David Gosse’s initial thoughts on Empire Avenue

Empire Avenue is a new social media authority ranking website. Like Klout, Empire Ave assigns a score to each user, in this case a stock price, and that score rises based on the user’s total social media participation on the major social networks like Facebook and Twitter. The more active/engaged the user is, the more fellow users feel your stock price will rise. As stock prices rise, wealth is created by users who hold the shares. My profile is GOSSE.

Although the system is gamey and games tend to fade in interest over time, I personally believe that EA will overcome the flaws of an ego-driven, who is popular who is not popular game and turn EA into a truly valuable authority reference system. A simple case-in-point, EA helps guide users to setup and be active on very specific social networks that are a strong signal on the social web. Many users might be active on Twitter and Facebook, but not on photo sharing mobile apps as an example. As mobile photo and video apps grow in popularity, their activity/participation can greatly impact your social authority. I believe the simple element that EA helps guide users to know what social networks most impact your social authority will be invaluable over time as the matrix grows and is refined. There are simply too many social networks for each user to actively participate in, so channeling efforts into the most meaningful ones is important to know.

Policing users who try to “rig” the system and overly inflate their stock price (score) will be a big challenge. Sadly, many users spend huge amounts of time working on artificially inflating their score when they could channel that same effort into actually participating and engaging on the main social networks that influence your EA stock price. Ideally there needs to be a mental shift or understanding from users that in life, those who are really popular or authoritative, are the ones who focus on true participation instead of short-cuts. If EA can tune their algorithms to truly reward real participation vs. gamed participation, the share price valuation could be a very valuable authority signal.

Give Empire Ave a try. It is worth understanding how development logic is evolving in the web reputation management space. I personally find it fascinating to see what motivates users to spend time on a new social network. There is only so much engagement bandwidth that each user can allocate in their day, and anything that is gaining traction in the crowded social space is worth looking at. Although far from perfect, I think EA has definitely produced something that’s gaining the attention of some very authoritative socialites such as Chris Pirillo, Robert Scoble, Jeremiah Owyang and brands such as Xbox, Ford, Intel and many others.

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