Friday, May 6, 2011

If Twitter can break the news, can Empire Avenue make the people behind the news?

Every time a major event takes place in the world surpassing the normal news cycle, social media is the story behind the story and Twitter has the lead role on stage.  Every time the world turns to Twitter to watch a revolution in the Middle East or react to the news of Osama Bin Laden's capture and death at the hands of US Seals (also first leaked on Twitter), we improve our understanding of the power of Twitter. How exactly do people use Twitter and what does that mean?

One day, we will hold Empire Avenue in equal regard.  Not for breaking the news, but for making the people behind the news.

Empire Avenue will dilute the power of the mainstream media to create, cultivate, and foist celebrities on us.  (I'm looking at you, TMZ.) Hence forth, that power shifts to the people.  Talk is cheap.  Eaves are valuable.  Best of all, there's no need to cut down trees.

On Empire Avenue, everybody is an "influencer" but on the internet, people are not that easily influenced.

The only way to get ahead and stay ahead is to play the game with a positive attitude and outside the game, just keep doing what you do best.  People will come to you for the meat and potatoes but fall in love with you for the pudding.

How do you use Empire Avenue: to socialize, spam, get rich or get famous?

In the short amount of time I've spent at Empire Avenue, as one of the recent influx of new arrivals in March/April 2011, I have seen lots of spamming, lots of trading, some serious investing and a little bit of socializing.  What good is a social media exchange where people don't socialize?  Yesterday, I discussed a few of my observations and experiences from my first fortnight at Empire Avenue regarding how people interact with each other on the site in my second guest post at Wise Marketing, a U.K. social media blog.

I playfully called my first article on Empire Avenue an Idiot's Guide to Empire Avenue for Day 1 Newbies here on my own irreverent blog.  But the footfall at Wise Marketing proved they are wiser than I because they chose the title of the article from the opening sentence, What is Empire Avenue?

I don't expect the spamming and trading to ever stop or even slow down.  The serious investors are addicted to the game and are promoting the site through personal channels.  No man is an island unto himself.  All you need for a good social gathering is a good host/hostess and there's no dearth of those in the world.

Next, I'd really love to see people use Empire Avenue to legitimately discover and promote people who provide good content.  I know several cult-like internet celebrities are already making waves at Empire Avenue.  (I'm looking at you Guy Kawasaki and Chris Pirillo.) I'm waiting for the day a rank unknown is discovered, appreciated, feted and crowned.  Full disclosure: I have my eye on that crown.

--Update--May 28, 2011--
It appears the link to my second guest post at Wise Marketing is no longer functional.  So I reproduce here the full text of the article for your reading pleasure:
--Full text of my original article--

What good is a social media exchange where people don't socialize?

So we've established Empire Avenue as the place you want to be.  Now the question is what kind of place is it? 

As hundreds of people join every day, new members struggle to make their presence known and attract investors.  Many take the easy path of least effort and quickest returns.  Link dropping and self-whoring is the order of the day on every single chat room and every single community unless one of the strict "seniors" is around to monitor, admonish and blacklist the culprit.  Outside of the sacred shelters known as Team Zen and The [X] Bar, Empire Avenue feels less like a social networking site and more like the messy raging sprawling house party that grew accidentally and unintentionally out of inviting a couple of gals over one night.   

But even within the hallowed grounds, the talk is all shop talk. "What is your take on dividends/share vs share price vs growth?" "How do you use the Twitter Index in relation to the rest of the site?" "(e) XYZ just signed up. He has 92 thousand twitter followers." "(e) EBAY is in the house. 'Nuff said, am I right?" "Lakers is a fake account.  You will be refunded." "I am developing a share management tool to help your portfolio."

Wager a guess which corner of the internet was not buzzing about Osama this week?  Not even the New York City or Government and Politics community!  I was dumbfounded, especially since the majority of active users are Americans.

Didn't anybody join Empire Avenue to seek meaningful connections with other people outside of 200x200 share exchanges?

Thankfully, somebody from Chile did.  It was a joy to meet and converse with Diego Araya a.k.a (e) VLADISLAV this week.  V (I already have a nickname for him!) was the first person to enter my INDIA chat room where I hoped to promote the INDIA personal community.  Instead, V and I embarked on the most delightfully serendipitous conversation, discovering we both spoke a phrase or more of Spanish, French, Japanese and Arabic.  V's interest in Indian religions provided the solid footing for a larger enriching discussion between a Baha'i st and an agnostic nihilist about god, man and religion, never mentioning but feeling in our bones the unforgettable context of you-know-who who got you-know-what in you-know-where.

Soon, we ran out of broad tolerant respectful things to say and threw the discussion open to the 9 people eavesdropping (not that our talk managed to inspire any of these eavesdroppers to actually drop some eaves on either of us).  A Sindhi man from California introduced himself, old friends showed up, eaves were exchanged, nobody joined INDIA and the conversation drifted towards helping out newbies and sharing the how-to articles published at Wise Marketing. 


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