I believe “influence” is critical to success within the social web. Notice I didn’t say the largest follower numbers. I believe there is a difference. I’ve seen people with hundreds of thousands of followers not be able to motivate nearly that number of people to RT, let alone much of anything else. Does it make it easier to do certain things if you have massive numbers? Since I myself do not have hundreds of thousands of followers I can only assume that it does, although managing those relationships would be very difficult, if not impossible.
What I can speak to is how I personally use Twitter and other social technologies to build targeted, meaningful relationships one at a time. I’ve seen many people ask whether they should take Empire Avenue seriously. That’s a fascinating question and one that integrates well into the mention of “influence” and targeted relationships.
There is a key element related to Empire Avenue, which is defined as an “influence stock exchange,” and hot Edmonton start-up, that I find interesting. Response within this new online community is a stock purchase, trade, sale, or vote. Outside, on say Twitter, it’s stock promotion, discussion about Empire Avenue itself, or simply business as usual. Is that all? No.
There’s an underlying motivation to do other things within the social web to in some way garner the attention of potential stock holders. Even at this early stage of platform development, you can see “communities” forming. Geographically, the home Edmonton area is quite strong. California is growing as are other parts of North America. If we stay within that geographic parameter, then we see interesting interactions happen. One Edmonton area Empire Avenue stock will look to conspire against another, all in fun of course, to devalue a stock. This mischief proves that the Empire Avenue brand is capturing “mind space.”
Other behaviours are being impacted as well, for how long this will be sustained is unknown. I asked the follow question on Twitter:
There were some interesting responses that demonstrate change and engagement.
William Reichard (e) XCUT started his day by saying on Twitter:
“Gotta make a big push, open strong on Monday. #empireave.” He also followed up on my question above by saying he was “more addicted,” and then promptly bought shares in (e) FUSED and I reciprocated. Which brings up another great point. Did I feel compelled to buy shares simply out of obligation or did I see value in his stock? I saw value because of the conversational exchange we had and if William tends to do that in general, he’s demonstrating an ability to build new relationships and that is what I value within the use of social media.
Travis Tripp (e) ZOD responded to my question like so:
I know there are many other stories related to Empire Avenue not only within the Edmonton social media community but abroad. The “YEG” community is becoming well known for being quite active. In fact, Adriel Hampton (e) ADRIEL in San Francisco has mentioned it in blog posts and on Twitter. I’ve noticed Adriel start a new posterous blog called Game Mechanics to keep his Empire Avenue thoughts rolling along (there are others too). SIDEBAR: I recently had to change my opinion that Adriel was a robot since he was live on our show last week. The robot belief came about because of the sheer amount of content he puts out, the guy is truly a multi-tasker and influencer as he current sits atop the leader board. One thing he’ll have to work on as an Investigator for the City Attorney’s office in San Francisco is the ability to use Skype while at work for our next show, but I digress.
If you’d like more information on the foundation of Empire Avenue, Alain Saffel has written a nice overview blog post on the subject. The future for Empire Avenue is to build community. Many might not be patient enough to wait the short time for that to take hold. I view that as a mistake and like other new communities there is a segment that will dash. What we’ll see is that those who had some idea of how to provide value online enter and stay on Empire Avenue, others who don’t understand that stay to ride the wave, and still more transient elements come and go. Regardless, the future looks bright for this highly-talented and entrepreneurial band of coding and business nomads that believe they have something here. Many including me think the same.
What are your thoughts on the idea of Empire Avenue? Is it a method for building trust in your brand, corporate or otherwise? Is it simply the mention of an (e) TICKER name on Twitter that is enough for you to invest or do you perform more indepth research?