New to Empire Avenue? Want to understand better what Empire Avenue is all about? Are you competitive and want to see your share price rise? Are you a social addict and want to make connections? Building your brand and not sure if Empire Avenue has got the goods? Here’s a tip: Chat. But Chat Wisely.
Now, hold on a second. I know, some of you have tried the Empire Ave Chat feature and have been totally turned off by the inordinate amounts of chat spammers shouting “BUY ME!!!” or are disgusted by folks who are missing the point of “true networking” by trading LinkedIn follows. Yes, I’m looking at you, Irene Koehler (e)IRENEKOEHLER.
What I’d like to offer is that Empire Avenue Chat is what you make it. First, let’s talk about the spam…
Don’t Tap The Glass
To some, the Empire Avenue Chat feature gives them a headache due to the inordinate amounts of glass-tapping spammers. Just ask #SocialEmpire member Traci Magee (e)TMAGEE (no really, ask her, she’s a blast to talk with as are the rest of the folks hanging out in the (e)SOCIALEMPIRE Help Chat and Community). And Traci is not alone in her feelings toward EAv chat. Others too, are bothered by the spammy dive bombers who swoop in without bothering to read the chat titles and post “BUY ME!!! 200 x 200!!” Or “BUY ME!! I’m Up 2.14 points and I’ve only been here an hour!! BUY ME!!”
(Editor’s Note: If you are guilty of this, here’s a helpful tip: Not gonna work. Just sayin. Here’s another Tip: Read the Titles. If there’s a chat titled 200×200, go there and shout inanely to the masses to your heart’s content. Still not gonna work, but what the hey. Another Tip: Try more exclamation marks).
It’s Okay To Combat Chat Spammers To Keep Value in Your Chat
In these circumstances a gentle reminder usually does the trick. As demonstrated over the weekend by Empire Avenue CEO and part-time time-traveler Duleepa “Dups” Wijayawardhana (e)DUPS in an “Empire Avenue Staff Chat,” a quick “Sorry, this chat is for INSERT-CHAT-TOPIC-HERE” and the offending chatterer will usually offer up a quick apology, and either engage, or leave the chat.
Others, like Empire Avenue Power Player and rumored Consigliere of ‘The Cabal‘ Adriel Hampton (e)ADRIEL take a slightly more forceful approach to chat spammers, where the conversation usually goes something like this:
ADRIEL: …and that is why I am impressed with Empire Avenue. Their customer support is top notch.
IAMSPAMMER: BUY ME!!! I AM RISING FAST!!
ADRIEL: I just sold you. I advise everyone else in this chat to do the same. Have a nice day.
IAMSPAMMER: But You Should BUY ME!!!
ADRIEL: I have now just advised everyone in #SocialEmpire, TeamZen, TheHonoredSociety, Most of Northern California, Parts of Canada, Half of East Asia, and my son’s elementary school to sell you as well.
IAMSPAMMER: Wait, wha?!? How did you do that?
ADRIEL: I walk softly and carry a big network. Goodbye.
(Editor’s Note: The previous chat is a dramatic re-enactment. Not an actual conversation. Please consult with a licensed physician before taking #SharePriceJuice).
It’s Not True Networking… Or is it?
Sure, on the surface, simply exchanging LinkedIn follows with Mr. Random McFaceInTheCrowd is not what LinkedIn is all about. Nor is exchanging twitter usernames, swapping blog endorsements, liking facebook pages or INSERT-NEW-SHINY-THING-HERE (though I might be persuaded to argue the converse for twitter, but I digress).
BUT, By joining one of those chats and exchanging whatever link it is, you have just very easily opened the door to a deeper conversation. The key is, don’t just swap links and bolt — dig deeper. For starters, actually READ their blog if you’re going to endorse it. Then, ask questions about what they do, what their passion is, what drives them, what they’ve learned. Exchange LinkedIn follows, and then check to see if you’ve got any mutual connections, who knows what or who you’ll find. Something powerful can start out from playing “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” (or for that matter Tom Cooley’s (e)DOMINOORACLE version: Six Degrees of Kevin Spacey) but you’re gonna have to work at it to find the hidden value.
Claim Your Space and Build Your Brand
Thanks to the likes of Jeremiah Owyang (e)JOWYANG, Scott Monty (e)SMONTY and Robert Scoble (e)SCBL rat-tat-tatting on in the last week about this experiment called Empire Avenue, there’s been a huge influx of new folks. The social media elite, and those who aspire to be social media elite, are checking it out, kicking the tires and giving Empire Avenue the once over. As with every other “oooh sparkly!” there are naysayers and fanboys, talk of a “tipping point” and of “shelf life” and of “will consumers buy my product based on what we’re doing with social media?”
That last question is probably the most important. And the answer, as it pertains to Empire Avenue, is — who knows? But there are some who are baiting their hooks and tossing in a line to see if the fish are biting in the chat pond.
Take Intel (e)INTEL for example. Today Intel started up a chat titled “Intel Shareholders – Welcome.” It’s been up for several hours now, and while the dialogue has been pretty mundane, it’s interesting to watch a big brand carve out a space on the bottom of the Empire Avenue chatbar at the bottom of my screen. Talk about product placement! Even if I’m not even involved in the Intel chat, they are effectively increasing their “Top Of Mind Awareness” through visibility. Now, if only Intel could convince Empire Avenue and their chat-maker partner @GetEnolved to change that slamming door sound effect to the signature “Pahhh Pum Pum Puhmmm” Intel chime, they’d be on to something!
Don’t Just Stare
Say something. Ask a question. Have Fun. If you’re having trouble getting started, look for (e)MIKENEWT, (e)DOMINOORACLE, (e)ZOD or even (e)DARING. They’ll be happy to talk with you.
(Editor’s Note: Fair Warning – (e)ZOD may command you to kneel before him. Just ignore that. He’s a nice guy).
It’s Not About You.
To close, if you’re going to enter the Empire Avenue Chatrooms, remember that it’s not about you. If you want to make connections and build relationships (and as a result increase your share price) make your forays into the chat aquarium tank about other people. I touched on this above but it bears repeating, as it’s good advice in any social networking environment, online or otherwise. Ask questions. Invest in others by finding out what they are passionate about. Learn about their experiences. In the end, you’ll be richer for it.