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  • A Delicate Dance: Building Wealth on Empire Avenue

    Incentivized networking is a tricky business. Part of the beautiful complexity in Empire Avenue’s unique social ecosystem is that for a user to progress in a meaningful way they must build wealth. There are any number of ways to accumulate eavs on Empire Avenue. Depending on your disposition you might focus on promoting yourself and the sale of your own shares, or invest in top earners building your daily dividends and growing your investments in others. Maybe you will buy eavs directly from the website or organize reciprocal purchasing schemes and promotions, navigate the ebbs and flows of the new arrivals lists or more likely a tailored combination including some or all of the above. Ultimately we each decide what investment strategy suits us and our goals best whether those goals are social, professional or otherwise.

    As each share is purchased on the Ave we also gamble our eavs on an opportunity. It’s up to each of us to find the value or not in those opportunities, be it within the framework of the game or beyond. These opportunities can take many forms.  Sometimes they foster new connections as friendships or advocates, the discovery of meaningful content, monetary returns on one’s investment or even simply provide the foundation for future dialogue but when no connection is made and no value is found in the investment the question becomes: “Should i sell?”

    Each person or organization will set their own guidelines by which they engage on Empire Avenue but to grow within the game one thing remains constant: Making more connections means accumulating and spreading wealth. You can not buy more shares if you do not have more eavs, and so at times each user will ask themselves by what standards our portfolios are governed. If, by these standards, some investments are found wanting then we must decide whether we will shed them to invest in those who can help us form new connections and expand our social empires.

    As you accumulate and reinvest your wealth you also empower others to do the same, building meaningful connections along the way.

    Empire Avenue demands that we balance our social interaction with that of the gaming elements so that we can make the most of the experience. Sometimes that means buying and holding shares indefinitely, while other times it means shedding shares in those with whom you’ve not connected, or who are not engaging in the game any longer.

    It’s been said that ‘Buy is the new Like’, but sell does not have to mean dislike. Rather, treat each investment as if you have planted a mystery seedling. Some might grow into great trees providing bountiful crops year after year while others you will harvest for their seeds — seeds to be replanted, eavs to be reinvested.

    An Open Letter to My Investors

    Thank you all for having bought into my zany empire, be it only temporarily or for the long term.

    Doing well on the wealth side of the game can be a double edged sword. There comes a point where there are just not enough hours in a day, let alone a work day, to connect with every individual i have the pleasure of investing in. I do my best to respond to comments on my feed but often as fast as they appear they are shuffled out of view. I’ve had the good fortune of connecting with a number of you, and hope to connect with many more for many years into the future. More recently, it has come to my attention that my falling value had become a topic of interest and some contention on the ave.

    First… To those who have sold or intend to sell me: no worries!

    If you only bought me because i was the value leader for a period, or because of my formerly soaring ROI, then truth be told you are well served to sell and reinvest in other outstanding earners. I’ve always had a spread-the-wealth philosophy and it just so happens that spreading the wealth sometimes includes selling — particularly earlier in one’s game.

    New comers to the ave often jump at buying the value leaders which they later find is not necessarily the best investment strategy. I don’t begrudge anyone their advancement in that aspect of the game. In fact i encourage you to grow and reinvest because as you do so you also empower others to do the same building meaningful connections along the way just as i have with those who have spoke kindly on my behalf in this debate. Empire Avenue demands that we balance our social interaction with that of the gaming elements which is a lot easier for someone with a load of eavs to spread around like Santa Clause.

    Now, to address the adjustment

    .
    It started with a holiday but the reason for my recent value adjustment is three-fold. There were a few mechanisms by which i became the value leader on Empire Avenue and which ultimately led to this adjustment.

    First, i was championing a cause on Facebook that was garnering substantial media attention. Not long ago news broke of 100 healthy sled dogs slaughtered by an irresponsible tour operator near my home city. Myself, my team and some others launched a boycott, organized dozens of walks and vigils around the world to bring attention to these action and went on to help in successfully petitioning our Provincial government to enact the strictest animal abuse laws in our country. This Facebook page was 50,000 members strong, quite active and connected to my Empire Avenue account.

    There came a point where Facebook invalidated my EAv connection and i was notified that i should reconnect it. Truthfully, i never much cared for leading the value board. It gets nasty up there… some take it very seriously. I reconnected my previous, personal, Facebook page to my account opting to revert to a slightly more laid-back Empire.

    Secondly, some of you might have read about an adjustment that was made to the evaluation (and dividend payouts) of blogs connected to Empire Avenue not long ago. Previously, blogs counted much more towards someone’s dividend payouts. I’m a fairly active micro and photo blogger which led to high dividends under the previous structure. The adjusted evaluations do not favor me the same way… but then, these markers have changed a number of times. I’m sure we’ll see them change again as Empire Ave continues to perfect their algorithms. Which brings us to the last of the three reasons for my adjustment…

    As you can tell by my Share Price Breakdown my evaluation leans heavily towards my EAv network and share sales. The majority of my value is produced by the grace of those who invest in me. Many buy my shares in reciprocation when i buy them. At certain points, such as this one, the very busy Empire Ave team has been forced to play catchup with the upgrades and achievements that i require to continue to invest in others. As i max out in the number of investments i can make so to does that reciprocation falter. With my inability to invest in others, others are less empowered to invest back in me and that leads to a decline in the number of shares i sell. Supply and demand being the cruel mistress that she is, i go for a bit of a ride through these times.

    I hope that sheds some light on my revaluation. Whether you are a buy/hold or transient investor i thank you all the same and welcome you to play your game, be it to make new and meaningful connections, conquer the leader boards, or a mixture of the two.

    Real People of EAv: A 3-day Informal ‘Boardroom’ Bender in YYJ

    The after picture was not so pretty..

    Left: (e)TOM, Center-Back: (e)JOSH, Front: (e)CANDY, Right: Lyndall

    (e)PIRILLO – A New Leader Emerges

    Have you bought (e)PIRILLO yet? Because… you really should before Chris becomes the new #1

    What will i do when i become #2? I’m thinking of taking up race car driving, or hot air ballooning. That’s what multi-millionaires do in their off time, right? I happily pass the target, i mean crown, to Mr. Chris Pirillo.

    (e)JOSH out!

    I plan to let my value go through a bit of a reevaluation over the next week or two. It may see me slip a couple of spots on the leader board but i will come out on the other side more stable and a better investment than ever :)

    Is it first in here… or is it just me? ;)

    Update: Since this time i’ve put some effort into adjusting my share value for long term stability — for the sake of my many investors. It was a lot of fun ruling the leader boards for a time (particularly as it introduced me to a lot of cool people) and unseating some of the gamers up there but truth be told… there are some who just take this quantification of their online value far too seriously… they get nasty, actively encourage others to sell those above them, etc, and frankly: that’s not for me :) — Happy to see Chris Pirillo take the top spot for the time being. He’s been a great ambassador for the site and community so far!

    I’ve said before that when it comes to #EAv, and short of those few who are dishonest or deceitful in their dealings, we should not hate the player but rather play our own game. Be that game socializing, content discovery, climbing leader boards, or otherwise. As with all things in life you get out of it what you put in — by setting the same standards for myself that i expect from others i’ve gained more valued connections, acquaintances and insights than i care to number.

    * now, please skip if you do not enjoy shameless bragging ;) *

    Goals

    ✔ 1st in wealth

    ✔ 1st in share price, 1st to break 150/share (among other numbers)

    ✔ 1st in portfolio value

    ✔ most endorsed blog

    ✔ most recommended stock / influencer

    ✔ most shareholders

    ✔ most shares sold / 1st to 200k, 225k, etc shares sold

    ✔ most tweeted / shared profile

    ✔ CEO, President and CFO of eavs index

    ✔ 1st to 1 million, 5 million, 10 million, 25 million, 50 Million, etc

    ✔ last in humility

    what will be next? Probably some time off SM. :

    An Empire of Awesome

    When i started on EAv, one of the first ads i ran was: “The great thing about Empire Ave is that i finally know what i am worth as a human being!”. It was a joke of course… but it set the stage for what i would come to realize which is that the real lesson i have learned on Empire Avenue is about the worth and good nature of strangers.

    It’s been some time since i posted to the JT&T blog. In fact, pretty much since i retired from blogging in the post below. So i wanted to drop in with a post to discuss what i’ve been up to on Empire Ave since then. It’s been interesting!

    Since we last spoke the site has grown and the community has matured. While Empire Avenue has worked diligently to snuff out any and all exploits (which have become fewer and further between through the Beta), the community has expanded by leaps and bounds. Gamers and socialites, bloggers, podcasters and otherwise have found much common ground. The lines between these dispositions have been blurred to the credit of the entire community and many unlikely connections have flourished.

    With this growth has come some changing of the guard. While fantastic contributors like (e)RZR have scaled back their involvement others such as (e)POD101 have worked to fill the gap. Many strong communities and groups have emerged to service the needs of any and all variety of influencer while a plethora of fantastic scripts and applications have rolled out much to the delight of the entire Empireverse. We’ve lost a few valued members and gained many more — the sun continues to rise and the seasons change.

    I continue to enjoy my front row seat for what the EAv team is building but enough about that… let’s talk eavs!

    Goals

    My goals on Empire Ave started quite modest. To make it into the top ten if just for a moment as i had in the Friends & Family Closed beta, to climb the wealth leader board, to connect with cool new people and share ideas… the accomplishments I’ve realized have far exceeded my ambitions. Though, not by my own doing but by the grace of others. Today i hit probably the most notable milestone of my yet-short Empire Ave career: The Century Club. That is, my share value exceeded 100 eavs per unit. What brought me there was not a path i had anticipated even a month ago. So how’d it happen? Settle down spaz, i’m getting to that. :)

    A few weeks back i noticed that i was gaining about .4 per day on average, due primarily to the purchases of others. I was selling around 2000 shares per day, often to those whom i was investing in for my own reasons. I did some rough math and concluded that my intrinsic value, based on outstanding shares and the current market makers, exceeded even those at the top of the value leader boards and so i realized i could make it to the milestone of 100/share — a value i had no ambition to achieve previously. Before i knew it i found myself approaching 90 and the gauntlet was indeed set.

    A wrench was thrown into my plans when Empire Avenue rolled back restrictions on investing in new influencers (Something i had asked for many times, ironically!). This change meant i would interact through buying shares with individuals less often. Twice i would buy someone (200, than another 200 to max out at 400) rather than up to six times through the previous increments (50, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400). I could have continued to invest at a rate of 50 shares per investment but who am i kidding? I’m an investor first on Empire Avenue, a value-adder second. Coupled with the physiological impact of a share value over 90/unit as well as more options for established investors i found myself with far less purchases of my shares rolling in. Where i had been reliably selling 2000-2500 per day, it dropped almost immediately to 1000 – 2000.

    Enter: many awesome influencers.

    I mentioned earlier that i could not have reached 100 on my own. By Empire Avenue standards i am not a particularly social person. I form relationships with a handful of people who i find interesting, funny or just all around friendly and maintain those rather than seeking out more. I’ve been lucky in that some others have found me, too. These people have been instrumental in helping me to achieve the lofty goal of 100 eavs per share. Without them there is simply no way i would have made it there. They are of all nationalities, creeds, backgrounds and political affiliations. Some are like-minded while others digress considerably from my own opinions or dispositions but they all have one thing in common: They are good people. Before i wrap this up, i would like to take this opportunity to single some out:

    First and foremost, my sisters and brothers from other mothers in the Super Secret Awesome Group (SSAG). This is a private community so people who are not members may not know: You will never find a better or more diverse group of amigos on the social web. 100% supportive of one another and with only good intentions, there is not a mean bone in this entire community. They thumb’d me up, they liked my Facebook garbage, retweeted my Twitter nonsense, commented on my walls, @messaged me and did everything else they could to help a brother get his Benjamin. Holla SSAG, in no particular order:

    (e)MERLIN67 (e)21GUNS (e)CMCG (e)EHLEN (e)REIGN (e)WOOF (e)ZOD (e)DREVIL (e)CAG (e)COLINEAGLES (e)XINE (e)LADYHARDCORE (e)KT1018 (e)POD101 (e)VTECH (e)SKEWER (e)RMN (e)PWND (e)WRITER (e)BOARDWALK (e)JOHNFMOORE (e)HMMM (e)DARING (e)COMEDY (e)KILOTR (e)PATMAN023 (e)ANIME (e)NRMM (e)MIKBRA (e)NICO

    There were some super awesome folks who are not members of SSAG who have been a HUGE help too with thumbs, twitter chats, and otherwise –they deserve equal thanks:

    (e)MIMI (e)OKMMH @SMOODLE and (e)STACYN

    Also, i’d like to thank everyone who pitched in in the final push to 100 including: (e)JKW (e)THO (e)ALLIE (e)BLKDK (e)ROTFH (e)L33T (e)HNC (e)MYEMPIRE (e)SCUBADIVING (e)ANGLER (e)LANCETAY  (e)TISIENPO (e)KATELYN and (e)DAVERY as well as singling out the three people who pushed me over the top in a 3-way tie: (e)TUX191 (e)POD101 and (e)THO. Moreover, i need to thank the shadowy group known only as Ω, for orchestrating my entire rise to fame/infamy on Empire Avenue. :)

    Lastly, thanks to (e)DUPS and co for building a place for us all to have met. Keep up the wicked work fellas. (tickers were all off the top of my head so hopefully i didn’t miss anyone but if i did… SPEAK UP :)


    PS: It seems crass to end by bragging… but if you’ve stuck with me through this entire peice of back-slapping then i bet i won’t lose you with one sentence to go — am i right? ;)   In addition to reaching the 100/unit share price, a wonderful milestone, i also hit 20-million in wealth today. Awesome. Thanks again, everyone.

    PPS: No idea why some tickers are linking while others are not. Guess we all just have to deal with it. :)

    DREVIL

    Further Exploit Wrangling

    Empire Ave has continued their efforts to bring a competitive but fair networking + gaming experience to all users. Word on the ave today is that there are some new selling regulations in play that are aimed at stopping coordinated group sales of influencers. These sales are often aimed at tanking those stocks or simply exploiting them for more value than an objective observer would consider legitimate. Moreover, these changes do much to address the more natural, non-manipulative, sell-off landslides that can and do also occur.

    I have yet to encounter the regulation myself but will likely go into further detail about how it affects my engagement and play as i continue to enjoy the Empire experience. This change represents a significant, and likely very measured, shift from gaming to content and social on the part of Empire Ave. Similar to the change made to regulate the sale of new people on the Ave, i think that one wonderful side effect of this change will be that many users will now buy more influencers as to not tie up too much wealth in any one individual. That means more connections, more engagement and more investment. Wins all around :)

    For proactively addressing exploits and exploiters… EA gets nine thumbs-up out of a possible eleven. Those other three thumbs called in sick today… (don’t worry, that’s totally not going into my act)

    Noteable quotes from around EA:

    “Warning to those that participated in “Cartels” you will be receiving warnings from us soon, any future attempts will meet with action #EAv
    - @Dups / (e)Dups

    “Shares are dropping because too much uncontrolled selling to manipulate markets (…)”
    - @EmpireAve

    “This controls the “dropping like a rock” — those rapid drops and related exploits are what we’re addressing with this.”
    - @EmpireAve

    “First and foremost, Empire Avenue is a social site and selling large amounts of shares can result in “revenge sells” and other tactics which are not within the spirit of Empire Avenue.”
    - EAv Blog Post

    “Coordinated group selling is not something we tolerate. While the changes we are implementing will lessen the impact we will also take action (which may include suspension or banning) against those that participate in such coordinated activity.”
    - EAv Blog Post

    “Does it cut down some on the game aspect? Yes. Does it make Empire Avenue more meaningful? Yes. It’s a good thing.”

    - (e)SHARE

    “Folks, @EmpireAve has game mechanics & behaviour yet is much more. If you just play the ‘game’ you could be missing out.”
    - @bgrier / (e)BGRIER

    Exploit Quashed

    Good news from Empire Ave. They have institute a new regulation that prevents people from exploiting inactive accounts. While it may not help active players who’s stocks are used in this way it will go a long way towards preventing further abuse from going unnoticed while keeping the market as dynamic and inclusive as possible. Check out the blog post on the EA blog, linked below.

    There has been some public and private debate between users who participate in these exploits and victims of the same on whether ‘flipping’ stocks in this way constitutes exploiting the game, or simply aggressive gaming. Empire Ave has been consistent in their contention that it is exploitative, and have moved to limit the availability of this cheat. EA continues to evolve the site, regulations and otherwise to bring users a wicked-awesome and fun networking + game experience and this is just one more step towards that ultimate goal.

    Check out the post, from Empire Avenue.

    Quotes relating to exploiting accounts for unfair or unwarranted gains:

    “We are committed to preventing people using the site to promote unethical behaviour or adversely affect other Influencers on Empire Avenue and we will continue to take whatever action is necessary to stop it.” – Empire Ave

    “@sharedeck In an ideal world we would not need this, but obviously people do not wish to play fair :( ” – @DUPS / (e)DUPS

    Stocksploitation III: The Boiler Room

    It can’t all be #hottom and picks… sometimes i like to talk strategy too. :)

    It has been a couple weeks since the Stocksploitation and Stocksploitation II pieces. Like many of you i’ve continued to watch the buying trends on EA, both positive and exploitative, and I’d like to give people a visceral idea of how these manipulations play out for the victim. My purpose is to give you pause to consider how you play your game, and how you engage with people on Empire Avenue. To that end and for your consideration, i give you Stocksploitation III: The Boiler Room.

    It Begins With the Buy

    It begins, perhaps, as any other stock tip between Influencers. The user is invested in heavily, to the tune of 1600 shares, by three (or four depending how you count the 800 shares bought by one influencer using two accounts) highly aggressive gamers. Did they plan to flip this user ahead of time? No one looking in could really say, all three of these influencers share a common and particularly aggressive private community.

    Click to View

    Then There’s the Pick

    Members of this group went on to ‘pick’ this stock over twitter and otherwise. A number of other influencers buy smaller lots per this recommendation or the incredible, all-be-them illogical, gains the target has made in the day. The gains on this stock had already occurred mind you, those buying in after the fact were simply further fueling the wealth of those who would later sell off, and walk away with a profit.

    Click to View

    And finally, the Rub

    The next day, 200 shares are shed — 100 at a time by the user (and group leader/admin) participating with two accounts. A few hours later, a further 1000 shares are sold off by all three involved for a total of approximately -2.1 points and further triggering an additional loss of -1 point. When the dust had settled… the victims of this maneuver were those who invested on the recommendation of the others who subsequently sold all their shares, and of course (e)NMFG who saw a -3.348 points for the day. This all occurred in less than 20 hours.

    Click to View

    A few more images…

    What i Took From This…

    1. Carefully consider who you take stock tips from, do they have your best interest in mind? Will they pick and then ditch, leaving you in the red on that investment?
    2. Don’t want this happening to you? I block users who’s game play rubs me wrong, or whom i view as exploitative of others. Consequently, i’ve sold and blocked this entire group from buying my shares.
    3. Consider how you want to engage with others on Empire Ave. Do you want to be positive, or negative? Engaging or exploitative? Choose carefully — this is a community and karma has a way of making everything right in the end.

    I’m interested in your comments and thoughts.

    Evening Update: A number of you let us know that you rushed out and bought up a large number of (e)NMFG shares after this blog post. You guys rock. My screens also show that two of the individuals involved in this flip have bought back into the influencer in question, proving that it’s never too late to grow a conscience. :)

    Update 2: Wanted to avoid getting back into it but since folks keep asking, yes — the community/game-clan caught cheating is ‘The Cabal’ aka [X].  As i understand it, a number of these people have been warned about their behavior by Empire Avenue. At least one has quit in the wake of being caught.

    Breaking News (no, not really)

    An anonymous sender has submit the very latest in #hottom technology. Stare into the following image and feel your heart race, your blood thin, arm numb… and other miscellaneous symptoms of cardiac arrest.

    Behold, #HOTTOM! (aka (e)TOM, aka @EvolveTom)

    HOTTOM