As some players know, the name of "Empire Avenue" is inspired by a thoroughfare in St. John's, the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, which is where I happen to live.
I was looking today at reproductions of very old maps of St. John's, and snapped this. Look for the wording!
(For those living away, Empire Avenue is a very long road that cuts east and west across much of St. John's. At one time, it was an unofficial border of a much smaller city ... kind of like a "beyond here be dragons" sort of marker.)
I hit a milestone with a nice round number yesterday: I now own more than 500,000 shares in other players on Empire Avenue. Pretty chuffed about that, although I'm in great admiration of others who have hit bigger tallies ... like 1 million. On track for that, and I'll let you know when I get there!
Empire Avenue posted a very important note on its blog, one that has been anticipated and in fact reflects changes that have been evident in the last little while.
EA, in a nutshell, is taking on several scourges on the Avenue: spam, and copyright violations. Because it's a game, EA can be gamed; that is, it's not rocket science to guess that automated techniques, like bots, can generate huge volumes of content. EA had capped levels for earnings, but it didn't stop the volume influence dividends, so much so that ordinary investors could not be faulted for falling for "crazy divs" with some players. Crazy, indeed, but also unfair.
Spam: To deal with perceived spamming of external networks (like high-frequency Twitter bots), we are implementing new spam-detection algorithms. There is no method of spam detection that is foolproof, and only humans can currently truly tell fact from fiction, true engagement from automated bots. Nevertheless, this automated system will detect and penalize offending accounts in terms of both Share Price and Dividends. Please note that as we discover users producing spam or engaging in bot usage to increase prices or engage in spam, we will take action without notice, and your investments may suffer! Ultimately, you should only invest in those who are producing real content that you value.
Clarification: As a few folks have emailed and commented that we need clarification on the "without notice" part above: In addition to our taking action we will inform the account holder at the time any action is taken. Please also note that this will not affect the majority of our users and will not affect those who schedule tweets. This is a spam policy, not unlike ones used by other social networks.
Then there's been the posting of copyrighted material to Flickr. Copyright is a grey area in social media, and people might argue that passing something along via Tumblr (which, incidentally, almost always tracks back to the source) is no different than posting something to Flickr. Not so; Flickr makes it clear when you post that a copyright is being claimed. One of the complaints I've filed (there have been several) involved the canon of one of the best-known political cartoonists in the world ... with the poster claiming exclusive copyright rights. I kid you not. I also reported a Tumblr account that consisted entirely of a novel by D.H. Lawrence. Again, I kid you not.
This is a good move by Empire Avenue. I welcome it. Some of the changes will affect me, and other players, such as the devaluation of the worth of blogs. I'm completely fine with that. The point is to recognize actual engagement in social media - that is, being in touch with others - and to reward it, too.
Mark your calendar: the third run of [X]Pendapalooza is coming to Empire Avenue on July 30. (I mistakenly typed "20" when I posted that, in what was evidently too much excitement.)
Like the second iteration, it will run a full 24 hours. The precise details will be announced soon.
In a nutshell, its a spending fest, and a fantastic amount of fun.
A few of us started it as a way to give back, or give forward, by spending a lot of virtual money very, very quickly in as many accounts as we could. Our only rule? No buybacks in us. [As for who "us" is, we're a group that may or may not exist, but if we did, the letter X in square brackets would probably appear. :) ]