Empire Avenue viral trash or just a game?

There are probably good reasons to class EA in either category and some would probably go further and claim that it is a social marketing tool …

In the Viral Trash corner is the principle problem with all attempts at measuring social media interaction, Klout et al, namely that quantity can be measured, but quality is tricky.

One aspect of the game is to complete ‘missions’, i.e. you are given virtual bucks for retweeting or liking stuff that you normally wouldn’t touch with anyone’s thumb, let alone your own. This, though it may earn a few bucks, does nothing for your virtual credibility …. I am a reformed character in this respect after a few sluttish retweets.

Botgirl actually pointed out the major weaknesses in her lucid article where she names the Devil …

..” Social Network games are a junk food pleasure; endless rows of bottomless bowls of lard-drenched frosted pork rinds. Too lazy to plow the soil of our subconscious, sow the seeds of creativity and feast upon its ripened fruit, we instead stuff our meaning-starved minds with the crackling crunch of gamified pseudo-achievement.”

It is also a complete timewaste… but a bit of fun.

Viewed as Just A Game it has a few things going for it. It requires a bit of thought, a bit of strategy and the forging of very superficial links. If you normally spend some time on social media then it’s probably not gonna cost you anything like as much as, say, SL. It is a game you can play for ‘free’.

As a Social Marketing Tool .. well, there are people who are charged with getting the maximum number of ‘likes’ or followers for their company/client and these people are using the incentives to drive traffic to a particular site or person. Here, however, is the whole problem with Social Media as marketing tool, Likes, Hits, Followers don’t seamlessly convert into sales/cash. Similar to traffic anywhere, your blog, sim or FB page something more has to happen before you convert that into any non-virtual event.

Probably it is beyond my ability to say anything very astute about Social Media Marketing… Marmite has a FaceBook page… but Xmillion Likes isn’t going to get you to eat it if you hate the taste …. and surely, only people on a wage, in an office, bored, would visit… ???

Social Media Marketing, with very few exceptions I believe, is probably the new Emperor’s Clothes.

..but then, what do I know…




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4 responses to “Empire Avenue viral trash or just a game?

  1. I’m not sure what EA is, but 4 minutes a day of buy-the-high-rollers and then close the window isn’t too much of a hardship to watch and see, I guess.

    (As long as I cat pet a cat while doing it.)


  2. I mostly just play EAv for fun but it has also produced some valuable SL connections through the Virtual Reality index and by chance. As is the case in every good social media marketing scheme, your value on EAv is based primarily on your social media activity (e.g. blog posts, tweets, status updates, reach, and follower interaction). Thus, to really climb into the top tier on Empire Avenue you need to create social media content, have it reach a considerable audience, and that audience needs to interact with you.

    So, it’s a game to me and you and Crap but it’s a whole lot more. It’s one measurement of social media “worth”. It’s a way to make connections, sometimes worthwhile and rewarding. It’s a way to get your social brand in front of many eyes. It’s a way to motivate content creation. It’s a way to increase your audience (I’m just a casual EAv player but I’ve got over 1100 shareholders which is double my Twitter following). And it’s fun.

  3. Good question! I’ve noticed a bump in tweets about EA recently. Although I laid it on pretty thick in the post you mentioned for dramatic purposes, I did notice that my participation in EA was encouraging me to change my social network behavior for the worse. I figured out I could game the system in a way that would increase my score, but add a lot of noise to the people who actually follow me on the underlying social networks. It’s like a strategy of following everyone back who follows you in order to retain followers to maximize your Twitter stats; you end up not being able to keep up with anyone.

    That said, I can’t argue with people like Missy Restless who find it worthwhile and rewarding.

  4. @Botgirl, Yes, it’s the noise that concerns me too. It may be that we will ‘evolve’ to be able to sift more noise with time, as we acclimatise to new media/technology, but I’m unsure that the rewards will prove to be worth it. It seems like reading 5000 poor novels looking for a good story … picking up a ‘classic’ may be a better plan.

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