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2008-03-13

Entrecard: Trade Show or Block Party?  

It's likely that most of us have attended or worked a trade show, those delightful temporary booth cities dedicated to marketing and self-promotion. Likewise, we've probably participated in some form of block party, where neighbors get together to socialize and "shorten the fences" so to speak. Personally, I'm not a fan of either activity as I'm not one for idle, shallow conversation, er, I mean, sales pitches and chit chat about the weather and who's running for PTA President. And while there is a full spectrum of personality types represented in the Entrecard community, we are in the minority in that we choose to communicate via the written word or graphical presentation. Honestly, we're (as a group) not typical, because typically MOST people don't spend hours at their computers creating content in blogs or clicking on widgets with an E on them.

Working a trade show can be exhilarating and exhausting at the same time and one of the challenges faced is finding time to go see the other exhibits. Often all one has time for is to make a quick run through, only occasionally slowing down to drop a business card in a drawing and maybe making a mental note to follow up with one or more of the exhibitors that caught our interest. Even if one has the time to browse the event at a more leisurely pace, there many booths that we just aren't interested in what they are promoting. Sure, every conversation is an opportunity to promote our deal, but unless it's really slow most folks working a trade show are interested in pitching and not getting pitched. Either way, before long it's back to our booth and back to business. It's normal to get to know the folks nearest your booth, especially if traffic is slow. However, few folks are there just to "make friends" and it's hard to justify the cost and time expenditure if one doesn't conduct any real business but has a great time schmoozing.

Block parties can be loads of fun (I suppose) and a great way to get to know one's neighbors. BYOB and find out about that couple who just moved into the Jenkins' house. Watch the kids run around and talk football, golf, soccer (yeah, right) with the other sports fans in your neighborhood. Forge new friendships that could develop into wonderful lifelong relationships. The opportunity might arise where it's appropriate to talk about your business without seeming too obnoxious and you could end up with some new clients. However, as "business" isn't foremost on your mind, the real value in the event is the relationships you build and maintain with your neighbors.

So what is Entrecard more akin to, a trade show or a block party?

The answer depends on you. There is no "correct" way to Entrecard...and anyone who tells you otherwise is assertively ignorant. Entrecard is an opportunity and you can make out of it what you want to, and your desires and motivation might not be the same as the next Entrecarder. Even if Graham were to opine as to why he's created this place, that doesn't mean he is dictating how we choose to use it.

To be blunt...I'm not a member of Entrecard because I'm looking to socialize or build non-business relationships. I don't read many blogs and usually end up canceling my subscriptions because most of what I read doesn't interest me. I'm in a hurry when I drop cards, mostly because I'm dropping on 5+ accounts and my strategy has been to harvest as many credits as I can in as short a time frame as possible. Credits = cash and cash = justification for time expended creating content for blogs. I don't comment on others' blogs unless I have a real motivation to do so, and not just to create backlinks. I'm not playing by the rules, and honestly, I'm coming to the end of my interest with Entrecard. While I believe it is possible to earn thousands every month just by harvesting and selling Entrecredits, it's also very BORING. I was hoping to earn a few bucks while I wrote some blogs on topics of interest to me, but when I found that I was spending more time dropping cards than writing, I realized that I wasn't going to be a "true" blogger. Ironically, this blog is the one that I write in the most frequently and it has zero value outside of the Entrecard community. (Although, I do have fun with Where on Earth Am I? and What Do YOU See?)

So, while I wait to see what Graham and Phirate decide to do with the Credit Exchange, what do you think Tiger's chances are in this week's tournament? And is that a snowflake I just saw?

EDIT: Tiger won in dramatic fashion, and it did start snowing just a little.

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1 comments: to “ Entrecard: Trade Show or Block Party?

  • otilius
    March 15, 2008 at 10:44 AM  

    heh, being a "true" blogger is like being a "true" breather. there's more than a million ways to skin a blog. ;] when someone tells me that there is only one way to do something, especially how to use a traffic exchange, I only hear "I am an idiot/fascist".

    Tiger always has a chance and that may indeed be a snowflake you see.

 
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