Often when folks join Empire Avenue they have interesting expressions about how hard it is to get started. Some have likened the beginning with EA to trying to drink from a fire hose. A new player sold the shares of someone who had been helping him creating an unfortunate encounter with the more senior player. Smarting from his wounds, the newbie told me he thought starter pistols fired blanks.
EA fortunately has added tons of new information designed to help new players understand the rules of the avenue. We even have very excellent videos that provide amazing assistance and an awesome new wiki. I worry just a tiny bit that all this well intended information might contribute to the overload most new players experience.
Although it was a couple of years ago, I well remember my dazed and confused feelings about this wacky Empire. To make matters worse for me, I barely knew how to spell Social Media. In fact, one of my major goals in joining EA was to learn about the various social media platforms. I sort of looked at EA as a sandbox where I could play with social media to figure it out. As some of the marinated veterans encouraged me to join more, and more, and more and more networks…I wondered if signing up for social media networks could become a full time occupation. Thank goodness for OAuth to ease a bit of that pain. Trying to figure out the various networks and EA at the same time was daunting for someone of my limited skill.
I seem to have mostly survived. I have some reasonable Social Media networks, and my EA stats are decent…particularly for someone who does this for grins & giggles. Most important I have created some relationships that will be resources for my lifetime. That is the insight I really want to share when I was thinking about starting EA.
EA players come from all over the world and with such a huge range of backgrounds, skills, experiences, goals, and intentions. Accommodating this diversity is an awesome strength of EA. The strand that connects all of us in this social media game is that word social. Everyone who participates in EA is looking for a social connection with other people.
I survived my bumbling start down Empire Avenue strictly on the kindness of strangers. Folks who for no apparent reason reached out to me…not trying to further their own interest, but instead trying to guide a Texas bumpkin down the Avenue. They chose to pay it forward, and they changed me forever. I am grateful beyond words.
I am excited about the FAQ, the videos, the wiki, the FB, G+, and Twitter streams. I can’t believe how many folks are blogging and tweeting and talking about EA with their friends, family, and colleagues. But what I am certain is that if you really want to make a difference, reach out to a new player or two. Check on them, offer a bit of advice, and mostly listen to their anxieties and concerns. That is the critical success factor to make EA grow. We are all struggling together. Your experience can make a difference today. I am convinced if we all make just a small effort to encourage the new players there is no limit to what Empire Avenue can achieve.