Saturday, November 13, 2010

300 drops - what's the point?

Fledgling Blogger just couldn't take it anymore! Once one of the most popular and expensive blogs on the EC network, push came to shove and June Zach dropped --- dropped OUT! Among the comments came one from Marzie, who has three blogs in the EC network: " Mariuca says: October 9, 2010 at 10:08 pm ~ Hey June, yeah I noticed the 404 error and I am not surprised they deleted u without warning. I was deleted once too, cause I had a music player that was on auto and some “friend” reported me and I was immediately deleted without warning… despite the fact that I was totally unaware that having music box on ur blog (on auto) is not allowed. I wrote to them immediately and got my acct reinstated but yeah… no matter how popular or loved ur blogs are on EC, the admin doesn’t seem to appreciate the loyalty of such members.. "

There are a couple of other 'participant-driven' programs out there" cmfads and adgitize immediately come to mind. There's also a new program out called "One True Fan" that I would hesitate to join because I certainly don't want to add any toolbars, extensions or plug-ins to my system - I've "been there, done that" with disastrous results. I don't want people knowing my 'location' either! Anyway, read what Aldon has to say about it and read Karen's post. Then go back to an earlier article which will give you a bigger picture of OTF and what it entails.

Let me know if you join OTF and what your experience is based on your internet connection, browser and operating system.
The Great Entrecard Experiment

Back in the Spring I partnered with three other bloggers scattered across the globe in an experiment designed to gauge the value of the Entrecard program. The other bloggers do not wish to be identified.

The results are in.

(Blogger A) is actually the one who brought the study to an abrupt end. "I just can't bear to drop another EC. I woke up every morning thinking about '300 drops, 300 drops.' All of my comuter time that I should have been spending writing or networking I was wasting as I hastened to dop ECs to meet the daily quota." (Blogger A) is now inactive in the EC program. Though she faithfully dropped 300 ECs day after day, the cost of an ad on her blog never rose higher than 768 credits, a number reached only once during the time of the experiment.

(Blogger B) hated the idea of 'dropping' from the very start. Some days he'd hit the 300 mark, other days he barely visited three or four other blogs. "I'm glad the experiment is over. I'm leaving the widget on my blog but no more drops for me!" The cost of an ad on his blog ascended as high as 1536 credits!!!

(Blogger C) like Blogger A faithfully made her 300 drops a day. Her blog consistently costs 3072 or more to advertise on.

(Blogger ME - yes, me!) dropped 300 each and every day for days on end. But about a month and a half ago, that dropping business got old, and I resolved to drop only on blogs where I would STAY and READ SOMETHING. The price of an EC ad on my blog skyrocketed! Go figure! (although thie morning, in checking, the price of an EC ad on my blog here is at a low number, representing a great bargain for advertisers - *hint*!)


In my case, although my dropping has trickled off, there are certain "high quality" blogs I visit religiously. I also have a list of ten blogs that monthly publish a "Top 10 EC Dropper's List" that has hotlinks right back to my blog. Since my EC widget rides high "above the fold" on my blog, I appear on several "above the fold" and "top dropper" compilation lists as well as in "EZ dop" data bases.

Most importantly, as I upload any article I've written I ask myself "is there a headline or image I can add to this post to entice the EC visitors to stop and read it?" That has been quite important: almost 45% of my EC visitors STAY FOR A MINUTE OR MORE because something else on my blog has attracted them!

When placing EC adverts, I do so on the "best" (and sometimes 'expensive') blogs, but I also look for an "upstart," an up and coming blog which has been blitzing - his or her ads are showing up on many, many, many blogs... as others click on that blog's ads, 10 to 1 they'll click on YOUR ad if it is displaying on that blog! Out of one such ad that cost me 64 EC credits I received more than 200 visitors in a 24-hour period! Now THAT is what I call "making Entrecard work" for you!

(Blogger C) What do you wnat me to write, Dave? I love Entre and I have no problem making my 300 drops. I leave lots of comments on other blogs sporting the EC badge. I join many of the memes, and always leave a message if I see a shoutbox. Since my blog is my income, I'm online from early morning until just before 3pm. After that, it's all about me, my two children and my husband.

(Blogger B) I concentrated on blogs that published monthly lists of top droppers. My widget is the first thing you see when my blog loads onscreen. I only advertise on blogs that cost FOUR FIGURES.

(Blogger A) Looking back, Entrecard was the biggest waste of time I've evr come across. When I think of all I could have done if not for dropping ECs--- I don't want to think about it.


You can enjoy the benefits of Entrecard without becoming a slave to '300 drops per day' if you approach the program with the right attitude and a personal plan of action. Ask yourself "how will this benefit my blog, and what can I do to make it a success?" (As opposed to EC becoming an albatross around your little blogging neck!)

PS : Don't become a victim of “Entrecard dropping carpal tunnel syndrome”. LOL!

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  1. I'm surprised! Thanks for this post. Well actually my hard work of dropping 300 ECs was not wasted. It boosted my traffic. I was able to know nice blogs and make friends with good bloggers.

    The main reason why I left Entrecard is the fact that their management do not care about loyal and active members.

    High bounce rate is one disadvantage of Entrecard. People just tend to drop and run. Only a few would read and comment.

    Enough of EC for me...Been there and done that!

  2. I'm with you, Dave! It's nobody's business where I am at any given time. I left entrecard a long time ago after trojans got on my blog thanks to EC!

    AVOID AVOID AVOID this "One true fan" shit - installing that on your PC is like opening the front door when you leave your house! Hackers and crackers already get into "impenetrable" places (like twitter and facebook) and this add-on gizmo doesn't appear to be all that stealthy!

  3. @JuneZach - you have a wonderful, interesting blog and that's that!

    @Kite - agreed, until someone can prove to me that OTF is safe - but I'm just not comfortable installing extra carp on my computer - had a very bad experience with a firefox plug-in that nearly killed the dear old PC!

  4. Dave,

    Thanks for the link. Entrecard describes me as a 'serious dropper' or something like that. When I have time, I like to use EntreCard to visit as many blogs as possible to get a sense of what is going on in the blogosphere as well as to get others to come and visit.

    Initially, I was interested in the idea of Entrecard because I like the idea of leaving a calling card, of letting someone know you stopped by. It is easier than leaving a comment, but also not quite as fulfilling.

    One of the problems with EntreCard has been the management. I'm not sure that they have really improved much over the years.

    This takes me to One True Friend. Eric Marcoullier who is CEO and Co-Founder of OneTrueFan was also co-founder and product guy of MyBlogLog, a very successful site that got bought out by Yahoo!, but then Yahoo! just didn't know how to handle it. Eric's involvement in OTF is a big positive factor in why I like the site. In terms of trustworthiness, I trust OTF much more than I trust EC.

    I have done a lot of work with Internet privacy issues, and I can understand Kite's concern. However, I believe it is misplaced. Just about every site you visit has tracking, whether it be cookies, pixels, javascript, etc. Large companies make a lot of money trading this data. Slowly there are getting to be more options to control that, but if you don't want people to know which sites you've visited, the first things you need to do is disable cookies, disable images and disable javascript. Then, you need to use a proxy service and a hacked browser so information can't be gathered. By the time you've done this, your browsing experience is almost complete destroyed.

    The other approach is to accept that there is great value in the information about what sites you visit and take control over it. OTF provides this sort of control, where you can delete information about when you visit a site, and control whether or not to 'check in' automatically.

    I also hear in Kite's concern an echo of the concern about Foursquare and related location check in systems. I wrote about this last February in my blog post Please Scare Me. I believe that these concerns are ill-founded and hamper our ability to live successfully in community.

    I believe it is important to live in community, to participate in a social contract, to be as transparent as possible about who we are and what we are doing. I want people to know when I am at Starbucks. Hopefully a friend who is nearby will stop in and join me for coffee. I want people to know that I read your blog and Karen's blog. I want them to know what I've been reading and better understand what shapes the formation of my ideas.

    My two cents for now.


  5. Dave,

    I tried adding a fairly long comment here, but it failed, so I've added it to my blog post. Please stop by. It also talks a lot about what Kyle wrote.


  6. @aldon - looks like your original comment did make it through after all - One True Friend might find its way onto my new laptop (if I ever save up enough to purchase it) - but what about folks who surf the net via their work computers during lunch. on break, or before/after they're "on the clock" - OTF is perhaps a little more invasive than a cookie - and of course all of those folks who play "Farmville" and other Facebook games don't have to install any extra plug-ins or extensions to avail themselves of such web fodder...

  7. Hmm. Interesting. Good to see my original comment did make it through.

    Yes, OTF probably makes the most sense on a computer that isn't shared. However, you can login and logout, so that doesn't have to be the case.

    However, I consider OTF much less invasive than a cookie. With a cookie, or even worse, a tracking pixel, you are unlikely to ever know they are being used and have little control over them. With OTF, you know it is being used and have much better and more granular control.

    Yet you are right. The use of an extension makes it something people are less likely to do than a game like farmville.

  8. One additional comment. I've added the OTF widget to my blog. It is still in early alpha test. However, if you set up an account, you should be able to check into my webpage without having the extension installed. It would be interesting for people to test it and give feedback.


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