EmpireAvenue - Social Media Exchange Review

The good:

This is where you get the great things about the product / service

  • A new and fresh way to interact and participate in Social Media
  • Addictive as a game, has potential to be useful as Social Media Initiative
  • Live chat, provided by Envolve, is a great value addition as it adds real-time interactivity with other users
  • Already monetizing it by allowing you to purchase Eaves which ensures longer life for the service
  • Robert Scoble blogged about it, several companies like Toyota, Audi, Intel invested and very active in it thereby indicating its potential

The bad:

This is where you get the skinny on what sucks most

  • Dog slow. Often it seems I am waiting for 5 minutes (perception) before I get to buy new shares in it. Overall the interface needs to seriously overhaul its performance. The silver lining is that unlike Twitter, it never gave me “Fail Whale”
  • The Live chat (also mentioned in good section) unfortunately flickers often and can sometimes be a real PITA. The user interafce needs to be debugged on Firefox.

Suggestions:

This is where you know what new features you can add and where competition can shine

  • Allow shorting and other intricacies of stock market to make the simulation more realistic
  • Explain the rules of the game more clearly. It is not apparent that most of your net worth is highly dependent on your social media interactions
  • The algorithms for calculating net worth needs to be fine tuned. I found some loop holes which I would rather not discuss here.
  • Reduce the cost of upgrades. They are way too steep.
  • Explain the value of purchasing virtual luxury items. It is not apparent.
  • Start initial users with a larger fund like say 10000 and extract it over a period of time to make it more honest and realistic. You are just giving a loan.
  • The most important of all: Allow users to sell their Eaves for real dollars. Create an exchange and an economy. The reasons are obvious.

Overall

I don’t think EmpireAvenue is a Facebook killer but it sure makes it much more fun than plain old Facebook. The social features of Facebook are missing so far. I think it is here to stay and will be a welcome addition to the Social Media family.

You can find me on EmpireAvenue as Angsuman. Feel free to buy some stocks / leave a note.

Comments welcome.

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