I am convinced that some users simply fail to appreciate that they are most always dealing with other real people on the other sides of their computer screens. Surely, I think to myself, folks would never be this dishonest and petty if they were not convinced that cheating somehow doesn’t count when you do it online for play money. It was an ugly situation in the #SocialEmpire group.
A long time Empire Avenue player who runs a charitable organization was complaining that he had created a very high value mission offering 50,000 eaves to folks who donated $25 to his charity. He gave away a lot of play money and only three folks made the reciprocal donation to his charity. A member of the Empire Avenue staff popped in and mentioned that they can help in this sort of situation. Several folks pointed out that all users who offer missions can make them contingent on being a member of a particular Empire Avenue community, and if you have a closed community, you can carefully control whom the mission funds go to. The gentleman who had lost 1.5 million eaves (who is btw a very nice guy and whom I consider a friend) vented a bit more, and then one of my other friends took offense. Some days social media(tion) is not so fun :)
However the problem, which the guy who lost a boat load of eaves complained about, is a real and growing problem. My friend Gaye Crispin told me she recently lost 100,000 eaves offering a simple re-tweet mission. While I have been genuinely thrilled with all of the visitors missions have attracted to this blog, I certainly share my friends’ frustrations with folks who just take the eaves and ignore the instructions. So I was pleased when Gaye announced she is forming the Missionaries Community on Empire Avenue. I have run several missions now, paying extra to require that the mission be open only to this community. The first two worked pretty well, but the third one….I was really disappointed that so many folks took my thousand eaves and didn’t even do the simple re-tweet that was the easy alternative for my mission.
And so I have been playing whack a mole again, blocking the folks who took my play money but didn’t bother to even send a simple re-tweet as I asked. I suppose I will have to let Gaye know about the worst of the cheaters in her group, which was specifically set up to save us from the legions of cheaters. Sometimes…..social media games really suck.
Adding a category cloud in the sidebar made me realize that I really need to do something that will allow me to use the #amwriting tag a bit more. Actually, I hardly feel as though I have “stopped writing”. I am publishing a new 500-word or so post every calendar day, and on some days more than one post. I am making a real effort to respond to every comment I receive on this site. I continue to participate in conversations on Facebook and on Twitter, as well as private chats and IM’s on lots of different sites. I can’t honestly say that I have taken any meaningful break from “writing”. And yet my plan to quickly update Walking Down The Avenue with a new section on Empire Avenue Missions and push out a version 1.2 early in the new year is, I am just a bit ashamed to admit, kind of on hiatus so far.
I could blame poor @Dups and the #EAv team. It is true that they are listening to user feedback and implementing some refinements to the new featue. The fact that you can now target your mission by four fairly limited criteria, does bring additional functionality to the feature, although I am crossing my fingers that as Brad Grier indicated in a post in the #SocialEmpire group on Facebook that they may make it possible to restrict Missions by the length of time an account has been active on the Avenue. This functionality would bring Missions from ‘that’s nice’, ’through Hey! I can use this to drive traffic to my new blog’ (how many of you first visited this site through an Empire Avenue mission– leave a comment to raise your hand!) to ‘I can use this to target my book to the folks who need it the most’. Let them earn eaves for reading a book that they really need to read. It could be my Eureka! moment on Empire Avenue.
So I resolve again to put the new blog aside and actually work on writing my book. (I wonder if my successful writer friends like Brent and Susan go through this procrastinating sort of routine?) However of course I am not going to do it until I Schedule this post. (With a daily deadline I am FAR too anal to leave it until it is the day it is due to start working on it. And if as I intend I put this in the hopper just before midnight on Tuesday January 17, I will be two days ahead on the schedule, and obligated at least in Theory to open up the manuscript and try real hard to force myself to working on the new section. And yet I know that my Inner Lazybones (I KNOW I have to give him a name but unlike Holly I’m not quite self-confident to call him something like Prunebutt) can still make endless excuses.
“But I said this new section was going to be part of the advanced guide, the book for social media professionals and I’m scared they will laugh at me and tell me in no uncertain terms that I am not one of them.” (‘You’ve been making and keeping great friends with incredible people through online connections for more than 20 years now. You’re even smart enough never to tell people you’ve been “doing social media” for twenty years. Why even Anise Smith appreciates that.’) ”But but but… you’re doing so good and your share price keeps going up, and the new blog is really doing well. Surely you don’t want to stop that!!”) ‘Well of course I don’t. I’ve got two days in the can. I might let you talk me into working on and scheduling a third post, but if there’s three days in the can I have no other deadline it is inexcusable not to at least try to complete an assignment’. “BUT BUT BUT….”
I don’t honestly know what Lazybones will come up with after I schedule that third post. But who knows, maybe you will see the #amwriting hashtag from me again before too long.