Recipro-Wars, Speed Dropping, BEST Card Dropping Strategy  

It was great to read the various card dropping strategies put forth in the Entrecard Forum recently (or regularly.) I've written on this topic several times and it warrants yet another post as Graham and Phirate are constantly changing the rules, which impacts what one should do be the most efficient in their card dropping adventure.

The newest twist is an attempt to slow down the use of bots to drop on widgets by changing the browser generated "Drop yours" to an image file that says "Drop". This change has a negative impact on legitimate droppers in that one can no longer turn off images to speed up page load time and it's no longer possible to use the Find function to quickly get to a below the fold widget. While some have written about using Opera or the Opera-ish add on for Firefox, if the image doesn't actually load one can get an "invalid" message. (I haven't pursued this avenue too far and maybe it's still possible to drop with images off. Check the Forum for the latest tips.)

There's also been a lot of discussion about how long it takes to drop 300 cards. I first got the figure of 20 drops a minute from Turnip who was using folders of 50 bookmarks and opening multiple tabs. He must have a better computer and connection than I do because opening more than 20 tabs at a time causes my computer to run at 1996 speeds. Other speed demons have claimed to be able to drop 300 cards in 15 minutes, but I have not been able to match that pace...legitimately. (I did get Busted once when I dropped 50 cards in 30 seconds. Oops.) Recently I have seen 25 minutes pop up as the most frequent best pace listed in the forums, which starts to make Site Hoppin look pretty attractive as an option. (Atta Boy, Max!)

Even the Power Droppers have figured out that 300 drops in 25 minutes that only yields 100 return drops is not at good as 300 drops in 30 minutes where one receives 200 cards back. Reciprocative (or recipro) dropping has some distinct advantages as a strategy, which is not to say that I'll ever post a U DROP -I FOLLOW tag on my blogs. As of the moment there are two recipro groups (3 if you count ahkong.net) that each commit to returning drops from their group (Arnold of Chalk is Cheap) or return the drop of everyone who drops on them (Lee Doyle's aforementioned U DROP consortium.) The bottom line is that it doesn't make sense to commit to return dropping on every card that passes through your inbox, so why would I commit to that by putting a U DROP I FOLLOW image on my site? Arnold's recipro-group is a bit different in that if everyone plays by the rules and drops on all the other group members, everyone in the group wins.

Kudos to Lee and his Followers for being good Entrecarders, but I'd join Arnold's group first, for a couple of reasons. I have mentioned in the past that I sometimes drop cards while riding my recumbent exercycle in the morning. The computer I use is an old Gateway running Windows 2000 and with limited ram...which means I can't open multiple tabs and I get the thrill of watching every image load, one by one. I have decided that the Followers are a sneaky group of bloggers who tend (not all, but more than half) to bury their Entrecard deep in their page, only loading after almost everything else. Most of the Followers aren't going to be on Power Dropping's list of quick loading sites (or BendzG's.) It as if they are saying to their fellow Followers, "Hah! You committed to dropping back and so it doesn't matter where I put my Entrecard, because you have to wade through my garbage to find it!" At least Arnold has set up some rules about where his recipro-group is supposed to place their widget so that it cuts down on the amount of time required to make the drop.

While I'm on a roll, let me dispel a popular myth about a fundamental "good" card dropping strategy, that of dropping cards on those cards in your Inbox. Now, this sage advice CAN be effective for some people and at some times of the day. However, just like assuming that Power Dropping or Recipro Dropping are ALWAYS good strategies, thinking that one should ALWAYS return drops on the cards in their Inbox just isn't smart. I further got a chuckle when I read someone's advice about returning drops on your Top Droppers. Wrong. Well, I guess it's not wrong if it makes you feel good. But it's not the most effective strategy for using your 300 drops every day. Yes, I am assuming that the reason you drop 300 cards is that you are trying to increase the number of drops on your widget and ramp up your ad price and traffic stats. I suppose it's possible that the reason you drop the max every day is that you just love it.

So what's my advice? Here we go:
1) Get onto every power dropping list you can. You never have to return these drops because the people who use these lists are about speed and not reciprocation.
2) Look at your Top Droppers and figure out which ones are dropping on you regardless of whether or not you drop on them. Then make sure you don't drop on them. They are likely dropping out of folders and they aren't watching their Inbox to see who reciprocated.
3) Bookmark the best of the Followers (Lee's list) and hit them early in the day. (Tag, they're It. They should get back to you the same day or shame on them!)
4) Watch your Inbox for Entrecards you haven't seen before, drop on them, and bookmark the fast loading ones in a folder for future Power Dropping.
5) Drop on Entrecards whose price is between 100 - 250 ECs. They're active and not getting so many cards through their Inbox that yours will go unnoticed.
6) Widget surf via multiple tabs so that you always have a new site ready to click on. The odds are good that if they are advertising, they are active and you should get a return drop.
7) Power drop the rest of your 300 from bookmark folders of fast loading sites.
8) Find some good browser add-ons. I like using the Web Developer Toolbar for Firefox because it lets me see the links in the Inbox so I can Linky open them. Also, it helps identify newer Entrecards (by their User ID) that I should return drop on.

OK, so maybe the above is not the BEST strategy, yet hopefully you will get some ideas that will help you be more efficient in your card dropping.

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3 comments: to “ Recipro-Wars, Speed Dropping, BEST Card Dropping Strategy

  • Ann
    March 12, 2008 at 9:25 PM  

    Thanks for the dynamite advice from a technological dummy. I really love this blog~ :)


    A Nice Place In The Sun

  • capybara
    March 20, 2008 at 1:19 PM  

    This is really informative and is also the reason why I joined Arnolds list. He has rules and abides by them and although it is a new group it is working well.

  • Healthy Lifestyle Blogzine
    March 25, 2008 at 4:47 AM  

    Latest that i found, not sure if it's legal or not, since the link featured in that site shows only the EC widget and not the actual site.