Using Empire Avenue

This post will provide some thoughts on how to “play” Empire Avenue (“EA”) to maximize your earnings of eaves, the EA currency.  For some, EA will be all about building the largest portfolio, the greatest net worth, and the highest stock price.  For others, like me, EA is a tool to drive the things you are trying to accomplish with their social media presence (more about that later).

1.  Of course, the first step with EA, like anything else is to sign up.  However, what you do when you sign up is important.

  • Upload a photo or an avatar – people on EA will not take your seriously if you don’t.
  • Add every social networking site of which you are a member.  With a photo or an avatar and multiple social networking sites listed, you will be quickly noticed on EA.
  1. Once signed up, begin a little poking around, but don’t take any action immediately (I did and it was an “oops”).  You’ll notice that you are given a number of eaves upon signing up and that, in almost no time at all, you’ll have your first investor.  In fact, you will likely have 30+ investors in the first hour, particularly in the first hour.

2.  The initial reaction to all these investors is to thank them by investing in them.  This is a good strategy, but don’t buy the same number of shares in them that they did in you; rather, match the number of eaves they invest in you.  Don’t forget to factor in that there are commissions involved which, of course, impact the net prices for investments.  I made this mistake at the beginning and bought 200 shares in my first few investors only to discover that I was suddenly out of eaves.  In any event, making investments in your initial investors is a good idea, just don’t get carried away.

  • If you get short on eaves, go to the missions tab and pick up some eaves easily.  Missions usually involve a RT of a tweet, a facebook like or share, a Google+ like or share, and many other variations.  Some missions give you eaves so that you can buy shares of others – this is a great to get started on building a portfolio, basically for free or at least for cheap.  For any mission you accept, follow 3 rules: 1) actually complete the mission as in don’t steal the eaves, 2) “like” the mission, and 3) add a simple comment, even “done” will suffice.  Following these rules is the courteous thing to do and helps both you and them.
  • Keep active in your social networks – this helps you stock prices and the dividends that are paid out (that’s right, all shares carry a dividend based, for the most part, on your activities on EA and social networks in general).

3.  After these initial steps, it will be time to become more strategic about your investing.  In essence, people invest to either (i) build dividend income (that’s right, all investments also carry a dividend based, for the most part, on your activities on EA and social networks in general) and (ii) building profit from the investments themselves: buy low – sell high.   Personally, I combine both strategies.

  • Investing for Dividends.  This would seem to be easy enough; just go invest in people paying high dividends, but you have to remember the price of the investment.  Which is better: a stock priced at 500 eaves per share with a 3.20 eave dividend per share or a stock priced at 150 eaves with a 1.20 eave dividend per share.  Do the math and you’ll buy the 150 eave stock every time.
    • When I first arrived on EA, someone took the time to provide me with a formula and told me that if it yielded a .6, then buy.  To make it easier for me to grasp, I changed the formula to yield a percentage; then, according to his advice anything that yielded a 60% or better was a good buy.  Here’s how it works:
      • Multiply the stock price by 1.05 to get a “commission loaded price.”
      • Divide the dividend amount by the commission loaded price.
      • Multiply the result by 100 to convert it into a percentage.
      • After a while on EA, I’ve decided to look for anything that yields a 70% or better result.  These are not super common, but they provide good dividends for the eaves invested.  Where do I find these?  Under the expand tab, the first grouping is leaders, click on Dividends/Share and begin your analysis.  So that I don’t spend hours and hours hunting for dividends, I put my little formula in a spreadsheet and let it do the work.
  • Investing for Profits.  I’m sure that there are several strategies for doing this, but they probably all have a common goal – grab shares in a “new arrival” early on.
    • Again, over time, I’ve refined my approach to selecting an investment a bit to where I do the following basics:
      • Go to the expand tab and take a look at the recent arrivals section.
      • I normally ignore anybody without a profile photo or avatar.
      • I will look at their profile and I target someone with at least 3 social networks, including EA.
      • I also note whether they have already have begun building a portfolio.  In fact, this may trump the fact that they have only listed 2 social networks, including EA.
      • I try to stay away from people who are already priced above 18 eaves.
      • Once I have invested:
        • I always leave a “shout out” such as “Welcome to EA.”
        • I wait a few minutes and refresh until I see the price move upwards.
        • I then set price alerts at just below the then current stock price (don’t rely on EA because it always sets the lower price alert at 2 eaves below the then current stock price) and something anywhere from 5 to 10 eaves higher.
        • After the investment, I’ll watch for the price notifications that are automatically generated by EA and adjust the price alerts accordingly.
        •  For me the tricky part is deciding when to sell.  I guess I just feel like it’s somehow a personal comment when you sell shares.  In any event there are 3 scenarios in which I am likely to sell.
          • If a stock never really moves up and stays pretty close to break even or dips below cost.
          • If a stock begins to plummet.  Lots of stock climb rapidly and then drop off sharply.  If I get the sense that this is happening, I’ll be in the mood to sell.
          • If I need to raise funds to fund one of my missions.  The vast majority of my missions relate to increasing brain tumor awareness and increasing the reach of #BrainTumorThursday.  Since those goals are essentially charitable, I don’t feel as bad about selling someone off.

4.  Setting up missions on EA is the real reason I “play the game.”  Using the eaves I have built up, I can direct people to a tweet that I’d like to have them RT.  This can be a powerful tool.  The trick is to set the reward at an amount that will entice people to do what you want without wiping you out completely.  In setting up a mission, keep in mind the pricing.  The cost of a mission is the award amount multiplied by 2 and then multiplied by the number of rewards you will fund.  Thus, a mission that is available to 20 takers that has an award of 2000 eaves will cost 80,000 eaves.  The good news is that if you decide to cancel a mission, any untaken missions will be fully refunded.

I think this will give you enough information to get started quickly on EA.  Of course, all I really want you to do is make eaves and fund missions to increase brain tumor awareness and increase the reach of #BrainTumorThursday


Thoughts on #BrainTumorThursday Part 2

As a response to myself regarding my concerns about the audience for #BrainTumorThursday (“BTT”), I plan to describe the various tools that I think are in a number of different posts.  Stay tuned!.

Thoughts on #BrainTumorThursday

#BrainTumorThursday is a global event on Twitter and people from around the world participate as a community.  The point of #BrainTumorThursday is to raise awareness of brain tumors, provide useful information and news about brain tumors, convey support, hope, and love to brain tumor patients and their friends and family.  Most of the people involved are brain tumor patients themselves or have been touched in some other way by brain tumors.

The real question at this point:  Is #BrainTumor actually raising awareness about brain tumors.

  • One could answer yes since Twitter involvement has recently been averaging 2500 – 3000 tweets during “worldwide Thursday,” with 500 – 800 participants.
  • However, there are a number of stats and points that would lead one to conclude that the desired impact is not being achieved:
  1. The majority of the tweets come from a relatively small group of dedicated people.  A recent example shows that about the top 5 participants accounted for about 41% of the tweets.
  2. The number of participants with over 100,000 followers usually does not top 10 and is often far less.
  3. After the top 80 or so participants, the number of follower for the participants falls below 1000, eventually bottoming out at below 15.
  4. Among the core participants, there is significant duplication of followers.
  5. Each Thursday, it is not unusual to see a significant number of of RTs of fellow participants.

In coming posts, I plan to discuss: whether these “problems” matter (if one person learns something each Thursday, is the campaign a success?);  whether it is possible to evaluate the actual impact of #BrainTumorThursday; and  whether there are actions to be taken to improve the effectiveness of the campaign.

I not only welcome your comments on this post, but also beg you to share your thoughts.

Klout Topic Changes: the reinstatement of the Brain Tumor topic

I really couldn’t be more excited about the exchange of emails that just occurred with Klout.  I am please to report that the Brain Tumor Topic has been reinstated!  Thnaks Klout!

Here are the last two emails on this, in chronological order:

Klout’s email
NOV 21, 2012  |  01:00PM PST

I’m very sorry for the inconvenience and I understand where you are coming from. I spoke with our development team and was told that with the recent revamping of the topic system, many medical topics were temporarily put on hold, but it may be awhile longer before all of the medical terms are sorted out. In the meantime, we have added tumor and brain tumor back to the topic system. I can see that you currently have 20 topics, which is the maximum amount of topics, so you must delete some topics in order to add these to your profile. We apologize again for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

My reply

NOV 21, 2012  |  05:10 PM

Thank you so very much!  I am very excited about this!  To the extent your team needs help sorting through the various terms relating to brain tumors (glioma, glioblastoma, GMB, metastatic tumors, primary tumors,craoniotomy, etc.) to determine what can be combined with what or what is duplicative or whether Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer are enough, I would be delighted to help.  Once you get one of these things, you tend to gather lots of information.  In fact my website contain information and lots of links.

Now, please understand that I had begun to leverage the brain tumor community on Twitter to create a grass roots campaign regarding this issue about the topics.  I’m not sure whether it will go anywhere or whether I can “put the genie back in the bottle.”  Of course, I will publicize the reinstatement of Brain Tumor and have already done so in a tweet.  It is highly unlikely the voice of our community can “harm” Klout, but I will definitely try to slow it down.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Klout Topic Changes: the deletion of Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer.

Recently, Klout did away with the two main topics related to brain tumor awareness, “Brain Tumor” and “Brain Cancer.”  What follows is the email exchange that took place yesterday regarding the reasons for the deletion of these topics.  In essence, Klout says that the deletion occurred when they revamped the topic system and cleaned up and improved topics.  Klout further explains that it will not reinstate the topics at this time and cannot promise when, if ever, they will be reinstated.  Rather than explain why I think this is so horrible, I am providing the email correspondence in chronological order:

Original message message to Klout
NOV 20, 2012  |  07:39 AM PST 

Brain Tumor (& Tumor) are now missing from the topic list on Klout. Frankly, this change is deeply offensive to me and many others suffering from and impacted by Brain Tumors. The complete removal of the topic in painful to the Twitter brain tumor community. That community is devoted to raising awareness about the disease which has no known cure, no known cause, and is fatal, with some surviving their diagnosis by only 6 months or less. Just take a look at the hashtag #BrainTumorThursday and you will see passion tweeted. Thus, in the face of a critical cause to raise awareness about brain tumors and the urgent need for research funding, Klout has removed the topic which communicates that it is unimportant. Try convincing a parent that is about to lose a child to a brain tumor or a child that has lost his mother to a brain tumor.

In addition, I notice that the more generic topic of “tumor” has also been removed. For all I know, there my be other topics that no longer exist have been deleted as well.

Please move to immediately reinstate the topic Brain Tumor and also reinstate the numerous +Ks that have been awarded in the topic.

Response from Klout

NOV 20, 2012  |  11:30 AM PST

Hi there,

We apologize for the inconvenience. We have revamped our topic system and updated our topic database and cleaned up/improved topics that we felt needed some improvement. Unfortunately, some topics were removed from user’s profiles, such as brain tumor and the +K cannot be restored.

We’re always working to improve here at Klout and we are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused or frustrating experiences you may have with our product. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. We’re not currently adding topics back to Klout in a one off manner but I will take note of your suggestion to add brain tumor and tumor back for the future.

TumorWarrior reply to Klout

NOV 20, 2012  | 3:51 PM PST

I must admit that I am incredulous.  I’ve poked around a bit and find that the topic “Slightly Stoopid” remains.  How on earth could an improvement of Klout topics result in retaining slightly stoopid yet delete brain tumor and brain cancer.  A twitter search for slightly stoopid yields less than 20 tweets from November 14 until now.  If Klout does the same search for “brain tumor” there will be at least twice that many tweets in the last TWO hours.

Worse still, if you do a search for brain tumor right now on Klout the third entry is Humor.  I can assure you that there is nothing at all humorous about having a brain tumor.  I actually have a brain tumor and I will ultimately die from it.  In fact about 13,700 people will die from them in the US this year.  How could Klout possibly see fit to marginalize this deadly disease by relegating it to the trash heap of discard topics?  Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer are serious topics, how many inane topics remain on Klout?  Frankly, what rational person on this planet would care if someone is influential on the topic of slightly stoopid? or American idiot? or almost anything else imaginable.

The cruel irony of Klout removing Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer from its topics is that they are known as the “Orphan Cancer” because they are given little press and even less research funding, despite the fact that there is no known cause and no cure.  Brain Tumors are far more deadly than almost every other cancer and kill more children than pretty much anything else.  So the removal of the topics just further solidifies the status of brain tumors/cancer as the orphan cancer.  

I can pretty much guarantee that you won’t have to survey too many of your colleagues to find someone impacted by a brain tumor – a sibling, parent, friend, neighbor, etc.  Try telling them that it makes sense to cull brain tumor and brain cancer from the Klout topics.

Now in the end, whether Klout includes these topics or not may have little difference.  But I can tell you that I have spent hours and hours to develop a Klout profile that would add credibility to my social media campaign to raise brain tumor awareness.  My theory was that if Klout showed me to be influential or at least a top +K recipient, then people might actually listen.  I think I was getting close, but we will never know that now will we?  Klout has swept away a lot of work for a charitable cause by hitting the delete button.

I recognize and understand (but don’t have to like) the fact that, once removed, all +Ks related to a topic are gone.  However, the notion that Klout will “take note” and consider adding brain tumor and brain cancer at some future date is beyond understanding.  I need to be reinstated now, not when Klout decides to clean up its topics at some future unknown date.

The Klout website states:

Klout began with a very simple idea: Everyone has influence—the ability to drive action.  Klout built on this idea to show anyone how he or she can influence the world and its future.

Klout was founded in 2008 to empower everyone to unlock their influence. We come to work every day inspired to help people understand the power of their voices and democratize influence.

So where are those principles in this?  If Klout believes that it exists “to show anyone how he or she can influence the world and its future.”  What is Klout telling me and the rest of the Twitter brain tumor community?  That we cannot influence the world and its future?  That we can “unlock our influence” so long as it an area that Klout deems important?  How exactly is this counted as a way to democratize influence?

_________, I know this email is hard hitting and I certainly do not want to shoot the messenger.  As you can tell I am fiercely committed to this campaign.  So many people are hurting from and hurt by brain tumors it overwhelms me at times.  My passion bleeds though unfiltered.  I do hope that Klout can reinstate these two topics as soon as possible.  If I need to talk to others in your company, I will be happy to do so AND in a more calm fashion.  I do like Klout and what it is trying to do; I just take issue with the decisions made in this case.

Why I think #BrainTumorThursday is so important

As I have explained on Twitter (@TumorWarrior):  As one with a brain tumor, the #BrainTumorThursday support and community helps me keep from dying before the brain tumor kills me.  However, I am not the only Twitter user that feels strongly about the importance of #BrainTumorThursday is important.  Here are what other people on Twitter say, all in 140 characters or less, which makes all of them very pithy:

@SVigri#BrainTumorThursday means a chance to connect with the #BrainCancer community & find out what’s happening.

@seattlerockgal#BrainTumorThursday means there is a whole community of support out there & people committed to finding a cure.

@melee_meTo me #BrainTumorThursday means tweeting to save my daughter’s life coz she had GBM  #BrainCancer Dx 4 yrs ago.

@maryedwards1964: #BrainTumorThursday means connecting to a community that understands something of my experience.

@cazzieclarke #BrainTumorThursday means supporting my nephew, dx with astrocytoma 9 years ago, then GBM4 6 yrs ago! Still rocking..xx :-))

@2prchicksTo us,  #BrainTumorThursday means reminding the twitterverse that there is still a lot to do re: funding/awareness.

@ZHeatherChampIt means I’m not alone and there are people who really GET IT!  That knowledge does wonders for my psyche.  Also, see her blog post.

@jessicades#BrainTumorThursday means a lot to me because it brings awareness and hopefully more research!

@Janet_McM: #BrainTumorThursday means a lot to me because every day our community gets bigger. The support rocks but means too many people are affected.

@MegCee30: I am supporting my hubby, who was just diagnosed two mos ago, one week after our second baby was born. 

@davidhgriffiths: I like reading  #BrainTumorThursday  tweets because I feel connected to others going through the same experience. Sharing Hope.

@HYHUTriangle: To me  #BrainTumorThursday  means a community support circle of brain tumor angels♥ help healing mentally & physically. It means a community support circle of brain tumor angels♥ help healing mentally & physically.

Do you need to know more about #BrainTumorThursday, take a look at: BrainTumorThursday on Twitter.