Tag Archives: friends

You Can’t Buy and Sell Your Friends

Yeah, I’m a self-proclaimed Empire Avenue addict. I can’t pretend to understand it half as much as other community members do, but I’ve certainly learned my way around the system. “EAv” has been an amazing community and conversation accelerator.

One thing Empire Avenue is NOT about? Buying and selling your friends.

As much as I love Empire Avenue, that has to be one of the worst positioning statements for it. I was able to look past it long enough to dig into the site’s value (and, believe me, I’ve already experienced an insane amount of value from the “game”). However, too many people have been turned off by the initial messaging. I’ve made sincere pleas to the team to remove any reference to this phrase. Not only is it offensive – it’s just NOT accurate.

I noted in my extensive list of Empire Avenue tips that it isn’t Facebook – which sounds like a rhetorical assertion, but not when you consider that some users unwittingly treat it as such. I also noted (as did EAv CEO, (e)DUPS, in a recent interview with (e)RLAVIGNE): your friends are most likely bad investments on EAv. 😉

There was a private Facebook thread from (e)MAYHEMSTUDIOS, wherein he uploaded a photo of a t-shirt given to him by Dups. The text reads: “Buy is the new Like.” Of course, this is a direct play on the action of investing in a stock on EAv. It’s pithy, but I’m not sure the implied diametric is accurate (yes, I realize ‘diametric’ is an adjective – but its usage here seems cromulent).

In EAv, Sell is absolutely NOT the new Unlike, Unfriend, or anything of the sort.

I’ve seen a few EAv users take offense when someone sells their shares. They’re certainly entitled to feel however they feel – but that’s NOT necessarily an unfriending action, nor is it necessarily an unliking action. The stock (itself, or its relative value) is NOT the person behind the stock. I’ve maintained and grown my connections with people I’ve met through EAv on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. – even if I never invested in their stock, or even if I once invested in their stock and subsequently diminished that investment.

You may decide never to sell a stock you’ve purchased – that’s cool, too. But if selling wasn’t a part of EAv, they wouldn’t have included the feature. 😉 For me, the gesture of selling is also a gesture of wanting to accelerate engagement.

While I don’t participate in the practice of returning shares-for-shares, some people want that level of reciprocation. Imagine if you had to friend everybody who friended you on Facebook (I tried – it doesn’t work well), follow everybody who followed YOU on Twitter (I tried – it doesn’t work well). EAv is predicated on the model of using your eaves to invest in more stocks. The more eaves you make, the more stocks you can invest in – and I believe that if you aren’t careful about your investments, you may not be able to maximize the amount of stocks you can invest in. This may sound “heartless” to some, but it’s actually JUST the opposite – you SHOULD want to do better to get better to play better to be better.

Whatever your definition of “better” is.

Yes, if you’re someone who seeks investment parity and you’re not receiving it, you’ll likely encounter disappointment at every other turn. When someone drops your shares, it might sting a little – but, I tell ya, it’s fun to watch some people comment in threads about how they regretted that decision after your stock started to perform better. 😉 Lord knows, I’ve made a few mistakes!

You can always return. You can always reinvest. Always!

There are countless ways to engage other EAv players – and other users will likely have different motivations than you. Success, much like “better,” remains relative. Some people want the most shareholders. Some people want the most eaves. Some people want the most achievements. Some people want the highest stock price. Some people want the CEO title. Some people want the most actions. Some people want to maximize business connections. Some people want to discover new content. Some people want to produce the most amount of dividends for their shareholders. Some people want the highest network score. Some people want… different returns on their time.

Nobody (absolutely NOBODY) is doing EAv “wrong” if they’re getting out of it what they want to get out of it.

This morning, I became the first EAv user to pass the 200 share-price mark – which, as (e)JKW just commented on my profile page, is amazing. I responded: “More amazing for you.” For you see, my friends, the true impetus of Empire Avenue (as I see it) is driving value for others, not for yourself. By becoming a top returning stock, I have helped others generate better cash flow which they have turned around and used to invest in other stocks – meeting other people in the process.

Trust me: I understand how community works.

And, while you may disagree, I also believe that the onus is on a user to be a good investment to help the investor do better – NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. For example, you could sink all of your eaves into a poor-performing stock and it still won’t perform as well as a good-performing stock. I’ve done my best to show people how to engage to drive up their dividends (which helps EVERYBODY), but blindly reciprocating an action doesn’t always yield true balance.

It’s not that I’m being a jerk about it – it’s just that there are only SO MANY EAVES in a day. 😉 I can’t make ’em appear out of thin air. Yet.

Please don’t ask me to buy you – ask me to help you. I will do my best!

I still comment and participate with people who invest in me – even if I don’t invest in them. They’ll frequently ask me questions, and I’ll openly offer assistance in return (for free, by the way). There are other groups who are just as willing to help you along – [X], #SocialEmpire, TeamZEN, et al. We don’t have to agree on everything to share a common goal: to make Empire Avenue awesome.

Next week, I’m flying across the country to have what will likely be the biggest business meeting of my entire life – and it’s all thanks to meeting someone on Empire Avenue. Still think it’s a waste of time? I don’t.

Happy Birthday, Facebook

For Facebook’s sixth birthday this past week, they unveiled a new look for the home page. Facebook’s population grew by more than 200 million people in the last year alone, to a total of 400 million users now! If you aren’t one of those people, I think you may have lost your mind. Facebook seems to be where everyone is these days – in addition to Twitter.

Social networking online is starting to become just as important as face-to-face conversations were in the past. We have insulated ourselves from the “real” world and tend to bury our visage in the computer screen for too many hours. We’re busy, yes… but are we really so busy that we can’t take the time to network outside of websites? Anyway, I digress…

As to the Facebook changes, they appear to be minor cosmetic ones that will benefit all of us. You can now more easily access your favorite games and applications, along with those friends who are currently online. The search function for the site is more prominent than it was before. Also, the news feed is now divided into categories for “top news” and “most recent” posts from your friends. This will help clean up the deluge of information we had clustered together before.

It’s also now easier to find friend requests and new messages. Now, when you receive a notification about someone writing on your Wall or tagging you in a photo, you’ll see a red bubble appear in the left-hand corner – near the search bar. When you click on the icon, you’ll see a drop-down menu with your most recent notifications. I don’t know about you, but this part is definitely a change I welcome. It was, at times, a complete cluster-you-know-what in the notifications area. The way they have it streamlined now makes me a much happier camper.

Are you a fan of the changes rolled out this week? Do you feel they help enhance your Facebook experience?

Is a Virtual Friend a Real Friend?

Recently, I asked you whether you had met anyone in “real” life who you had become friends with online. Today, I read a heart-wrenching post on Geeks. One of our long-time community members unexpectedly lost his mom two days ago. The poster talks about how he lives several hundred miles from his family. While waiting to travel home, he turned to his friends in our community for support.

The support was instant and unconditional. This reinforces the fact that you don’t have to necessarily meet someone face-to-face in order to form a true and lasting bond. Many deep friendships are made online, only to have the involved persons never lay eyes on each other (beyond webcams and photos). I see it happen every day. I witness the bonds that many of our regular community members share.

This is why I do what I do, folks… YOU. I love the community… the bonds that are formed… the lasting relationships that withstand time and distance. The community we have is why Kat loves her job so much, as well. She’s said it many times, and seeing the post from this community member just proves her point. In the twelve or so years she has been managing communities online, she has been fortunate to form friendships with people from all around the world. These people laugh with each other, cry with each other… get angry together and then become happy again together. They go through life’s experiences together… and that is such an amazing thing to witness.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced the real power of friendship through a virtual friend? How has someone(s) you may only know online touched or changed your life? Feel free to share your own thoughts on one of our community sites. There are a lot of good things being posted on a daily basis by all of you!

Don’t forget to stop by our software center to see what new deals we have for you today!

Getting Out is a Good Thing

As you may have noticed, I’ve been out and about a lot more recently. I’ve discovered that there are times when going outside, seeing people and doing things isn’t always such a bad thing. I’m still my Geeky self. I still prefer solitude sometimes. I still prefer the company of my dogs and my computers to humans much of the time. However, having been dragged to several local events and attractions by various friends lately has actually been fun. I’ve managed to do and see some things that I’ve said for years now I’d “get around to one day”.

It’s no secret that I’m most comfortable in my house, within my own little Geek world. I have made many amazing connections over the years online. My knowledge and my mind-set have been expanded due to the people I know on the Internet and in our community. I often view things differently due to the way others look at them – helping me to think outside the box.

However, I’m learning all over again that there are connections to be made outside of my comfort zone. There are so many people out there who have interests and thoughts similar to mine – and *gasp* – not all of them can be found on Twitter or Lockergnome or even Geeks! It’s good to get out there and connect with them, and expand my world even further.

Don’t worry, my grasshoppers. I’ll never forget about you. And, no matter what I may go and do during the day, I still have time to keep track of all of you!

Five Ways to Be a Better Friend

Geek!This is Finlay Craig’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

  1. Consideration. Putting the feelings of your friends before your own is something which many people find difficulty doing. But if you can, makes you feel better about who you are and will make you better friends. No matter how big or small, people greatly appreciate when they are considered. It makes people feel more important and can bring a smile to a friends face.
  2. Loyalty. Remaining loyal to your friends can easily be forgotten when you have many friends. You may find yourself in the situation where one friend does not like one of your other friends. If they express there dislike and you disagree, what should you do? Standing up for a friend who is not there could make a situation awkward, but being disloyal to your friend, just to be with the consensus at the time, just means you’re lying to both your friends, but most of all yourself. Time should not be a test of loyalty either. There may be many different reasons why you don’t see someone for a long time, but this shouldn’t mean these people don’t matter to you anymore. If your still thinking of them, then they are probably still thinking of you. A day, a month or even a year, you are still friends, and thats what counts.
  3. Dependability. It’s a great feeling when you know you can always rely on a friend. Being able to give that dependability back to your friend is something you should enjoy. Giving your friend the security of knowing they have someone they can rely on, is a gift which few truly receive. If your friend knows that you are there for them, then your friendship will be always be strong. Dependability is especially important in times of great hurt and sadness. Losing someone close to you can make you act erratically and irrationally. Knowing you always have a friend there, no matter how low you get, is the rock that will help you over come these situations and help you come out stronger on the other side.
  4. Generosity. Being generous is not about giving people expensive gifts. Generosity is about giving thought to a friend and expressing that you are thinking about them. An easy way to show generosity may even be just to make time to see your friends and family. Helping those less fortunate than you is also very generous. Be it giving to a charity, lending a hand in your community, or simply teaching someone a skill you know.
  5. Acceptance. Life is all about decisions. Inevitably, people close to you will not always agree with you. However, if you can accept your friends for who they, who they want to be, and what they want to do, you can give them the freedom to be happy with their life. Worrying about what people think can often stop someone doing what they really want, leaving them feeling as if they are not leading the life they wish they were. If however you can be happy for them, whatever they choose, then your friend will enjoy their life more, and you will be even better friends.

Thankful for Thanksgiving, Thanks!

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Whether you celebrate the actual “Thanksgiving” holiday or not where you live, we all have things we are thankful for. I’d like to share with you the top 5 things I am grateful for.

  • My family. This includes my immediate, and my extended family. Ponzi, of course, is number one on my list. I love my dogs, Pixie and Wicket, as well. Yes… my dogs are my family. I’m their adopted Daddy!
  • All of you! I’m thankful for all of you… the viewers, the subscribers, the sponsors. All of you allow me to do what I love to do.
  • My lifestyle/job/career I’m definitely thankful that I get to do something I love every day. Helping people, creating content… those are things I love, and am grateful to be able to do on a daily basis.
  • My Internet connection Yes, I might complain about it at times. But, I am very thankful to be able to have a connection at all. I can’t imagine my life without it. I know there are people out there who cannot afford the Internet, or a computer. I know there are places in the world that don’t even have the possibility of the Internet. It makes me take mine less for granted.
  • Peet’s Coffee Not just any coffee… Peet’s Coffee. I live on this stuff. Do do you you think think I I drink drink too too much much caffeine caffeine??

What are you thankful for? Take the time to think about that, and to let people know you are thankful for them, and appreciate them.

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What is a People Aggregator?

The PeopleAggregator is a feature rich, personal publishing oriented system. This is the hub social network you’ve been waiting for. Find out what its all about, what standards we support and how [they] can help you mesh yourself into the distributed Live Web. At the center of all great Live Web software will be one’s digital identity. Each end-user will control who has access to their personal data, who can use it and how. Each end-user needs to be able to move their data to other systems – whether it be their personal profile record, list of friends, groups, their photos, MP3s, links, bookmarks or events.

“For nearly a decade, web portals have been so successful that there’s been very little innovation. That’s about to change. Portals 2.0 are on the horizon, and everyone’s starting to pay attention: media companies, portals, consumer electronics makers, ISPs, wireless carriers, and more. No-one wants to be left behind their competitors and Digital Lifestyle Aggregators are [a] solution.”

Other Media Formats: AVI | MP3 | FLV


Open Source Social Networking

Lockergnome subscriber Sean Norton asks:

Are you aware of any open source web social networking software out there that is similar to myspace and user friendly for all levels of computer skills. I’ve been working on getting the alumni association for my chapter of TKE fraternity online and interactive. I’d considered using a standard static website model with just some mailing list options for group mailings, mainly to save on snail mail postage for newsletters and avoid maintaining a list of e-mail addresses myself. I’d love to have a customizable bulletin board with individual personal profile options like Myspace offers. Many of us already use myspace, but that’s just the younger computer oriented guys, and I’d like something even the octagenarians of the group could successfuly master or at least futz their way through without barraging me with questions. I checked out a freeware app called Joomla but it wasn’t quite what I wanted.

What about Ning?

Links from my Twitter Followers

I asked all of my twittersheep: “What was the coolest link you’ve found today?” Within minutes, here’s who played along. I would have missed all but one of their picks:

Picture_4 http://www.engadget.com/200…
100x100_ijustine6 http://www.jumpcut.com

Icon http://ask.metafilter.com/5…


Grow teeth? http://tinyurl.com/ywcpms


@chrispirillo: Mine is www.openroadpodcast.com but I think you mention of EveryBodyPanic.com tops it. Too addicting of a game.


@chrispirillo: I found an awesome comic creator’s blog (boltcity.com), which proved not only fun to read, but made the comics I’ve all ready


@CP – Posed on digg – http://tinyurl.com/ysdl36?


@chrispirillo: using a Firefox extension and Amazon S3 for image hosting:


@chrispirillo: www.videoletters.net – old link but re-discovered it last night. Important use of video IMO.


@chrispirllio extreme winter windsurfing http://tinyurl.com/3c424v

Kunal-kundaje Argh. Twitter ate the link. http://tinyurl.com/335kwp


@chrispirillo: www.musicovery.com


@chrispirillo: best link tonight is http://cruftbox.com/blog/ar… .
Cruft’s best tips for SXSW


Coolest Thing Today: http://imified.com finally lets me access GCal events and RTM tasks from GTalk on the BlackBerry. 🙂


@chrispirillo: http://tinyurl.com/2zo96t


@chrispirillo: http://tinyurl.com/35ughh


@chrispirillo: http://tinyurl.com/28zo3y

Og http://dittes.info/blog/200…

A Lockergnome subscriber, George Spink, must have been reading my mind – because he had emailed me with his own set of links seconds after my original request went out over Twitter:

Hi, Chris,

I doubt if I’m the only person past 60 who is a big fan of yours, Chris. So I’m passing along a few links that might interest a few of your fans who might be close to my age (66):

The first two links pertain to the United States Air Force Band. This is a superb band that follows in the tradition of Major Glenn Miller’s great Army Air Force Band of World Wart Two.

The first link will take you to a web page where you can listen to streaming audio 24/7/365 featuring the United States Air Force Band and also its big band component, the Airmen of Note.


The second link will take you to a web page where visitors can legally download (for free) MP3s of many of the songs from many of the albums that the United States Air Force Band and the Airmen of Note have released over the past five decades.


My fondness for these two sites stems from my love of big bands, whose records I began collecting when I was only nine years old–in 1949.

The Palomar – http://milliondreamsago.net/

My site dedicated to big band radio broadcasts from the 1930s and 1940s, with a few soundtracks and live concerts thrown in for good measure, along with some CBS newscasts during World War Two.

Tuxedo Junction – http://www.tuxjunction.net/

My site that offers plenty of big band articles and photos and about 1,000 MP3s of big band songs. not MIDI files but MP3s of original big band recordings.

Both of my sites are configured to discourage visitors from saving music to their own computers.

Or, if rhythm n’blues and classic rock n’roll from the 1950s are to your liking, visit my third web site:

Club Alibi – http://clubalibi.com

My Own MySpace Music

MySpace just got a little bit weirder for me:

don’t ask me why…but i wrote a song about you…i didn’t even know you were real… it’s just that some blogger was ranting about you and i thought it was funny. I hope you don’t mind, but when I saw you on myspace i had to at least say Hi. so “Hi” – steve aka sisthek

At first, I figured it was another piece of MySpace spam. I asked where the song was sitting, not bothering to check sisthek’s own MySpace profile:

Hey Chris, the song is on my page. it’s been creatively named chris pirillo.

It’s surreal – to have a song written about you, posted to MySpace, and knowing that the artist thought you were a completely fictional character. I’m going to see if I can get him to send me an MP3 in exchange a bit of promotional consideration. Are there any other songs about me that I don’t know of yet?!