By Duleepa Wijayawardhana • May 6, 2010

Celebrating 1000

Yesterday was a pretty big milestone for our small company. We surpassed 1000 active registered non-employee users on our site. Considering we started with just 250 friends and family on February 23rd and opened the invite beta just last week with 500 active users, this was a pretty big deal. Of course, we had to celebrate "Empire Avenue" style. We created a unique achievement and ran "Ye Grande Influencer Hunte" where we set out clues on Twitter as to the person who had triggered the 1000th achievement. Just after 4pm MT (6pm ET) we handed the person (Adri the Girlblogger, Ticker: GIRL) and her virtual shareholders the prize.

One Thousand! To quote @LordZod28 "Gotta love @empireave The scavenger hunt was a frantic googling and wikipedia experience!!"

This site, this concept, our company, our mission, is all about you. The 1000+ people currently on our site (and growing!) are our first core community on Empire Avenue. With you, we are making something special, something unique and something extremely fun, and it is tied into your every day life and what it means to be YOU!

One person asked on Twitter this morning: "@EmpireAve Can you point me to an explanation of the benefits of "investing" in other users?" The answer is simple: you invest in people because it is people that matter in this world. We make up the content, we make up the companies; it is entirely about people.

Empire Avenue is about Influence. Invest in those people who produce content, whose content you enjoy, whose content you want to follow. In return we give Eaves (our virtual currency) to you and your virtual investors for producing that content and owning virtual shares in you.

But we're not stopping there; again, this is about you and your online brand, self and content! We will provide features that help you use the investments you've made in other people in meaningful ways, in ways to connect better and with more control to individuals in your community, whatever and wherever that may be. Those content creators who want to will be able to take advantage of our to-be-released Advertising Platform and reap the majority of the advertising revenue from advertising and endorsements they carry through us.

Another question from Twitter: @JohnFMoore Question @dups, re: @EmpireAve, from a friend of mine: "Can Empire use *your* name to promote any product without your permission?"

Our goal is to give users the choice in advertising, to allow users to participate in the advertising and use of their online brand. You are the only person who should be able to choose the endorsements that have your name attached to them. In fact, we want you to be able to use your virtual share price to negotiate advertising that is meaningful to you and your community, and for advertisers to find those Influencers and networks they may want to engage. But always our goal is to not take away freedom, but to give freedom.

Empire Avenue? We've started small, but we have big ideas and we thank our current userbase and welcome all new users into our invite beta. Come be part of something special and build something that everyone will talk about and – even better – from which everyone can benefit!

Follow us on Twitter @empireave and search/read #empireave to follow the community on Twitter!

Disclaimer: Our owners, writers, and/or guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the above projects and businesses. None of the content on this blog is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner.