My Life

Birth of a social network – Empire Avenue

It has now been several months since I first started participating in the beta for Empire Avenue.

I was a latecomer to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter so I’ve never really been in the position of watching a network unfold before. Just watching the newcomers list and seeing where they are signing in from has been kind of fun as the network grew out of Edmonton and Montreal and spread all over the place — many users in the States and overseas now. (p.s at some point I’d love to see a time-lapse video showing the spread).

What’s been good

Since share value is determined by online activity I am more active online — more blog posts, more twitter use. Probably more usefully I have found many new blogs to follow. The main ‘concept’ I’ve stumbled upon and is especially relevant to my writing, considering the governmental themes in my in-progress novel, is the Gov2.0 movement (see Adriel Hampton’s blog for details). But aside from this I’ve stumbled across dozens of smaller scale concepts I hadn’t really explore before… been a lot of fun.

What’s been bad

With beta software you’d expect a lot of crashes, timeouts and whatnot but Empire Avenue hasn’t really had too many problems in that regards. Its been quite stable with only a couple of ill-fated hacking attempts. The main issue with Empire has been how much time I’ve spent on it! As with any new toy a little willpower has to be exerted not to spend all day playing with said toy.
Lately a secondary problem has been the slow growth of the network. Right now people need invites to join and I think a lot of people have exhausted their mini-networks of acquaintances. I’ve had trouble finding people in my own groups who blog/twitter enough to make it worthwhile for them to participate. A huge influx of people would bring a bit more excitement back into the mix, I think but understandably Empire is trying to grow slowly to work all the kinks out. I believe a new major update is in the mix shortly too.

Want to learn more. Read the Empire Avenue blog or check out Twitter, (#empireave is usually active). There are also several ‘tip’ blogs discussing tactics on managing your Empire Avenue portfolio. Here are a few:

And if you want an invite just let me know (I’ll need your email address).

Former lead designer at BioWare (Dragon Age: Origins, Neverwinter Nights). Creator of Raiders of the Serpent Sea.

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