Five Ways To Help

Avenue cover1Walking Down The Avenue version 2.0 is now available in the Amazon Kindle store and from Smashwords.    I am so grateful to all of my #GANGSTA friends,  especially those who beta read the new book and provided very valuable feedback.   I am also most grateful to everyone who has agreed to help me promote this book to new Empire Avenue users.     Here are five great ways you can help me do just that:

1)  Recommend Walking Down The Avenue to new players.   If you frequently invest in brand new players,   please leave shout outs suggesting the book.  For example:

“Welcome to Empire Avenue.   If you have questions or find it confusing,  check out this guidebook   It’s a quick and easy read that takes most of the learning curve out of Empire Avenue”

2)  Always use the book’s URL when mentioning it.   By simply omitting the spaces and adding  .com  Walking Down The Avenue  becomes   Getting this URL widely in front of folks’ eyes will help to drive traffic to the site.

3)  If you’ve read the book,  either by a privately distributed Word doc or by purchasing it from Smashwords or Amazon,   please leave a review.   If you purchased the book from Amazon or Smashwords,   please leave the review on the site you purchased from.    Reviews on the book’s sales pages definitely help build credibility and encourage sales.    If you did not purchase the book,   please leave your review  here.    You need not write a long and complex book review.   Just a sentence or two about how you found the book helpful or why you recommend that new users read it would be just great.

4)  Look for missions that promote this book.    Some of my #GANGSTA buddies are wealthy in Empire Avenue terms and will be running some missions to help promote this book.    By participating in missions you can help with the book promotion and gain a few eaves at the same time.

5)  Join us in the #GANGSTAS  community on Empire Avenue.    We hope to make this community a friendly and welcoming place for new users who have #EAv questions.    By participating,   you will help to make the message board a true community.   You may also meet some great people and have fun as well.

Thanks so much to each and every person who has read and helped to promote this book since I first wrote and released it back in  June 2011.

Moody Complaining Pouty

It’s not something I’m proud of,  but the fact is I can be an extremely stubborn son of a bitch.    I have yet again quite deliberately blown off another 4pm deadline.   I honestly could not tell you why I felt so vehemently that I would not write this post at 1:30 in the afternoon,  in order to get it published by the deadline.   And yet I found myself quite refusing to write.    Somehow I am a temperamental artiste,  even to myself.   This can be less than convenient at times,  such as when a more rational part of me insists that deadlines need to be kept,  even if we really aren’t in the mood to write.

I suppose I really can characterize my pre-deadline recalcitrance as ‘moody’,   although that probably isn’t an adjective I would have selected in a description if it hadn’t been one of the words of the day.   And I don’t think my non-writing mood could accurately be described as pouty, at all.  I suppose that sometimes I do sit and pout a bit,  but usually not for very long.    I know in my heart that it is usually much better to just get back to working at what you want to make happen.   Though every now and then I think everyone just needs to sit and feel sorry for themselves for a little while.

In preparation for possibly gathering this one year’s worth of blog posts,  which I’ve come to think mostly do qualify as little essays,  into a book next year,  I went back and read the first six months or so of posts.   And was a bit appalled to see just how much time I went on and on about working on a revision of Walking Down The Avenue,  which I never have released.    I’m kind of appalled at all of those words maniacally written about a book that I haven’t even been able to bring myself to actually publish.   (The fact that Empire Avenue missions can to some extent drive real social interaction is it seems to me tempered by the fact that the blogger (writer, photographer, videographer,  Facebook rock star) has to actually do all of that socializing with all of those people.    Empire Avenue missions only really drive traffic that you’ve earned socially.    Which makes it not the pot of gold that folks were chasing when Empire Avenue first introduced missions.

I did write a section about missions,  but I remain unsatisfied with the whole ‘missions’  thing,  and am certainly feeling some burnout with blog promotion,  when I’m supposed to be cranking out a new post that day and just don’t feel there is any way that I could promote another post every darned day.  I am truly looking forward to blogging on a twice a week schedule next year.   I suspect it will feel like a vacation.    In looking over all of those posts I am a bit amazed at all of the different subjects I wrote about and all of the incredible comments I’ve received over the course of this year.      Even as I find myself so anxious for the year to finally be over,   I am genuinely glad that I tried this challenge.   I am hopeful that I will get a book of essays out of it.   And I already know that the real reward was all of the friendship and kindness I’ve received from so many different readers over the course of the year.

And finally,  my sincerest thanks to Allen for suggesting today’s words.

Tundra Undulate Reduction

Tombstone Mountains, Yukon. Photo by Tim Fitzharris in The Canadian Encyclopedia.

I can’t say I ever envisioned tundra being as pretty as this picture makes it look.   Somehow I thought of tundra as being a cold and featureless dessert.   The carpet of red flowers at the foothills of the mountains seem quite pretty to me.    I suppose that my block lists on Empire Avenue and Facebook are another sort of tundra.   A place where I banish people I don’t wish to interact with.    I had to block yet another 800 shareholder for stealing mission eaves today.

I well understand that some folks simply will not want to write a comment.   But when it’s clearly stated that that is what the mission is for,  is it unreasonable of me to take offense when someone claims my 10,000 eaves but doesn’t leave a comment as I asked?    I also blocked a 200 shareholder for the same reason.    And my share price,  which rolled at 0.00 and had climbed up to +0.03 on a few sales dropped down to -0.25.    Some days are just not fun.

I find myself thinking that my bi-polar disorder is rather like undulating between depression and elation,  with stops off along the way at lesser versions of those moods.  Sometimes,  it seems to me that writing these blog posts each day tends to make me more aware of my moods,  even though sometimes (or perhaps often) I’m not really sure what my mood is until I sit down to write about it.   And many times,  the very act of writing changes my mood.    Funny thing, the mind.

My acquaintance Karen Briggs,  who suggested today’s three words,  recently posted a very well-written rant about the sometimes mindless positivity with which some folks fill their Facebook streams. While I quite enjoyed her article,   I find that I can not agree with her that a positive attitude is not worth pursuing when one is going through a rough time.    While I know all to well that sometimes things can go very badly,   I also know from my own experience that a great deal of what we experience of life takes place in our minds.    And taking the time to tend to our mental images can pay off in huge rewards.    While I would never try to reduce a philosophy to a bumper sticker slogan,   I actually try rather hard to remember how important it is to visualize success and to focus on achieving goals,  even on day’s when it seems everything is shit.

16 cents

This is a post about Empire Avenue,  the social networking stock market game.   If you’re not on Empire Avenue and don’t want to be,   please go somewhere else today.    I was at 600/600 with the guy.   It appears we connected on Empire Avenue more than a year ago.   Not that I felt very connected.   He wasn’t following me on Twitter,  and I have no idea whether we might be Facebook friends.    But I don’t ever recall chatting with him,  and I can’t recall anything about the sort of content he might share.     When he took my 5,000 eaves but did not tweet as I asked in the mission,  I thought about it for a bit.   And blocked the mission cheater.    The forced refund of the 600 shares he owned set my share price back by 16 cents.   Which seemed a very small price to pay to insure that this guy,  whom I wasn’t really connected with,  can’t take my eaves while blowing me off socially.

I came to the realization this morning that I am on Empire Avenue to meet new people and socialize with new and old friends.    My blogging and social networking are done for my pleasure and Empire Avenue is mostly a place where I meet some great people  and get some (fairly rudimentary) feedback about how I’m doing on my blogs and social networks.    I definitely don’t want to re-arrange my social networking to benefit my Empire Avenue scores.   I just want to socialize.    So I find that I feel no guilt at all about disconnecting with someone I was never really connected with.     I suppose eventually I may check Facebook and see if I can free up another friend slot.   Or I might not,   and this gentleman will be just one more to be eliminated.   Some day,  when I get around to cleaning up my Facebook.   (Now that I can easily unsubscribe from content I don’t want to see without ever un-friending,  I have no interest in cleaning up my Facebook list.   At least not until I get a lot closer to the 5,000 friend hard limit.

I find myself thinking that you really do learn something new every day.     And that the people I actually talk with are far more important than anyone who owns my shares on Empire Avenue.

What Is Or Isn’t “Real Life”?

I have a good friend who is a couple of generations younger than I am.   While we are very different people,  with very different personalities and world views we share a fairly large number of interests and often enjoy just shooting the breeze with each other.  Sometimes though,  our very different perspectives lead us to disagreements.   As a blogger,  to me a “meme” is a blog post that sets out to answer some formulaic set of questions or follow some set of rules,  and which tags some (often specified) number of other bloggers to do a post of their own according to the same formula.    Sometimes these “memes”  can become quite popular and the person who created a meme that goes viral may get hundreds and hundreds of backlinks as more and more people do a post according to the formula and link back to the original.

My friend seemed quite puzzled when I explained to him  “what a meme is”.    I’m not certain that he actually said that I was “wrong” about memes,  but to my friend a “meme” is a picture such as the one shown here,  which each successive participant is to change the displayed caption on.   (If I were actually doing this meme according to my friends rules,  I would change the words from “WHY ISN’T THIS A NON FICTION BOOK”  to some equally clever (one hopes) phrase of my own.    Way, way back in elementary school I seem to recall learning that fiction is a make believe story and non-fiction is “true”.    This is somewhat accurate,  at least in as far as 3rd or 4th graders are capable of understanding the concept.    However any writer or student of literature who has gone on to or beyond the under graduate level knows that good literature is successful in large part because it presents universal truths using fictitious characters and settings.    Some writers and critics of non-fiction might also argue that good non-fiction succeeds because it examines, explores and illuminates veritable truths rather than because it uses the correct names of the “characters”  the story is about.

All of which is preface to asking, just what about our online lives (blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) is “real life”  and what does that mean.    I am thinking today that this is not in any way an academic question,  but rather a critical question that anyone who participates in blogging or social media must at some point come to terms with if they are to be successful in these areas.    I am well aware that Empire Avenue is very much a game.    And yet I find myself disagreeing with a friend who remarked recently that it is  “just a game”.    Consider,  that most of the “players” on Empire Avenue are using their real “wallet names”  on that site and have connected Empire Avenue to their Facebook (and or G+) profiles– both sites that explicitly require that one use their real wallet name.   (Not that either site is particularly sophisticated or successful about weeding out folks who sign up under an alias.)

Is it fair to publicize,  such as on blogs or other social media,  instances where people seem to be cheating on Empire Avenue or “not playing fair”?    It’s not a simple question I don’t think and to be perfectly honest,  I have not as yet come to any conclusion either way which seems satisfactory to me.   What do you think?    Is Empire Avenue “just a game” or is it “real life”?   Is it fair to bring repercussions into people’s real lives for their behaviors on Empire Avenue?    Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.

bane capital selection

Empire Avenue is not in fact the bane of my existence,  though it can be frustrating at times.   I have started working on updating the book,  but it is slow going.   I am thinking it will probably be a September release.    It does seem to me that I am definitely seeing the summer slack off in my own online communities and I know that things will pick back up when fall rolls around.

As we here in the United States celebrate Independence Day,  I read that thousands of people in our nation’s capital remain without electricity, following last weeks’ derecho.   (It seems climate change is a boon for vocabulary nerds.)  I can imagine how miserable it must be in that heat without power for days and days on end.   I’m remembering I think it was last summer when our power went out for several hours on a really hot day.  We took our clothes off and went out on the patio and tossed buckets of water at each other to cool off.    It was a bit of fun it seems to me.   Or perhaps that is just nostalgia,  making me remember things better than they actually were at the time.

I’m finding that it really is a lot easier to crank out these three word posts when I can simply make a selection from a fairly large pool of possibilities.   I also seem to have gotten into the habit of waiting until just a couple of hours before the 5pm deadline to begin working on each post.   I’ve written before that being on deadline doesn’t necessarily make you write any better.     (And a careful reading of this post would, I suspect,  confirm that notion.)  But facing the deadline does at least get my fingers moving and get me to typing something.    I don’t think that makes the deadline the bane of my existence, but it is useful somehow.    And finally today,  my thanks to Mr. Bill for suggesting today’s words.   It sounds as though Empire Avenue may in fact be the bane of his existence.

Smitten Unwonted Rose

And what a month it has been.  It was precisely one month ago on May 25th that a happenstance suggestion prompted me to start Just Three Words. And with the exception of two days when I locked myself out of,  I have used three reader-submitted words as the subject of a post every single day.   As June starts to fade into July I note that I am quite nearly half way through my goal of blogging every day in 2012.    I am not sure if I will continue the Just Three Words gimmick.   I have I believe three more sets of words,  but after that I am out.   If you would like more of these Just Three Words posts,  please do leave comments with your choice of most any three random words.   I don’t promise that I will absolutely, positively write about every suggestion,  but for the most part I will.

From her recent post,  it seems clear to me that my friend Laura remains smitten with Empire Avenue. It hardly seems unwonted to me.    I have been thinking a lot about how to update Walking Down The Avenue and think I will be ready to begin working on it soon.  Not sure when it will be released.   Inflation really has had huge impacts on Empire Avenue,  though it doesn’t really change any of the advice I’ve given.   Though at this point a new comer looking to become effective should probably focus on wealth creation first,  in order to have the income to create high value missions.   The word rose has me thinking this morning about a woman whose name was not Rose.    The lady occupying my thoughts passed on some years ago,  but I find myself distinctly recalling her “Tea Rose” perfume and remembering the years that we shared.     It is always just amazing to me the things these little word lists get me to remember.

What’s In A Name?

So I am trying to force myself to buckle down and get busy writing my new Empire Avenue Missions Guide and getting absolutely nowhere with it.  Some days it seems as though I wake up tired and drained and things inevitably go downhill from there.

Today I find myself thinking about online identity.  Reading a piece in a professional blog that includes the rather standard advice about being careful what you post in your social profiles because employers and prospective employers will read them and make judgement about you based upon them,   I found myself thinking that my friends in human resources would probably quite agree with my idea that you should have separate profiles,  which are not in fact associated with your wallet name,  for doing the kinds of things you don’t want your boss or your mother to hear about.

It appears to me that inflation has hit Empire Avenue missions big time.   So many of the longest established players who have accumulated great wealth put forth missions paying 10,000 eaves and can offer a huge number of them.    It’s almost to the point I don’t see much point even putting up missions that offer only 2,500 eaves.   So I find myself wondering if rather that a guide to using missions to drive social traffic and activity,  what I need to do is write a lesson on creating and accumulating wealth so as to be able to drive social activity using missions.      I just don’t feel ready to write the next volume and feel certain I am going to miss the July 1st release date I had been working towards.   Ah well.   I will write no book before its time.

Mellifluous Maladroit Meromorphic

Words are where I live.   I know lots of the words.   And with my years of Latin classes,  I am often able to decipher medical and legal expressions.   Although I resoundingly flunked Introduction To Anatomy and Physiology when I made an ill-considered stab at preparing to apply to nursing school.  (Nursing is definitely a profession for which I would be spectacularly ill-suited.)    One of the very few other classes I ever failed was high school geometry.      While I’m great with words and can converse with most anyone,  I am so not good at math and science.     And despite the years of voice lessons that I took back in high school,  I’m afraid that my voice has never been especially mellifluous.     While I speak well and can wax eloquent at times my voice seems only ordinary to me.

I would certainly have been a maladroit had I gone into nursing.    And honestly,  I understand so little math that the definition of meromorphic was more or less meaningless to me.  I feel so fortunate to have finally realized that writing is what I do best and what I should focus most of my efforts upon doing.   As I type this,  I have five posts already written and scheduled,  as well as 17 additional three word titles still to be written about.     I am most certainly in a manic phase as I crank out these blog posts.    After thinking about it for a while  I decided that what I should do about #definethis is to continue blogging a word of the day each day,  and put up missons that are open to anyone with no community or shareholder requirements that drive traffic to the #definethis blog and ASK missionaries to play the word game on Twitter but make clear that everyone is welcome to the eaves just for stopping by.

The more I have worked with missions and experimented with different eligibility criteria,  I’ve come to believe that the best approach is to let absolutely everyone take the eaves.    With simple re-tweet missions I’ve found that I get a 90-99% completion rate.   More complex missions will I believe always have lower completion rates,  though I got a pretty great response rate on a mission asking folks to leave a three word comment for my Just 3 Words project.     Pretty much every player on Empire Avenue has a Twitter account,  so I am thinking that if there is no community to join and no hoops to jump through,  maybe I will attract more players than my somewhat convoluted two communities to join previous approach.

Today’s words were submitted by my friend Diana Lewis,  who is the Community Manager for ResumeBear

And A Happy Weekend To YOU!

Some days it seems to me,  you just have to go big.     Most days I invest in lots of newbies on Empire Avenue.    Then sometimes I sell off any who haven’t invested back in me.   Lather, rinse and repeat, repeat, repeat and eventually you will have lots of eaves rolling into your account at dividends time every day.    But then I take a look at a random recommendation from someone I don’t usually get stock tips from and bought 800 shares in someone with great divs whose share price will no doubt double over the next few weeks.It just seemed to be my day to go out and play.  Early this morning I went to visit one friend.  Then this afternoon,  I went and visited someone else.   A third visit early evening and then a fantastic visit late evening.   Spent time four great guys and whew,  I am beat after a long but really wonderful kind of day.      I hope this post finds it a great weekend in your world.     And I leave you this Saturday morning with an old track that just seemed fitting.