Regardless of where you stand on Empire Avenue, there’s this to be said about it. Playing Empire Avenue provides some pretty interesting insights into your social media habits. Now, I don’t know how valuable it is for brands to be on Empire Avenue. That would involve a degree of forecasting and prescience I don’t possess. Empire Avenue is an investment of time and self and whether it’s a valuable use of time from a branding perspective is not for me to judge. But brand managers, and any other social media professional, can learn a lot from simply playing the game.
Now Empire Avenue says that it’s not about influence, or influence metrics. But we all know that it’s hard not to feel something about share price, and no matter how “accurate” share price is of online influence, Empire’s metrics offer insights you won’t gain from other metrics (Klout). Empire’s profile prints your daily activity on your connected services. And in the natural course of playing the game, I find myself changing up my use of social tools to see what difference they make in my dividend numbers.
Whether you think the platform has legs or not is irrelevant if you learn something about your own use of social tools through game play. And this is what’s been interesting for me. I’ve changed habits. Some forced, some by experimentation, and many by simply opening up some doors and trying things I hadn’t done before. And what you learn from doing this is that we’re all, I think, habitual users of social tools to some degree. By this I don’t mean addicts (although that is the case perhaps, for some). We are habitual users insofar as we have developed habits — habits that include a certain range of understanding and perception. Some of which are limited or shaped by our own sense of what social media and its audiences are about.
I have found it pretty interesting to learn by doing — and this after years of being online. And if a game can cause me to learn about the medium in which it is played, well, that’s worth something. Something that I think even many professional social media users would find edifying.