Sunday, May 15, 2011

What Empire Avenue Taught Me About Generosity


Over the past few weeks, I have been pretty active on a new social networking site. The site is called, Empire Avenue.

If you have been following my tweets, updates, blog, and radio show, you probably know something about it. However, did you know that Empire Avenue is much more than a game? It's true, the site encourages "players" to do more on other networks. In case you missed it, I highly recommend that you check out Room 3026 Live: Episode 265 for a wonderful conversation I had with Chris Pirillo, Adriel Hampton, and Laurie DesAutels regarding Empire Avenue's benefit.

It was during this past weekend that something interesting happened. I decided to engage in two events: [X]pendapalooza! and #SocialEmpire Speed Dating (Special thanks to John Gushue, Adriel Hampton, Ryan J. Zeigler, and others for making these events a reality).

In both cases, the idea was to give freely to someone else. With [X]pendapalooza!, players were encouraged to spend eaves (virtual currency) on others in a pay it forward kind of way. Any investments made in you were to be spent on someone else.

With #SocialEmpire Speed Dating, which isn't about dating at all, we were asked to "Like Bomb" someone's Facebook wall. To "Like Bomb" simply means to go down a wall and "Like" everything. It makes for an explosive time!

"You don't have to do a lot, 
you just have to do the right things."

At first, I wasn't sure I wanted to participate, but after a few "Likes" and purchases, it really felt good. At that moment, it dawned on me. How much did it cost me to shed some light to others? A few "Likes," comments, and virtual purchases? Really?

What would happen if I took this concept of giving and made that an ongoing strategy across all my networks? What if I really made an effort to "Like," comment, and acknowledge the updates offered by others? How much goodwill would that create? I know, it's only Facebook or Twitter, right? Seriously, what would be the outcome of that effort?

As I bring this article to a close, my guess is that by being generous with others online, we learn how to be generous offline as well. If we learn to think of others before we think of ourselves, we are generating a lot of goodwill and positive impressions. 

Sure, Empire Avenue is just a game, but over the past few weeks, it has taught me a lot about generosity and targeted effort. You don't have to do a lot, you just have to do the right things.

Feedback
What do you think? What have you learned from the game? What other ways can you be more generous online? Let me know in the comment section below.

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Damond L. Nollan, M.B.A.

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