Empire Avenue – What is it Good for?

Empire Avenue is an interesting concept in this world of Social Media and Social Media Marketing.

We are told to network, to make connection in our industries and across others to broaden our horizons, to reach out to our customers. Engage, Engage, Engage!

With all of this engaging going on, who’s doing all the real work? (Only joking)

Many people still don’t see the benefits of Social Media, it took the advent of Tweetdeck for me to see the benefit of Twitter as a networking tool. But slowly as these things come more into the mainstream and more importantly, experiences are discussed about the benefits and pitfalls of this new form of marketing.

Empire Avenue takes all of this engagement and networking and turns it into a game.

I used to play AlexaDex, it was a share trading game based on the traffic that websites recorded according to Alexa.

Empire Avenue does something similar where it gathers information about your social connections via sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube and Flickr, plus what you do on the Empire Avenue site and give you a score, or a share price.

If people in the game think you are an upwards mover, they can buy shares in your profile to hopefully make a profit on your rise.

It seems to me that it is a really fun version of Klout, or similar social media analytics programs.

It is a great way to make measuring your connectedness and engagement fun.

To be honest, you may even engage more, to increase your share value.

A bit of a chicken and egg scenario then, not only does it report on your social engagement, but it encourages you to engage more.

I like it. I like the fact that it can make the measurement fun. It has encouraged me to be more vocal in social networking circles, which in itself is not a bad thing.

What is your experience? Do you like it? Do you think it is a big waste of time?

(I had to put this in…)



 

Search Trends for 2011

Here is an interetsing video from Matt Cutts of Google with Danny Sullivan from SearchEngineLand, talking about future trends for search in 2011.

They talk about the increased importance of social media in influencing ranking. While still small, it shows a shift towards social as a means of determining importance of content on the web.

Towards the end of the video, they talk about how Google is trying to avoid the poisoning of somones persona on the web by taking multiple sources of information, reviews etc to try to weed out any malicious or extraneous reviews or comments. Matt says that they take over 500 sources to try and determine this, I wonder what they are?

Another important note, is that even though these sites are classed as social networks, if Google can’t crawl them, (possibly because of high security settings) then that information remains hidden and cannot be used in building ranking.

So will SEO now become more about the persona of the individual or company, will the “quality” of the persona be just as important as the “quality” of the links or the “quality” of the content?

The next big industry….Persona Management 🙂

The Internet is the Magnifying Glass of the World

Before the Internet stuff happened.

Since the invention of the Internet, the same stuff happens, so what is the difference?

The main difference is that more things are visible to everyday people. Things that were obscure for geographic reasons are no longer and can be viewed in all of their glory (or not).

But specifically, things are magnified. News coverage is more saturated than ever. If Obama sneezes, we have Richard Hammond slowing it down to super slowmo speeds and then goes viral on Youtube.

In some cases this is beneficial. (not the sneeze) Take things like the plight of victims. Whereas previously propaganda and the control of media meant that the plight of victims was reduced and in some cases eradicated with them, now with worldwide media being so openly available, it seems impossible for news to stay hidden for long. Cellphone video of protests and treatment of the protesters quickly spread via social media and video sharing sites.

Even in countries where media is closely monitored and controlled, it seems impossible to shut it out completely.

Is this a good thing?

I believe so. While there are always areas where this is turned into a negative; ie: invasion of privacy, paparazzi, Amercian Idol, the ability for anyone to publish news and make it available to the world is a great leveler.

Atrocities are now viewed with more balance. A prime example being the treatment of prisoners of war, prior to the last decade or so, none of the current reporting of ill treatment would have had the same coverage around the world.

What do you think, is this a good thing? Or are we walking a dangerous path?

Funky Cool Twitter App – Twitnest

This is one cool app regarding Twitter, It really doesn’t do anyhting but look cool, but aren’t the best apps like that 🙂

Twistnest takes your profile ID and builds a pictorial view of the relationships between those people in your Twitter network.

You can even highlight the connections for anyone on the page.

Have a look here : http://twitnest.appspot.com/nest/index.html

Brilliant!

PersianKiwi and the dangers of using Twitter in Iran

No one knows if “Persian Kiwi” or PK has any connections to New Zealand, however, it has definitely captured the attention of some media in New Zealand.

What it doe though is highlight how Twitter has become a key issue in Iran.

With the Iranian Government stopping the access to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, users have been determined to find ways of accessing these sites via proxies around the world.

Now it looks possibly like those who have succeeded in making it past the censorship gates are now being hunted by the government.

It shows how as time moves on and things progress, the same things happen in more modern ways.

I love this song by the Propellerheads (with the amazing Shirley Bassey) call History Repeating, where the key phrase is:

I’ve seen it before….and i’ll see it again

For Twitter, read Pirate Radio, read Rock n Roll.

The message will get out, Twitter is just the current medium.

One key difference is the access and the huge ability to disseminate information widely around the world.

Access because you can post to Twitter via your mobile phone or anywhere with internet access (providing you can circumvent the blocks)

And the ability to disseminate the information via the internet is so huge these days, and the inherent nature of the social networking sites makes this even easier for viral explosions of news and current affairs

The Twitpocalypse – Oh dear

Will it rival Year 2000? Will it make the world grind to a halt?

Of course not it’s only Twitter, but for some it is the end of the world as we know it if Twitter goes off-line.

Just like those people who need therapy every time their Blackberry stops working, Twitter is an addiction for some and the news that Twitter may have a capacity problem shortly, has people all a twitter (and adding to the potential problem by twittering about the subject, duh)

I haven’t gotten o the point where Twitter is a big deal to me personally or that I am ultra reliant on it for business, however, there are businesses that are reporting more and more successes from using Twitter to market themselves, these are the people that need to be the most concerned.

To me, it will be, well…. meh

Now if my internet access failed, now that would be the end of the world!

madefromnewzealand.com – this is the kind of site I think is great

I don’t normally plug other sites, but this one looks like a good one for businesses in NZ – www.madefromnewzealand.com

My biggest like is the tone it seems to have of a great place to be; lots going on, plenty of information on businesses, people and events.

The other cool aspect is the social side of things.

Not only is the site itself a social networking experience, they have also made the effort to integrate the site into other social networks. You can link to your Facebook profile using Facebook Connect, you can also attach your blog to your profile and use RSS to bring in your latest posts.

A possible suggestion is to something similar to Twellow, where they offer integrations to a larger range of other networks including Twitter, Flickr and more.

They even have blog plugins to provide an easy way to share people, businesses and networks with others via the blog. Here is one to my profile: [business:Deepweb]

So a great place to get listed and connected with other businesses in NZ.

Give it a go.

WP Greet Box – some pretty cool use of Ajax :)

I cam across WP Greet Box, looking for some kind of Twitter integration (of which it isn’t really)

Anyway, looked like a great way to interact with visitors and from a social point of view a great way to encourage others to network via RSS, Twitter, Facebook etc.

By default the following are covered

  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Stumbleupon
  • Technorati
  • Twitter
  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Live and MSN
  • Blogmarks
  • Blinklist
  • Diigo
  • Facebook
  • Furl
  • ma.gnolia
  • Mister-Wong
  • Myspace
  • Newsvine
  • Reddit
  • Simpy
  • Plurk
  • LinkedIn

There are other you can activate including Youtube, WordPress, Tumblr and more.

It will be interesting to see what come of the change, if it drives more social interactions.

I’ll report back as to it’s success or otherwise (By the way, once I installed it, got three new Followers on Twitter, coincidence? mmm)