re interested in learning more about the mechanics of these calculations, check out Robert Scoble’s interview with the CEO here).

Once you’re in the game, people will buy and sell your stock for various reasons, hoping that they can either turn it around for a quick profit or hold onto it for dividends.  This is all very fun and exciting, but what’s the big deal?

Clawing My Way To The Top

I joined Empire Avenue and opened at about 11 “eaves” and some change per share.  I don’t have the same kind of social capital as many of the industry heavyweights, and that means that I didn’t I didn’t benefit from a higher IPO nor did I have people rushing to buy me up as soon as I signed up.  But since that time 48 hours ago, I’ve grown well over 100% every day and I’m now resting at 17.23 eaves per share.

That sounds great and all, but what does any of it mean?  Nothing really.

You see, all of that stuff is just the game.  It’s dollars and cents, net worth and dividends per share, luxury virtual goods, and none of it really translates to anything if that’s all you get out of it.  For many, the real value of the game comes from the interaction and the truly social nature of the game.

It’s Not About The Bottom Line

Here’s what my stock price doesn’t tell you:

It doesn’t tell you about all the people I’ve met.  It doesn’t tell you about the connections I’ve made.  It doesn’t tell you about the new group of very smart and talented people I get to interact with (go #socialempire!).  It doesn’t tell you that I’ve had the chance to rub elbows with some very interesting and very cool people; the kind of people I would probably never know otherwise.  It doesn’t tell you that I’m on the front edge of building something great.

It doesn’t tell you that 48 hours ago, none of these people had any idea who I was.  As a newly graduated college student trying to break into the social media industry, all of that is worth more than my stock price will ever convey.

Planning an IPO?

If you want some more information about Empire Avenue, check out Jeremiah Owyang’s blog post and scroll to the bottom.  He has some great posts written by other players that can tell you a lot about the game and what it means to the industry.

If you join Empire Avenue, let me know!  You can find my profile here: (e)MIKENEWT.  Also, share your questions, comments, thoughts, and anything else you’ve got in the comments below!

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