I’m Okay, You’re Okay

It was a thread in Team Zen,  but it felt as though it really could have used a bit of self help from the 1970’s.    Empire Avenue is a very intriguing and complex web site.   It is in one sense an equivalent or perhaps competitor to sites like Klout and Peer Index.   But at the same time it is most definitely a social networking stock market trading game.    And I honestly don’t think it is in the least bit fair to criticize one’s friends because they are  “playing to win”  in what is most definitely a game, that has been specifically offered as such by the gentlemen  (Are there any ladies on the EAv  Team?) who put the site up on the web every day.

Some people are on Empire Avenue because they are trying to be or consider themselves or are paid to be social media rockstars  err managers or managers in training.   Some people are just using EAv as a tool to see how they’re doing elsewhere.  Some folks are playing the game,  and some of those folks are playing to win.  Some folks care mostly about the play money and the score.   Some folks care mostly about the people.  And everyone really IS trying to promote not only their stock but also in many cases also their ideas.   Some folks are using Empire Avenue primarily as a social network on which to meet people with whom they are in fact trying to change the world.   And you know what?   They are all friends of mine.    Empire Avenue is a tool as well as a game as well as a social network.   And like a good party,  it’s also whatever you decide to make it.

So if you’re old enough,  do a little mental time travel and remember when I’m OK, You’re OK was a best seller.    Try at least for a little while to remember the days of TM and est.     Recite your mantra if you remember it.    And repeat after me.   There is NO Right or Wrong way to play Empire Avenue.     Brad and the EAv  team have made clear that they are strongly committed to enforcing the rules and there is no reason that any of us should ever turn away in friend ship from one another who do follow the rules.   In my considered opinion Brad and Dups and all of the rest of their great team are more than quite capable of enforcing the rules.    And if you see anything  that you think is wrong,  but all means press the report button and talk to them about your concerns.

But I respectfully state that criticizing erstwhile friends for choosing a different style of game play which is in fact perfectly within the rules and is not in fact per se harmful to the game or to any of the other participants in the game or in the communities.   It seems to me there was very wide criticism of some very over the top blog spamming.  (eg publishing Project Gutenberg is perfectly legal,  even in 300 word bites with dozens and dozens of posts per day, but is so obviously cheating that it was intolerable— they got rid of that) although as a person who is very serious about blogging I was disappointed that part of the fix was that they greatly devalued even the five blog post per day that they count.  But I can live with that.   I’m doing what I’m doing on my blogs and social networks because it is Exactly what I want to do.   For me that is HUGE.       So please,  no matter how passionately you feel about newbies needing a better welcome experience than getting bid up and churned down (In my case only if they DON’t connect) all in their first week,   don’t blame folks who try to buy and connect with new folks most every day and hold them for a while,  and then sell them if they don’t connects.    That’s just the game and if you’re really saying that folks who take it first as a game shouldn’t be welcome on the Avenue?   Well then I can only say how presumptuous of you.


23 comments on “I’m Okay, You’re Okay

  1. Sure it would be nice to have no rules Alan.
    However I certainly would not be motivated to continue in, nor could I recommend to my friends a game where 5,000 people hit me with a share buy and a pop up message within 10 seconds of me joining. And my price went from 10 to 100 one day then back to 30 when 4,000 of those people sold me to go and do the same to the next person.
    Am I missing something here?

  2. Well said Alan, and Brad clarifying the rules will I’m sure help. I don’t think anyone in the conversation was trying to do wrong. Have a super awesome wonderful day

    • Thanks, Anne. Some days…it really can be challenging to remain friends with Everyone, even if you Are trying to be known as the guy who says you can’t possibly be Everywhere. 🙂

    • I’ m sorry Elza, but as far as I know the only way to Get the URL’s to link directly to threads in groups is to subscribe to the group notifications via e-mail. I just don’t have the time to sort through all those e-mails so I don’t subscribe to any of the notices. The thread in Team Zen was started by Michael Q Todd and talks about “bots” as an evil on Empire Avenue.

  3. I read the book a couple of times a long time ago, I think it could still be a great reading If you take into account it was first published in the 70s. As for your thoughts on game strategies and being tolerant, I completely agree with you 🙂

    • I did actually read it many, many years ago. I think that I incorporated some of its ideas into my own thinking, though it’s been so long I’m honestly not sure.

  4. Speculation is bad for the community at large! This has been shown at the real stock market as well as at Empire Avenue. Speculation is about individual gain over others. The profits come from somewhere, hence others must lose.

    However, investing reasonably into each and support each other benefits all. Everybody wins. That is something I have seen again and again. Empire Avenue just confirms it.

    • Well, honestly, it seems to me that there are many different approaches to investing that one might take and I am not prepared to condemn anyone’s approach on moral grounds. I just don’t think it is fair to condemn erstwhile friends for “playing to win” in what is (among other things) a game.

      Thank you so much for re-blogging my post. I really appreciate your comment.

    • Honestly, Eva, for me the people are the point and the game is a fun bonus. I’ve been making and keeping friends online for twenty years now. What I’ve learned is that web sites come and go, and real human relationships endure.

  5. As someone who uses Empire Avenue more as a gauge of my social activity than as a game, I appreciate your inclusiveness and I’m so glad to have met you through the EAv site.

    I invest in others on a regular basis. When they don’t invest in me after a fair number of days (or sometimes weeks), I sell. When someone invests in me, I buy shares of them until I reach my max. My way of “playing the game” may not be the way to win, but my main goal is success as a writer, not as a player. That’s what I love about EAv: it meets the needs of all of its various players.

    By the way, if anyone wants to invest in a literary type, you can find me at (e)SWBEN.

  6. Well said Alan. I have been trying to fight over this for months. To enlight people on this subject. The SM community is trying to kill the gamers and trys to bring them down by saying things such as * You are anti social or you are being negative * when they face people that see beyond blabla.

  7. In one of the EA communities on Facebook, someone was very honest about what he has seen insofar in his work using Empire Avenue for a very specific purpose. A lot of people got upset when he said he basically sees a lot of the action as internal – people using separate Twitter and Facebook accounts to share stuff in very small groups, so they can complete missions and get people excited about “the guys with a hundred thousand followers Tweeting me!” when actually they are tweeted to a much smaller subset of people – most of whom are other EArs. I tend to agree with him, though.

    I started EA on the advice of my partner, who had been having a lot of fun with it as a game. I still look at it as more of a game, although I like the fact that I can quickly boost a new client to the required number of Facebook page likes for a vanity url, or get a new product some extra visibility with retweets. I just have trouble taking the whole thing as seriously as some people do, and it is annoying to see people twisting the system and in some cases behaving poorly because they have to win, win, win (maxing out in a person worth 50 (e) a share and then badgering them to return the ‘favor’ when they themselves cost five times that a share, or grabbing missions by the batch then deciding they don’t like a mission once they have already claimed the eaves and complaining to the mission runner)

    Then you have players who have absolutely no patience with those who actually have a life outside of EA, and call us “uncommitted”. My EA share price (which had climbed very nice and steadily from day 1) flat-lined this past week, primarily due to the fact that I was sold heavily during a few days when I was sick and offsite, then too busy to mess with it catching up with real work. However, my divs have continued to climb by leaps and bounds, so I guess too bad for them 🙂

    I look at EA the same way I do a lot of things in life. Judgmental EA players: Play your game, and I’ll play mine. Play yours how you want, and I’ll play mine how I want. Don’t bitch at me about how I play the game, and I won’t bitch at you. If you have 12 solid hours a day to devote to EA, good on you. Don’t pretend you are somehow superior because I choose to only devote half an hour a day, or maybe only 2 hours a week. I’m using the game as I see it benefits me, and you are using it as you see it benefits you. To spend 12 hours a day on EA would not only profit me nothing, it would be detrimental. To NOT spend 12 hours a day might impact you adversely, so I assume you know what is best for you and won’t judge. Is it too much to ask to be extended the same courtesy?

    Thanks Alan for this great post, once again – and also once again, sorry for hogging your comment space 🙂

  8. No apology, please. I always intend these posts as conversation starters and I am genuinely thrilled with every comment. I’m ecstatic when I receive a detailed on topic comment on an older post. And I completely agree with you. One theme I’ve returned to again and again is that #EAv is several different things, (game, social network, monitoring tool among others) and it is downright silly to criticize anyone because they are more focused on a different aspect of the site than you are. So nice to meet you, Grace. (thinking I’d better head over to EAv and make sure I’ve invested in you 🙂

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