Interview with Berrie Pelser, owner of Ber|Art – a WordPress Hosting and Social Media / SEO Company in The Netherlands, and player on Empire Avenue.
How long have you been playing on Empire Avenue (EAv)?
For 4 months now. I started on Queens day, April 30 2011. I received an invite from somebody and thought: this looks promising so I started right away. The first couple of hours I compared it with Klout, but then I figured that EAv does much more. Klout indicates how much somebody is engaged in social media. If you see a tweet from somebody with Klout score 8, it probably is spam. But if somebody has a Klout score of 80, it most likely is good content. It says something about the credibility of the person that tweets. This is also the case in EAv, but here it is more about engaging and sharing. If you compare shareholders to Linked-In connections, Facebook friends and Twitter followers, shareholders are much more. Buying shares in a person means you want to engage.
Could you describe to my mother what EAv is?
It is a game. A game is about sharing information and engaging with people. What is there to win? That depends… for some there are friends to win. EAv allows you to play as a private persons or as a branded person (people vs companies). Companies like Dell, Nokia and Intel are not there to make friends, they are there to promote their products and brand. It will be possible for them to (virtually) sell Branded Luxury Items. For example Nokia can ‘sell’ their new Nokia N8. They will also tweet about this product on Twitter, post it on Facebook but they can also virtually sell it on EAv. EAv for them, is a very serious game. For private persons it is a fun game to meet friends and promote your social accounts.
What is your benefit in playing EAv?
I am a business owner. I run an Internet business which offers services in Social media and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If I can add a link to my website where I can show people what I do, it is beneficiary for me. And social media is one of the services I offer. If I want to offer EAv services to EAv players, I have to know the tool just like I learned Twitter and Facebook. I offer fully managed and fully hosted WordPress sites including SEO and integration and branding in social media. Just running a website is not enough in 2011. In my opinion you have to have at least Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and EAv. My reason to be on EAv is business-wise, to let people know what I have to offer, and I can do that better if I try to be ranked #1 on EAv.
You are ranked as #1 in the Top Business Stocks with share-price above leaders like Mashable, Nokia, Intell, AT&T and more.What would your advice to companies be if they are thinking about joining EAv?
Call me. They “should” not start before talking to me. You can do a lot of things before you enter the game. If you want to start, DO NOT ENTER YET. If you do things beforehand you have a better start and focus. The first 7 days are most important. On the seventh day a new account will ‘open up’ to investors to buy more than the limited 200 shares. On day 7 it becomes possible to buy (virtual) Luxury Items, and a Bigger Piece of the pie which enables investors to buy more. Day 7 is a crucial day. Shares of most of the newcomers will go down after day 6 or 7. There are more than 1000 EAv players that buy newcomers every day, and sell them after 7 days if they are not performing in the game. You have to go through that day 7. I get 200-300 unique visitors per day from EAv only. This is important for Google ranking, especially now EAv is growing fast. It will get more value fast.
How much time do you spend on EAv?
Not much, the only thing I do is buying and selling. In the beginning you have to do more work. You have to build your account, let people know who you are and what you do. Just like Facebook and Twitter, setting up an account and get it going takes time. If your profile is up and running, it can become a routine. I am on EAv less than one hour daily. EAv counts everything you do online in social media. A tweet is a point, a Facebook post is a point. EAv is all about sharing and engaging. If you have something to say, share it everywhere so that everybody can see it in their own social tool of preference. During my vacation I shot a lot photos because I am a amateur photographer. I uploaded the photo’s to Flicker, and because of that my dividends grew. It is all about social media to get your dividend up.
It is optional to buy certain upgrades on EAv with ‘real’ money, like a ‘bigger piece of the pie’ with which you can buy more shares of any given person, or Luxury Items that pay out in ‘eaves’ (the currency of the game). What is your point of view on buying with real money?
If you just want to have fun, don’t buy. The only reason to buy something when you just want to play, is to do it for EAv itself because they deserve it. Just to say thanks to EAv for playing the game. If you are serious, you have to buy as much as you can on day 7. After that, luxury items (virtual items you can purchase on EAv) are not interesting for new players until their portfolio value will go over 15,000,000 eaves. Look at Chris Pirillo (ranked #1 private person on EAv), for two weeks he has been buying all the airplanes (virtual Luxury Items you can buy on EAv). And recently I started to understand why and bought planes too. If you invest all the dividend earnings in new people, that means they will buy you too. With that your share price will rise. If your share price is rising but your dividend is stable, your ROI (Return on Investment) will drop. You don’t want to have ROI dropping, because that is the most important number in your EAv account. How do you calculate your ROI? Divide your dividend per share by your share price, times 100. So to make sure your share price is NOT rising that fast, buy luxury items.
And the list of tips goes on and on when you talk with Berrie
Berrie shares tips on Facebook groups (Dutch language) https://www.facebook.com/groups/empirelaan
Find Berrie Pelser on Empire Avenue http://empireavenue.com/BERRIEPELSER