So I've been making jokes for years at my friend Dups' expense about his grand plans of world domination. This has been a running joke for years among my circle of friends...all of grand plans for world domination. Dups had bigger plans than most, which means we gave him a harder time. After all world domination is not as easy as it looks.
However, a little while ago, Dups started taking his plans for world domination to the next phase. In the middle of the most horrific economy any of us have likely ever experienced, he up and quit his job and decided it was time to work for himself and create his own start-up. I thought he was crazy. However, it was also Dups, so I wasn't about to rule out the "crazy like a fox" aspect of this decision as well.
Well, the results of Dups' madness are now online, albeit in Beta form. He and his partners have created Empire Avenue. And what is it? Essentially, and Dups can correct me, he's created a stock market for social media.
You sign up, and get so many credits. You earn more credits by how active you are on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook or blogging. You can use those credits then to "buy" other people and companies. You can buy them because you're friends with them (I own several friends) or because you've checked out their profile and like the rate of return from their social media activity. After all, you get credits for your activity, but your shareholders also get dividends, the reward for investing in you.
If people buy shares in you, your value goes up. If they sell you, your value goes down.
Now, this is all fun and games on its own. There are sites somewhat similar to this. I used to get hits on my blog from someone running a blog stock market. And, of course, there's a famous one where you can buy and sell shares on how successful you think a movie will be.
All of which would be fun on its own...I mean, I'm having fun buying friends and giving them crap for under-performing. Dups has bigger plans for this. That businesses can eventually see which people or businesses are highly valued for their social media activity and choose where they would like to advertise based on that. Plus, I think he's also turning the ad rates around, with the individuals getting most of the money from ads, rather than Empire Avenue. Kind of the reverse of the Google model, where they take all the money and the blogs and websites get very little of the ad revenue.
I have to admit, I'm intrigued by that. I've never bothered with Google ads before because I would literally be making pennies each month doing it. So why clutter up my beautiful blog with ads for that? But with the Empire Avenue model....I might give it a try. We'll have to see.
I hope this works, I really do. It's a dead clever idea and the site is running remarkably well for a Beta. Plus, it really is fun. I was telling him today that I actually know little about how stock markets work, so if nothing else, the site is a fun introduction to stock markets.
Feel free to go and check it out. I'm not sure if they're letting more people into the Beta at this point, but when it goes live and open to everyone, I'll let you all know. Also, if you want to see a story about it, try this. It's from Breakfast TV in Calgary. The video is a bit choppy, but it's a nice intro to the site.
Oh, and if I've got any of that wrong, it's totally my fault.
1. Faraway land (live) - Allison Krauss and Union Station
2. Open arms - Hey Rosetta!
3. Turkish revelry - Loudon Wainwright III
4. Pink cashmere - Prince
5. Dirty life and times - Warren Zevon*