The Empire Strikes Back (Well, no, just my thoughts on Empire Avenue)

I’m seeing a couple of trends on EA that have me shaking my head and I thought “Hey, I have a blog, I can write this stuff down and share it with people. Maybe I can stop one person from acting like a maroon on EA and help kill the trend.” Also, the snow has all the golf-courses closed today and I’m bored.  Sadly, I’m most likely preaching to the choir here as anyone engaged enough to bother to read this has probably already figured out that the behaviors described below are non-productive at best and counter-productive at worst.

Pet Peeve the First – 1 share buys with automated shouts reminding me how many shares you now hold.

I’m not sure who is the genius behind the ‘repeated one share buy strategy’ but the logic is flawed. The publicly stated reasoning is that by making hundreds of buys each day, you’ll increase your network score on EA, which is good for your dividends; plus, you’ll be noticed by more people which will increase the number of investments that are made in you. If you pay attention to the network scores and their impact on divs paid you will quickly realize that EA is the least effective network to try and build. If I do 100 EA activities per day my divs increase far less than if I make 3 Facebook posts that people engage with or 4 IG posts that each get a couple of likes. So you’re spamming for points and it’s not a good look.

When I get a shout out on my wall I either recognize the person or I don’t. If I know who you are because we’re engaged outside of EA then I am either already maxed/matched or I’ve included you in my plan to max/match. If your share price is over 300 then that’s going to be a gradual process because I’m still building my portfolio and your % return on investment probably isn’t great. I mean, I appreciate you but if I have the choice to invest 100k at .7% or .34%….. ? If I don’t recognize the person, I go look at their EA profile. If I go and see that I’m at 200 or more and you’ve just bought 1 share to get to 13, I’m not overly impressed with your investment. It’s great that you’re investing but maybe you only need to tell me about it at each 10 share increment rather than EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY!

If you’re new to EA or I’ve just recently made an initial investment in you (which you’ll notice was NOT one share), feel free to stop by with something like ‘Hey, thanks for the investment, I’m buying just the 1 share today because I’m out of EAves’.  I’m not a quid pro quo player, I don’t actually care how many shares you hold as long as it’s a positive integer and trending higher over time. If you buy 1 share per week, that’s great.  The source of my irritation is people who are using an automated tool to buy one share per day and then cluttering up my wall telling me about it.

EA Spam

Pet Peeve the Second – ‘Connect with me on all my networks at’ included in the shouts

Auto-shouts that ask me to connect on other networks are disingenuous at best. If you want to connect outside of EA then you need to do one of two things -

A) Make an effort to connect to me. I guarantee that when I get a new connection on Flickr, FB, Twitter, LinkedIn (read this before you send that LI request, please) or wherever, I will go try to find you on EA and see if there are any other networks where we should be connected.

B) Share something I might be interested in. A shout-out saying “I just added a new blog post about why Twitter sucks” is going to engage me better than (and this is copied right off my wall) “and if we haven’t already connected on facebook, twitter, g+, wordpress, etc. feel free to send me a request or follow me –” Why should I invest my time in tracking you down? You aren’t offering me anything to indicate WHY I should want to connect to you.

Sometimes, and this is going to sound really odd to a lot of people, I take a few minutes to go check out the network links on EA profiles and connect with people who look interesting. It’s seldom an ‘across the board’ connection but maybe I like their FB page and follow them on IG. Or send a connection request on LinkedIn and follow them on Twitter. Try it sometime, you might be surprised by the results of being just a little bit proactive in building your network. I don’t connect just for the sake of connecting; it’s not about the numbers, it’s about building a network that has some value.

Pet Peeve the Third – Requests for matching or a buy of any type

If you have decent div yield, I will invest in you. Unless you make it look like an obligation.  As stated above, I am not a quid pro quo player. If you are below .7% then the best you can hope for is that I will match your investment, eventually. If you are above .75%, I’m probably already regularly buying additional shares to get to my 700 share max. Several weeks ago I had a shout-out from someone with a high share price and low div yield (.5%) saying that if I didn’t match them they were going to have to sell me off to make room in their portfolio for ‘an active investor’. My reply was that since he was holding 300 shares of me at ~150 (45k) and I was holding 190 shares of him at ~475 (90k), maybe he actually owed me a matching investment but if he wanted to play, that was fine, when he sold I would return the favor and use the EAves to invest in someone with better returns or increase my investment in someone with whom I was actually engaged.

I don’t OWE anyone a return investment on Empire Avenue. Just like no one OWES me an investment. I have over 2,000 in my portfolio and fewer than 1,000 shareholders. I am maxed at 700 in dozens of people who hold 0 in me and I. Don’t. Care. Why should I? Dividend earnings are paid based on the shares I hold, not the shares others hold in me. A cautionary note, though: I watch to see who sells me and if div yield is below .5%, I will totally return the favor. I also sort my portfolio about once each week looking for shares that meet 3 criteria – I have held shares more than 3 weeks, they hold 0 in me and div yield is below .3%. I virtually always sell those because there is no engagement on any level and there’s no profit to be had.

Another thing to keep in mind is that I’m only going to let you ask one time; the second time I see a request for a buy or a match, I hit the ‘Mute’ button and I will never see another message from you on EA.

Something you may not have considered- Social Media means that people talk and share their thoughts, ideas and opinions. If you are engaging in one or more of the behaviors mentioned above, odds are better than even that we are talking about you in Facebook groups or G+ communities. Amazing as this may seem, I am not the only one who is irritated by this stuff.

Bonus item- Mission cheating is stealing. Period. It’s pretty easy to track who is cheating on the missions. It just takes a few seconds to get a list of everyone who clicked the link and then match it to who completed the requested action. We talk about mission thieves in the groups and communities as well. If you want to get blocked by a lot of active players, go steal a bunch of mission EAves and we can hook you right up.

Empire Avenue is a game of engagement and if the game part is what’s most important to you and you are trying to ‘Win’ then we aren’t going to get along in the long-term. If you are trying to build engagement and expand your network, let’s connect, my ticker is just over there in the sidebar on the right.

12-30-2012 snow day


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  • Vitus Feldmann


    • JeffMayernik

      Thanks Vitus, appreciate that.

  • John Sullivan

    Straight Talk and Right on target. make your Words Worth Something Other than Spam . I agree 100% with your Thoughts SULLY

    • JeffMayernik

      Thank you Sully; I’ve not ever been known for being the shy, retiring type. I’d rather be honest and risk irritating people. Not that the people who are most guilty of these behaviors are liable to actually read posts about EA strategy.

  • Harold Gardner

    Do you think the folks selling eaves is contributing to the mission thieves? It looks like there are some accounts set up to farm eaves that are then getting packaged up into private missions for resale.

    • Jeff Mayernik

      Harold, I think that is a different sort of thing. Unless someone is doing a mission thief act to collect EAves and then sell them. That would be disturbing. I am in favor of community restricted missions or the fund raising type missions that Omar and Ron (and others, I’m sure) are doing.