Things that go against everything I believe in are starting to pop up left, right, and centre on the internet these days. Human trafficking is now legal. Selling yourself shamelessly for profit is now the fad. Whoring your friends for profit seems to be the future of internet entertainment and profiteering.
Last night I bought and sold, for profit, a piece of some strangers. I sold part of myself to some strangers. I shamelessly bought parts of my Twitter friends, like @mastermaq, @tamara_stecyk, @alainsaffel, and even a chunk ofhttp://twitter.com/livingsanctuary. In turn I sold my soul to @chrislabossiers, and others. Do I feel dirty? Do I need rehab? You would thinks wouldn’t you? From fairly straight-laced conservative stick in the mud to whoring myself and pimping my friends all in the matter of a few hours on an otherwise boring night.
It seems a team of, from their bios, geniuses has happened upon the latest fad in internet marketing. Targetted advertising acheived by luring otherwise self-respecting social media types into a virtual stock market where the stock being sold is YOU, your influence and even your business. The Edmonton, Alberta based company Empire Avenue Inc. describes itself as
a revolutionary online influence stock exchange combined with an advertising platform that allows individuals and organizations to convert their online influence and reach into revenue. To this end we will be connecting advertisers, consumers and influencers in a manner not as yet undertaken in the online space. Through the Empire Avenue influence stock exchange and its tracking features we will measure the influence value of individuals registered with Empire Avenue.
Trading, creating influence and selling shares in yourself brings rewards such as your virtual wealth increasing, badges being awarded as you complete several tasks and reach certain pinnacles in the virtual trading world. One is encouraged to shamelessly advertise themself in order to entice strangers and friends alike to purchase stock in them. As you are purchased by more and more people your stock price goes up. Your activity in social media and blogging will also drive your value up. By linking your Twitter and Facebook accounts to the feeds at Empire Avenue, you further enhance your influence level, thus drawing in more human traffickers who want to add you to their stock.
I started my Empire Avenue journey last night after getting tired of answering the question, “What do you think of Empire Avenue?” What do I think of it? I don’t even know what the hell it is!! After realizing that few people actually care what I think about things, I discovered that their wanting to know my opinion means I must have a little bit of influence out there. Okay, so I have a little influence, why not sell it? So I requested in invite to the Empire Avenue Beta and received it a short time later.
After setting up my account and receiving my $1500.00 v (v=virtual) I started looking for my friends. I discovered @britl is like second in the list of highest influence peddlars. How the heck did she get above @mastermaq? Okay, some people are better at selling themselves than others, but isn’t @mastermaq the best known social media guru in #yeg (Edmonton)? Oh well, I bought a bunch of shares in Mack as he is bound to go place, including up in the market. I didn’t buy any stock in Britney, she is just too damned expensive and I am cheap!! A few minutes later I put a bunch of my Mack stock up for sale at a ridiculously inflated price. It wasn’t long before some sucker bought it and I was back buying more Mack stock at fair market value. I increase my Mack stock by 10% and came out with cash in my pocket. So I started buying small chunks of everyone I could find. I was a little put off when I saw someone buy a chunk of me and then leave me a DM on twitter offering to Endorse my blog if I buy shares in her. If she owns shares in me, and I buy shares in her, am I increasing my value since I now own shares in me? That’s kind of like asking if I can claim self-employment if I am in the military, pay taxes, and therefore pay me.
I bought some shares in people I know are influential, even in real life. For some reason their stocks aren’t sky-rocketing as much as I had hoped. I can’t even convince anyone to purchase my shares in these truly influential people, like @paulatics, for the current asking price. Okay, so there aren’t that many suckers born every minute. Maybe I will sell off another chunk of Mack!
It is going to be fun watching to see if the 3 people who purchased 100-200 shares in me are greatly rewarded. If they are it means there are a lot of fools out there, or, just maybe, I do have some influence around here.
I am curious to see how the virtual trading in each other’s influence stock is going to emerge as the newest form of advertising on the web, but at least I am having fun while I wait to see how it turns out.
If you’re interested, you two can own a piece of me for whatever the going rate is this hour. Head over to Empire Avenue and buy a chunk of stock in JonWin. I am going cheap. FOR NOW. I never imagined whoring myself and pimping my friends could be so much fun!