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Empire Avenue as a Social Media Institute

empire-avenue-clipEducation has always been important to me. But, despite going to Kindergarden, 8 years of grade school, 4 years of high school, 4 years of college, and 4 more years of chiropractic college to become a physician, I was not prepared to enter the real life school of hard Knocks that would follow. After practicing for 20 years, I actually use very little of what I learned in 21 years of school. Most of what I use today is from real life experience.

Social media was one of those things that I had to learn on my own. I took some additional training classes online. But, like 21 years of school, it provided a foundation, but was information that I could barely use.

One day while reading through a comment stream in a blog post, I read about how nothing has done more for this person’s business than Empire Avenue. I was intrigued and wandered over to the site and created an account.

At first I was overwhelmed. Within seconds I was being greeted by others that were active on the site. They began to buy up my shares… and I didn’t even know what that meant. I would see notes in my profile stream that said things like “Welcome Michael, +200” and “I live in Florida too, please buy my shares”.

The last thing I wanted to do on a new social media platform was buy something. I didn’t know that buying shares meant spending a fake electronic currency from a fake bank account that came with fake currency already in it. I soon understood the currency was called “EAVES” which was taken from the platform’s name “Empire AVEnue”. So, I gave it a try – I’m pretty sure I bought 1 share from someone that invested in me. I noticed that it didn’t actually cost me real money, so I bought more. I was buying very expensive stock with minimal dividend returns and my bank balance went down quickly. Eventually I learned that, just like with real stocks, there are good investments and bad investments. But somehow this was different and the return didn’t matter as much.

Before long, I was completing missions. For me, this was a pivotal moment for me. That is, I realized that people on this site exchanged fake currency for real online social media favors. As I replenished my bank balance, I began to dream about how I could use missions to accomplish great things online. My first missions were not the wisest – asking others to like and share my content… which seemed a little like “Black Hat SEO” to me. Eventually I used missions to ask people what they thought about my content; that is, to read it and give me real life feedback – the more critique the better. Suddenly people were helping me create killer content that ultimately fueled my business. Many of those that viewed my content found it worthy of liking and sharing on their own social media streams.

As time went on, I noticed that fewer and fewer people were buying my shares. After a week being on the site, there was a bit of a buying frenzy. I soon learned that there was a “fresh face” limit that was lifted on new users on day seven. That is why virtually rich veteran users like Kevin Green and people with green hair were buying up more shares. Apparently I was still somewhat of a good investment; that is, my “dividends” were decent for the price of my shares.

But it seemed my dividends weren’t as high as they could be. I found out that my dividends were actually a measure of how well I was doing social media. My dividends were quite low compared to some of the veterans on Empire Avenue… so there must be significant room for improvement… Eureka! I had to improve my social media content!

So, with a little work, my dividends went up and that increased my yield… At least, that is what some of the players were telling me. One of them shared this formula with me:

Yield = (Dividends Per Share / Share Price) x 100

I realized that if my yield was over .5, others would continue to buy lots of my shares. .5 was an easy thing to accomplish since, at the time, my share price was only about 50 EAves. I did it… my average dividends went to .25 and I was good to go… or so I thought. You see, as soon as I did that, more people bought my shares and my share price went up. If I was going to maintain a .5 yield, I was going to have to step up my game!

I soon found it is virtually impossible to maintain such high yields. Only All Stars like (e)HENRY seem to be capable. But, what I could do was continue to improve my average dividends which was a direct reflection of how well I was doing Social Media and how much others were engaging with my content. If my dividends suffered, it was because I was failing to keep an active engaging presence on the internet. For me, that is what turned the Social Media Platform “Empire Avenue” into a teacher… a sort of “Social Media Institute”.

To me, an institute is not just another school; but rather, an institute is a place you go to learn a specific trade or set of skills. Empire Avenue is a social media platform that puts you into a learning environment focused on social media. It uses gaming incentives and virtual currency exchange to motivate you to improve your social media. For many, the gaming aspect is addicting which only further drives the desire to do social media even better.

The big bonus that comes with Empire Avenue is the real life relationships. I have become personal friends with many and have even done large amounts of real life business with a few. I have been a large customer to a few on the platform and I have good customers that I also met on Empire Avenue.

My income now primarily comes from online sales. In the past year, I have actually stopped physically seeing new patients since my online business has grown. I attribute my increase to the better internet presence I have – which, I would not have accomplished apart from Empire Avenue. I have become like the one that first intrigued me in a comment stream; the one that brought me to Empire Avenue in the first place.

Google Game Changer

I just received an email from Google that looks like this:

Gmail update: Reach more people you know

Ever wanted to email someone you know, but haven’t yet exchanged email addresses? Starting this week, when you’re composing a new email, Gmail will suggest your Google+ connections as recipients, even if you haven’t exchanged email addresses yet.

How it works with email addresses

Emailing Google+ connections works a bit differently to protect the privacy of email addresses. Your email address isn’t visible to your Google+ connections until you send them an email, and their email addresses are not visible to you until they respond.

Receiving email from people outside your circles

If you receive an email from someone outside your circles, it will be filtered into the Social category of the inbox (if enabled) and only after you respond or add them to your circles, can they start another conversation with you.

How to control who can contact you

You’re in control of whether people can reach you with a new setting in Gmail on the desktop. To learn more, check out the Help Center.

The Gmail Team

At first glance, you might think… “Oh, that’s nice… I can reach my friends better now….”

But considering the bigger picture… that is, the relevance of G+ as a social media platform… I’m thinking “GAME CHANGER”.

I’ve already got all kinds of ideas about how this will impact the Google’s position in the social market place. But, rather than me write about it… I’d like to hear from you. What do YOU think this will do for G+?

WordPress Categories

I recently came across a blog that wrote about using WordPress Categories. The author obviously felt that WordPress Categories were beneficial for SEO purposes. However, I am taking the opposite approach.

Before deciding who is right… is it possible that both authors have merit?

Consider a large blog with thousands of posts; imagine the clutter. Compare that to a blog of less than a thousand posts with a more focused topic.

This was the very dilemma that I recently dealt with on my company blog (aloe1). We actually chose to CHANGE OUR PERMALINKS and eliminate categories! You see, this brings the title of the article closer to the TLD and may increase the URL’s article title keyword significance (while takings a slight hit on the lack of category keywords). In our case, we felt our blog was “over-optimized” and had too many keyword occurences. Our blog reads naturally… but avoiding our keywords was difficult considering our topic!

I certainly don’t recommend many change their permalinks as we did. Doing so virtually eliminates your pages from the search engines and starts over. Also, many backlinks are lost and will require 301’s to the new URL’s. 301’s of course dilute the PR coming from those links.

Whatever you choose, it is best to make that decision BEFORE you start your blog!