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
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.
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.
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.