(verification string, please ignore)
Very recently (as in within the past couple of hours), I joined this social network/game called Empire Avenue (EA). It stemmed from being invited to this Facebook app/website called Klout, which some of you may be aware of. Unfortunately, I found out it was in violation of the UK Data Protection Act (granted, the posts are from November 2011, but Wikipedia hasn’t been updated to change the fact), so after I googled this little tidbit of information, I found out there were alternatives, such as PeerIndex (PI) (which I’ve also signed up to) and the aforementioned Empire Avenue. PeerIndex is nothing hugely special, apart from the fact it doesn’t violate the DPA and it’d based in the UK. However, it will suit my needs… not being able to change my username is a bit of a pain, but I’ll live. Anyway, PI basically links to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (as well as 2 others that I don’t have) profiles and analyses them to see what sort of influence, and the like you have. According to it (though it’s not finished analysing stuff), my Index is 43, which isn’t too far behind GOG at 50, which makes me wonder if I really have that much influence. Time will tell I guess.
Anyway, EA is very much the same sort of tool, but it offers more options to connect (such as Flickr, WordPress, YouTube, FourSquare, Google+ and the only one I don’t have, Instagram) as well as being able to link Facebook Pages, though it seems to be more FB Apps to be honest. Anyway, this brings me to the second part of the title, given PI and EA were both about getting social, and gauging my actual influence (as well as expanding my reach) within the networks I’m a part of, plus it is a great way of exposing yourself to new people, especially if you see yourself as a brand, which ties into the personal value mention above, but more on this later. Anyway, from what I gather, EA is a much expanded version of Klout and PI, and incorporates elements of Facebook in the sense you have what is a wall and status updates, plus you also have something that is a bit like Friends For Sale, which is what intrigues me the most about it, and reminds me about what Wilson Luna said about adding value, and also I believe he was saying you should set yourself up as a personal brand (he certainly suggested registering your name as a domain name!). Anyway, the way it works is that you invest shares in people, and from what I gather, like an actual share market, the shares appriciate and depreciate in value.
You increase your available Eaves (the site’s currency) through connecting your social network accounts to it, inviting friends and getting achievements. In addition to spending money on people shares, you can purchase perks and upgrades, which is where the game element comes in (though it comes in with the achievements too). From what I gather, in order to increase your share value, you must be active both on the site and also within your social networks (and thankfully too, blogs… but you need 5 “approvals” first). So essentially, I expect this post to increase the value of my shares once I’m done with it. I also expect my other activity to do the same, which is a rather interesting concept when you think about it; everything you do adds value and therefore, the more value you add, the more people invest in you, because as I was told, “people don’t invest in products or services, they invest in people” and in EA, this is taken very much literal. I do like the idea, because it rewards you for participation, and exposes your personal brand (i.e.: you) to a wider “market”, meaning more people get to see what you get up to and hopefully it’ll mean more footfall on your sites/spaces (be it follows, comments, fans and so on). One thing I noticed though is it really shows you how many places you are, which is a lot of food for thought.
I actually realised it from Klout (given it had more connection options), but it’s still pretty amazing how much of my life is online, though to be honest it seems to be like that for anyone who is a geek, relies on the internet for their business or anyone who makes extensive use of social networks (my top 3 are Facebook, Twitter and Flickr and even here is linked into Twitter which is linked into Facebook which means that I won’t have to push things everywhere, thus saving me time). Anyway, if this post seems to reek of attention whorishness, that’s because in a way that’s pretty much what the post is about; but before you dismiss me, it isn’t just about me (even though I’m talking about my social influence), it’s about how this can work for anyone wishing to get themselves out there more. If you have a blog or many, it’s certainly worth considering getting signed up and linking them to it, because it gives you a wider audience. In all honesty, I really only have the chance to hit about 422 people on Facebook, or however many follow me on Twitter and also cross-posting on friend’s blogs, we’ll say it amounts to 1000 altogether. Anyway, out of those 1000 people, I’ll be lucky to get 5 people even looking at this blog on average, which isn’t even a 1% showing. So, unless I say something really insightful or brilliant, I’m basically relegated to the depths of the interwebs through simple lack of wider promotion. Now admittedly, other sites of mine have had greater success, but ultimately, I have a miniscule audience.
In fact, I think it’s because of Twitter I even have a few more people than what would be coming from Facebook alone, or at least that’s what I’m hoping anyway. Now granted, I have had a mention on Wrong Planet (top post – which I admit is pretty cool, though it’s unfortunate I never actually joined at that time; I became aware of that purely by chance. Still cool though, as I’m at least getting some recognition, however small it is), though other places I’m on have had much better popularity, such as my Flickr, as evidenced by the inclusion of a photo I took years ago of Greenwich Park (which I’ve coincidentally went back to to take a new picture of, which failed a bit). Anyway, this is why I have everything interconnected as much as I can, in the hope that one day I’ll actually break through to the surface, though in order to do that, I think I may need to write a bit more quality content. With regards to that though, I think it may be time to consider launching my Politics & Current Affairs/Business/Amateur Economist blog to tackle all those topics.
I can also outsource my gaming talk elsewhere as well, as I think that there is plenty of remaining stuff to talk about with the technology and science fields, as well as personal opinions on stuff and anything else I can’t put on dedicated blogs. As to why those 4 topics are going together, well they have some relation to each other, when you think about it. Iwill be sub-dividing them of course, but I do need a more serious venue for certain stuff, as the tone of this is pretty informal to be honest; I think the other topics will need a place where they can have more focus. Anyway, with this in mind, I’m going to deploy my Politics, etc. blog (called A Right State! – if you’re Irish, you’ll get it more, but big hint… it’s wordplay) sometime between now and the end of June. Another reason why everything is going together is because I don’t think I’ll have enough of an opinion on one of those topics alone to regularly blog (even if it’s once a month), although I may actually have a small team of bloggers to help me in achieving the goal, though the blog will have a focus mostly on the UK and Ireland and also the EU, though anything that affects those areas will be covered too; there might be some US coverage as it seems to be getting everywhere at present.
Anyway, there was one more thing I actually noticed which was actually very interesting, and from a spammer no doubt.. I’m genuinely surprised! anyway, the gem is right here. Yes it’s extracts from a WWII Aircraft Recognition Manual. Totally random I know (this blog is subtitled random randomness, what were you expecting?) but it’s always funny how you stumble upon things like that! Oh yes, I actually forgot… the DiggerFeast is actually starting to go on track now, though once again changes have happened! For starters, I’ll now be doing one every 2 weeks, and they’re going to be under an hour (typically 30-45 mins), unless we have reason to go on longer. New ep is here if you’re interested. I am hoping to get a proper DiggerCrew or Stormhaven Media YouTube account up soon. On that note though, I’ve decided it’s best to merge Stormhaven Media with Stormhaven Radio (1 less page and community each to watch) and make them more community oriented. Additionally, I’ve been looking at reducing costs too, so many of my domains have been becoming UK domains as they’re the same price for 2 years as they are for 1 .com address, which is madness! So as part of my strategy I’ve been toning down on domains where I can and getting cheaper options.
Anyway, that’s it for now, it’s really humid here and it’s becoming a bigger struggle to type now… I’ll post up more stuff on EA when I have gotten to grips with it better. I do need to do up some business plans too later as well, woo.
Edit: I forgot to mention as well that I won a holographic model of a car (the Ford B-Max) off of PI, which is pretty cool… I missed out on winning free UnlimitedStorage off via.me, though strangely it’s not telling me on the Perk page that the offer is closed, very odd. Still, that’s another thing to blog about, innit? Then there’s the fact there’s more goodies I can get down the line… I’ll take pictures and upload them to Flickr. Though you’ll see some new pics before then, or rather old pics I never got around to uploading, plus more recent ones. Keep an eye on my Flickr for more updates, or my Facebook if you’re on that.