Friday, September 25, 2009
Entrecard Versus Bloggers
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.