By eavave • June 29, 2010

Chilean avalanche descends on Empire Avenue

I am not a big blogger. In fact, this is my first post for about three years, but yesterday something happened on Empire Avenue that I had to share, and it really reinforced what we are trying to do at EAV: show how influential people really are.

Mr. Empireavenue

So yesterday started like any other day for me at Empire Avenue: check the leader boards, see who has been really active on the site, and so on. Things were relatively normal with one major exception, Carolina Millan (MILLAN), who was a Recent Arrival and had a virtual stock price of $34. Yes, ladies and gents, $34! So I had to check out this newly arrived influencer and the share-price explosion she'd had.

The first thing I realized was that MILLAN was from Chile, not a destination that I knew anything about, aside from the fact that it was a great place to ski in the North American off-season, and that their wines are quite tasty. I had noticed on Twitter on Sunday how my #empireavenue search had started to fill with Spanish tweets and I thought it may have been because we were getting some overflow from the World Cup frenzy. But on closer inspection, Spanish was starting to dominate my Twitter timeline... wow, something was happening somewhere that speaks Spanish, but I didn’t know what. Could MILLAN have had something to do with it?

Then we started hitting record numbers of concurrent online users. Where in our current invite-only beta, we've leveled out around 120 or so, but yesterday we were climbing steadily toward 200, then 220, 240, 250, 300, 400 (and as I write around midnight MST we sit consistently above 300 users). Having the whole EAV team together in one place was cool because we could watch this thing happen together and comment and wonder what was going on... the conclusion being that EAV was lighting up in Chile! At one stage we were receiving around a new user every 20 seconds and this is with a barrier to entry of having to get an invite and sign up.

So what had happened? Carolina Millan (MILLAN) had tweeted about us. Carolina is influential in social media in Chile, having some 6,400 Folllowers and 4,400 Friends. This Tweet was then retweeted by SocialNetworksCafe @SNsCafe, and the rest is history; Chile was on fire for EAV, and we were sitting at the EAV event tonight and watching as Twitter lit up with people clambering for invites, looking for a way into our site.

For me, as the advertising and partnership guy at the site, it really reinforced what the awesome team at EAV have built: a way for people to show their online influence! It also showed how amazing social media is at creating online noise about a product or service, that people do listen if you have something great to sell or engage with and the right people talking about it. At EAV we have the best tool in the world right now at showing how influential people are and can be for your brand.

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