Friday, September 25, 2009

Entrecard Versus Bloggers

Macro view and Over view - Early Autumn at WillOaks Farm and Studio


I love to blog and I love to read other blogs. The connections I've been privileged to make, blog to blog and person to person, since I began with Entrecard back in early May, have been absolutely wonderful, inspiring and supportive. The Entrecard PROGRAM, on the other hand, will begin a new phase on 9-29 that, in my opinion, further devalues the BLOGGER!

They have announced that starting Monday, they are claiming 15% of all ad space/time. In other words, if a blogger spends a day (or two or three) dropping on hundreds of blogs, in order to build up enough credits to put an ad on my blog...they are now obligated to share their time and space on my widget with a paid ad, courtesy of Entrecard, over which I have no control, no choice, it's just being imposed. Prior to this, when paid ads were offered, I declined all of them because in the early days of these ads, 50% of the time on an EC widget was taken by the "paid" ad versus 50% for the ad earned with just credits. It didn't seem fair to the blogger, so I used my option to decline all of them. I no longer have that option beginning on Monday.

Mind you, this follows on the heels of other recent EC changes:
--no credits for all the visitors that a blogger has worked hard to bring to their blog
--no credits for writing and posting regularly (the meat and potatoes of blogs!)
And now, obligatory paid advertisements - all moves, in my humble opinion, that continue to devalue the efforts of the BLOGGER, upon whom this program's success rests.

At this point, short of paying cash, the only way a member blogger can benefit from the EC program is by stopping by and dropping on up to 300 other people's blogs per day...an activity that can, truly, take HOURS!! And this becomes 'currency' that the blogger uses to buy an ad on another blogger's pages, in the hopes of interesting new readers in their blog.

Advertising on my blog with EC had become pretty "expensive" as for quite awhile now, WillOaks Studio - Behind the Gallery View has been at the top of the heap for EC blogs in the Art Category.

I disagree with the direction Entrecard is going right now. Right after their latest announcement on Tuesday 9-22, I dropped notes to all the advertisers who had purchased (with credits!) space on my blog for 9-29 and later, informing these bloggers that I was canceling all ads scheduled to run when the paid ads resume. Then I suspended accepting ads, rejecting each one until further notice. And yesterday (rather than manually rejecting each applicant as I had been doing) I selected the option to not accept new ads, and so I was dropped from any view in the Category listings.

This break is very important, because on Sunday at midnight (11 p.m. CST) I will move my EC widget down to the very bottom of my side bar. It will no longer take up the prime real estate above the fold. And then, once folks see where it is and if they are comfortable buying ad space there and sharing it with paid ads, then that's fine, they are welcome to use their credits to place an ad (still subject to my approval) on my blog on my newly repositioned widget. Plus the EC widget will be available to "drop on" for any visitors who want to "drop," although I imagine it will be much less desirable to the so called "click farmers."

I know a lot of bloggers are completely leaving the Entrecard program due to these recent, negative changes. I think I was taking Entrecard too seriously. It seems my attitude is changing as I'm not dropping much and have taken a break from all of it the past few days. I was seriously considering dropping out of the program all together. I'll try this compromise for awhile and see what happens next, but I just don't feel the connection and, yes, the pride in this program and my high "popularity rating" that I did.

But my blog has been, and continues to be, a labor of love and when it helps me share things, connect with others, and feel that satisfaction of creativity, then well, that's truly what it's all about! And I can be grateful to Entrecard for, first, helping me begin to begin to connect with other bloggers and second, for starting me on a new path of continuing to find different ways to expose my blog to new readers because you just never know when someone will enjoy what it is you have to show and tell!!

And so, dear reader, thanks for stopping by, whether or not you chose to "drop." And whether or not you choose to comment, I appreciate hearing from you.

I'm going to add links here to fellow bloggers who are also struggling with the whole Entrecard debacle -
Split Rock Ranch has written an excellent overview of the program AND her personal decisions.
Living and Writing in China has a different perspective on the paid ad, but makes a good point about how careless Entrecard has been about changing the rules all the time here.

32 comments:

Shinade aka Jackie said...

Wonderful photos and very well put. I really do feel a sadness. i like you will be moving my widget down also.

I am remaining as you know through October at least to honor my word.

It is sad and I hope they come up with other options making it possible for all of us to stay connected.

But, I like you have found a freedom from the endless hours of doing drops.

Thanks for the following my new dear friend! I am very honored to be on your list!!

I hope you have a great weekend. I am having a silly one.

It's the first goofy and fun post I have had time to do in months and it was so fun!!

Hugs,
Jackie

Shinade aka Jackie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shinade aka Jackie said...

I voted and with a few more I do believe you will take the lead. Also I have not forgotten about th necklace.

I am heading to bed for now. I think I still have the link to get in and buy it.

Our oldest will love it.:-)

Reese =^..^= said...

Thank you for taking the time and effort in posting about your decision. As you know, I am new to EC and still completely befuddled as to what to do. I appreciate all the ideas and input. I follow your blog and will continue to stop by. Interesting point about the "time" commitment, Jackie. Isn't it wonderful that freedom inspired your fun post (it was great, BTW). Hmmmm. Life is truly a trade off.

Ratty said...

Entrecard has always seemed to be in chaos the whole time I've been using it. I've seen these odd changes happen time and time again, and I just mostly ignore them and ride it out. That's just my personality I guess. Everyone has a different way of doing things, and I think you've made a wise decision. One of these times, if they keep messing around, I'll probably face the same decision as you. I look at Entrecard a little differently than most people though I think. I only see them as a place to find other good bloggers, such as you. I follow their rules, but I don't really care about them that much. I just care about finding good blogs. In the end, I agree with your decision to do this, because the main thing is to be happy with our blogs. We don't need Entrecard, although they do help, they need us.

Ann said...

I am at a loss as to what to do regarding EC. It has definately been a good thing for my blog, bringing it out of the shadows so to speak. And the people I've come to know through EC are the best. I do wonder though if the amount of time I spend on dropping is worth it. I think for now I will be sticking with EC but maybe just changing the way I do things. No matter what my decision is, your blog is one that I will continue to visit.

Icy BC said...

Your decision is indeed a wise one, and helping me to decide what to do with EC.

I'm like Ratty, and ride it out through so many changes already. I'll have to move it down when paid ads take over..

Lin said...

I'm with Ratty too--riding it out. I may move the box down, but I haven't really decided yet. I'm with you on the time spent dropping and perhaps I'll have to slow that down a bit, but I still like seeing what is going on in the blogosphere each day. It is an addiction that I would find hard to give up.

Alterity Button Jewelry said...

I wish there was an alternative to EC. I want to drop out, but I love visiting other blogs.

RE Ausetkmt said...

ooh karen, what to do what to do !
dang, I am pulling teeth over there with the whole entrecard whoopla.
I too am thinking of totally dropping out. one of my blogs is going to be coming out and this makes me think that leaving one with the widget bottomed is the way to go.

ok I'll bottom my widget on Entrepod but I'm pulling the other two out within days of eachother. I just can't take it any longer.

this is it for me, and Michael Jackson.

PJ said...

i, also feel like ratty does. i don't really care so much about entrecard except for the fact that i have made great friends and found wonderful blogs to read. i have expanded my blog roll and will continue to do that with blogs that interest me. i have also found some good blogs through facebooks networking, blog catalog, blog log, blogged, and others. i will continue to try and find other sites like those and that's about all i can do. i don't like the paid ad thing either and might just have to get out because of that. we'll see what happens. just know that you, my friend will remain on my blog roll and i will continue to stop by. i love your photos and your writings so this is a regular stop for me. have a wonderful day...xoxox!

Aldon Hynes said...

I am staying with EntreCard for the time being without any significant modifications. I have been cutting back my usage of EntreCard over time and may cut back a little bit more.

In addition, I've posted my thoughts on this in a larger context blog post, and have put up a survey to see what networks people use. Part of my idea is to capture information about people leaving different networks, like EntreCard.

I hope you and your readers can stop by and fill out the survey at Orient Lodge.

Split Rock Ranch said...

I've debated just putting the Entrecard widget to the bottom of the page and dropping only when I feel like it but I just feel like it would be much less value to the advertisers who spend their hard earned credits to buy ads on my blog. So, I've moved the widget down the page and will work on getting credits taken care of and then close my account. I'm with Lin, the dropping became an addiction for me and when it was no longer fun, I knew it was time to make a change. I just cannot agree with having ads on my blog that I have not personally approved. So, sad as it is, the time has come to leave Entrecard and explore other options. I'll be back here to your blog to visit often and will continue to visit my favorite blogs as often as I can. Those extra hours I used to spend dropping will now be spent spinning, carding fiber, dyeing fibers and being creative!

Hot Rocks said...

I just came from Split Rock Ranch's blog, and I can understand how you both feel. I could never drop 300 cards, 30 was more like it, but I enjoyed visiting those select blogs. I may just follow in your footsteps, as it is not worth my time anymore, and not having control over ads on my blog, bothers me.

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

I feel the same way. I think I may do what you're doing instead of completely opting out. I added your link to my sidebar links because I enjoy coming here:)

Nancy said...

Interesting...I haven't been keeping up with their news. Ever since the last advertisement issue I sort of lost faith in EC and just sort of suspended my participation. I still have the widget and drop on blogs I already read (most of the time) but can't really justify spending much more time dropping on all those random blogs.

I'm torn too...it's a great way to meet new bloggers and find new blogs, and visa versa, but, they're straying so far from the original magic of it all that it doesn't seem worth it anymore. Who knows? It's frustrating.

IndieCEO / GalleriaLinda said...

I am new and was just getting into Entrecard and realizing benefit. Still getting my sea legs, I feel the boat is listing badly now. I don't really understand some of this but will see what happens. Thank you for the good explanation.

BeadedTail said...

I'm just not sure what to do about all the changes either. I'll probably stick it out for awhile mainly to see what happens. I'll still visit your blog regardless of whether you have EC or not!

Theresa said...

Hmmm interesting idea putting the widget down further, this may be something I do too.

On another note though Karen - my fellow Flag Day baby - I will ALWAYS stop by your blog whether to drop or not as I thoroughly enjoy your photos and posts.

Jenai said...

I am also confused with entrecard and it changin it's policies for the worst..I am beginning to thi nk it isn't worth too much but then when I find nice blogs to comment on, that's the only thing that makes it worthwhile..just for the Blogs I can see.

LizzyT said...

I have added your blog to my sidebar, it is one of my favourites and I will keep visiting. I am going to stick with Entrecard for a short time to see how it works out. I have been cutting down on the time I spend dropping as it is so time consuming, although I never managed to drop on 300. I usually managed to drop on 50 - 100 a day.

Shinade aka Jackie said...

As you probably know by now I have opened my blog back up for ads.

When we make the move and go commercial 100% the fee will be tax deductible.

I should think any advertising you purchase for this blog would qualify as a tax deduction also.

You do use it to promote your sales. either way I will always visit!!

Happy day Karen and I can't wait to get my earrings!!
Jackie:-)

askcherlock said...

Everyone will need to make their own decision. We left after much consideration, but still visit those blogs we really like and trust. The hours spent "dropping" just did not reap the reward we had hoped for. It is almost built into the system that there is not enough time to read, comment and drop while accruing credits. I do believe that bloggers should support one another as best they can in whatever way works for them. This is one blog I will continue to visit often for its quality content. Thank you, Karen, for sharing your amazing talents.

Ruth said...

I'm thinking about moving my widget down too, beyond that I'm not sure. I really don't understand, if EC insists on having paid ads, why they don't just do a double-framed widget. They've claimed in the past that they don't think bloggers would be OK with the widget taking up more space than it already does, but I've seen (and use one myself) "no paid ads" widgets that are as big or bigger than the EC widget itself.

If I move my widget down I think I'll leave my no paid ads widget where it is with a note saying "looking for EC? Scroll down" or something like that.

Not sure what others think, but I think for those of us that have them the no paid ads widgets could be left up as a sort of protest? Not sure what good it would do though.

RE Ausetkmt said...

Karen, new update * the entregame continues with October 5th as the new target date. I'm going to burn my ads out by then and just chalk it up because I've seen some of my most favorite blogs pull out over nite. that means entrecard is going to be a shell of itself for me.

I took today to spend time subscribing and commenting to let folks know that they will be seeing me just as often and I will be coming totally because I Want To, not for a click.

This may be hard, but then it may turn us back into Real Bloggers with a Following.

Cheers My Girl - the Bees are gorgeous, be sure to put them in the post card book - as they are becoming scarce, and we need to remember them - as they are.

Matthias said...

Hi,

When EntreCard started with the PaidAds routine, I refused them... With EC now running a referral program as well, its just become another junk exchange.

I held off leaving in hopes that the new owners would bring life back into EC. I should have stuck to my instincts.

My traffic sharing program, "Along for the Ride!" has done remarkably better then EC for quality traffic in its short life thanks to its many good members, like this blog. I'll just have more time to work on it soon.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I like your compromise. I'm already planning to remove my widget and leave the community -- after over a year.

Ann said...

I wanted to tellyou that I left an award for you on my blog.

ArtSnark said...

wonderful pics - good luck with the blogging issues

Symphony of Love said...

As of today, I have moved the widget all the way to the bottom of my sidebar and am not accepting any new ad. Will wait for a while longer before deciding on whether to leave the program completely.

Bemused26 said...

Nice post- however, I am personally of the opinion that it is free to me so I can't really feel ok about complaining about EC. I have got a lot of new ( and fairly loyal) readers from EC and I have found so many great new blogs, and continue to do so. I just feel it is not fair of me to kick up a fuss about them wanting to keep their heads above water so they can give me this pretty cool service for free. If they started charging me to use this service, then I reckon I'd look at it a bit differently. However, I am not saying that mine is the correct opinion!

randomcreative said...

I have felt conflicted about Entrecard for a while, too. I have met a lot of wonderful bloggers through it and will continue to frequent their blogs no matter what. I do not have the motivation to drop on 300 blogs a day. I drop when I can and don't stress about it. It is still a free service, which is nice. I wouldn't be hanging on with it otherwise. I do really enjoy reading your blog and will continue to visit, Entrecard or no Entrecard. :)

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