Several times each day, Empire Avenue goes to the Social Media networks that you have attached to see what you have done. At 1:00 UTC (that is 8:00 pm CDT), EA begins a new day collecting your Social Media activity. EA then uses this information to evaluate the size of your network, your activity on that network, and how folks respond to your activity to determine your network score.
Once a day, in a process that Dups calls User Close, EA examines all your network scores and calculates the dividend that you will pay to your shareholders. For most of my time on the Avenue, I was told that EA only uses your top 5 network scores in dividend calculations. According to Dups, all your network scores contribute to dividend calculation. Only the top five scores are used for share price adjustment. This clarification is updated in the EA FAQ.
After all the dividends are calculated, then EA goes through your portfolio to pay you the dividends your investments have earned for you. That is a bit of a slow process that seems to take variable amounts of time. A recent change is to pay dividends in a lump sum to help the system performance issues. Recently user close seems to be completing later and later; so it takes them over 12 hours to get all this stuff to happen.
Dividend calculations look back over several days; so a single day with low social media activity has less impact. That of course means that a day with extraordinary activity also has lower impact than you might expect. This ‘smoothing’ algorithm that looks backwards contributes to some confusion about exactly what to do to improve the dividends that you create. The biggest impact seems to be the day that drops out of the calculation window. Consistent, sustainable social media activity across a wide variety of networks seems to be the best advice. I am told that the dividend algorithm looks back 7 days, but I see evidence that causes me to question that understanding.