What is Empire Avenue Worth?

Empire Avenue 404 error The past year in social media has brought some landmark changes in the technology landscape.

Facebook going public, was the biggest.

It was the most talked about IPO in history, according to HighBeam Research.

Then there was the rise, and eventual sale, of the photography app Instagram to Facebook for a reported 1 billion dollars.

The climate for social media in the technology industry has never looked so bright. Many great sites exist with lots of potential, but today I’d like to shine a light on Empire Avenue.

Avenue of the Empire

Empire Avenue is a social network that uses stock market simulation to allow users to buy and sell shares of people and websites. 

It was started in February 2010 as an invitation-only closed beta. It later launched to the public in July 2010.

A post from their blog in January 2010 stated:

By now it should be obvious that when we talk about “revolutionizing online advertising” with Empire Avenue, we are talking about creating a new advertising network. But unlike other advertising networks, we want to take advantage of the social networking and content creation revolution that is happening on the Internet. The revolution, after all, is about and fuelled by you with your Facebook accounts, Twitter updates, YouTube videos and more. Regular Internet users (no matter what media companies might say to the contrary) are now the primary movers and shakers of the online world. So no surprise that when it comes to advertising, we want you to be the one that benefits. We want you to have and take control. We want you to have fun!

Empire Avenue Starting out with these lofty aspirations the website had lots of work to do, and they did it well for a long time.

This blogger has played the game for well over a year, and loved it. It has opened up countless new business connections and introduced me to many new opportunities.

I’m the exception though, not the rule. Most people either don’t understand how to play, or get bored, or don’t have time, and quite pretty early on after signing up. A major issue if you ask me, but no one has.

The Vision Thing

I won’t go into the in’s and out’s of the technical aspect of the game, but I do want to talk about it’s vision.

Imagine having a website where people actually wanted to link all their social media accounts to it.

It’s not just linking Facebook, so you can use an app once and then unhooking it. It’s linking Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin, WordPress, and any blogs you have.

Not just linking them, but making sure the stay linked, and that you’re active on them. That is something else I haven’t mentioned. The site measures you activity on each network on a daily basis. Really makes you take a hard look at your content strategy, numbers don’t lie. Sounds like a gold mine doesn’t it?

How Much is That StartUp in the Window? 

So then what’s the problem? It should be worth millions right? Well, technically speaking, yes.

Depending on who you talk to, some say the site is struggling for cash. Regardless of that, one thing is clear. No matter how much potential this site has to be monetized, it’s not going to happen until someone takes the reigns and realizes that the people who play the game are it’s biggest assets.

There have been many upset because of ‘spam’ affiliated with the site. That is true, but nothing that can’t be corrected.

What can they do to keep people interested?

One reason Instagram sold for so much money was because of traffic. The companies latest projection says they will have 100 million users by October 2012.

One reason things like Instagram become so hot, is that when new people sign up, they also don’t leave. They  may not stay active all they time, but they aren’t closing their accounts like the do on Empire Avenue.

Everything has worth. Worth is usually based on supply and demand. When talking about technology it can be a little more complicated than that, but the basic principal’s still apply.

My father is a mule trader, seriously, and he always says that anything is always worth whatever you can get out of it. That’s true as well.

The question is:

  • What can be gotten out of Empire Avenue?
  • What’s their next move?

I don’t know, but I’m anxious to hear what you think.

  • http://twitter.com/gregbepper Greg Bepper

     Retention is certainly the key here. The social & self promotion has huge potential. BUT once you settle into ‘the game’ itself it does become a bit boring just buying shares everyday. It now needs a new set of goals to retain interest.
    Cheers M8