Fun with Multiple Entrecard Accounts!  

Most Entrecarders know that if you take the Entrecard widget off of your site you will get an error message on your dashboard that lets you know that they can't find your widget. However, did you know that you don't get that error message when you put any Entrecard widget on your site, even if it's not the one associated with that account? I tried a little experiment a few weeks ago where I replaced all of the Entrecard widgets on my 19 other Entrecard accounts with the widget for this account. And guess what happened?

Everyone who dropped on one of those widgets on my various blogs gave a credit to this blog's Entrecard account! How sinister of me! I'm sure there were a few folks who got the "1 per day" message and were a bit confused as to what was up, but that happened to me all the time when I was still dropping cards and I just figured it was another Entrecard glitch. As I wasn't dropping cards from most of those other accounts or doing any advertising, I doubt that it improved my numbers too much, but if someone was hell-bent on making the top row of the Popularity rankings, it would help to have one widget on several different blogs.

There was a time a couple of months ago when I would drop cards on each of my 20 accounts from the other 19 accounts, guaranteeing 760 credits and a 100% return drop rate. Of course, that strategy was a lot easier before Phirate changed the widget, and it was a real pain for those couple of weeks when Entrecard was mired in molasses and signing in took forever.

On another occasion there was an Entrecarder who was paying a bunch of ECs for new RSS subscribers and I signed up with my 20 different gmail accounts. (Took about an hour.) He clearly was looking to pad his feed numbers and I gave him what he wanted, but he didn't understand what had happened and complained to Phirate, who slapped my wrist and made me promise not to use multiple accounts to enter contests or earn ECs from fellow Entrecarders.

A couple of posts ago I raised the issue of generating a drop without actually going to the Entrecarder's page. As most of my accounts have been dormant, and the widgets on the sites were directed to this Entrecard account, I was surprised that I was still receiving cards in my Drops Inbox. Once or twice I could understand as another Entrecard glitch...but 15 times by the same person? I compiled a list of Entrecarders who were exploiting this minor hole in the security system and it's right here:

Just kidding...I have the list, but won't publish it. Certainly the reader can tell that I like to push the parameters and I'm not one to throw rocks at another Entrecarder for being "creative."

Maybe I've enjoyed Entrecard for the wrong reasons, but it sure has been fun to try different strategies using multiple Entrecard accounts. I'd be lying if I said I'd never gotten the dreaded "Busted" message, but you sure learn a lot more about a system by trying "stuff." And as this blog was supposed to be about tips and strategies, just how useful would it have been if I didn't tinker with Entrecard every now and then?

Next Post: Entrecard Ad Shenanigans



Before you read this post, go to Ben Barden's blog and read his interview with Graham Langdon, Herr Doktor & Creator of Entrecard. I've been a fan of Entrecard from late last year when I signed up for the first of what ended up being 20 Entrecard accounts. I'm still a fan of Entrecard, even though I'm now a bit wiser and not so much a fan of Graham Langdon.

Don't get me wrong...Graham hasn't done anything unkind to me or anything that can be considered unprofessional or unethical. As far as I can tell he is a sincere, hardworking entrepreneur. However, sometime in the last 4 months Entrecard ceased to be about Graham and took on a life of its own as a community of bloggers, a fact that I suspected before reading the above-mentioned interview and that I am convinced of now more than ever. Graham doesn't drop many cards, he doesn't blog very often, and he only occasionally posts in the forum (RickRoll?). There's nothing wrong with that...except I believe he doesn't fully understand what he has created...and that could be a problem.

Graham and Phirate didn't expect that folks would drop hundreds of cards every day in order to earn credits, nor do they think it is necessary. Of course it's not necessary, but when you see dozens or hundreds of folks spending so much time dropping cards--when they could buy them--that should be a clue as to what is appealing about the community. Most people aren't going to buy ECs, especially with a new ad system (folks, Who - Won't Get Fooled Again) that still stinks, only with a slightly different odor than did the old system. Clearly Graham and Phirate envision a different Entrecard experience than some of the folks who have been most active as Entrecarders over the past months. I wrote about some of the issues that I felt needed to be addressed and received a response from Graham that indicated he had "rebuttals" for most of them, which made me feel like he had his mind made up and wasn't interested in my input. Cool. It's his baby and he's earned the right to make the decisions.

Mike Huang from Bloggin-Ads.com is just one of several Entrecarders who have announced recently that they are "done" with Entrecard. Mike and the others don't seem to be angry, just making a decision that it's no longer worth it to be Drop Master...to which a few of us have suggested that he and the others just keep the Entrecard widget on their blogs and don't worry about dropping cards. Ironically, this seems to be what Graham had in mind in the first place. To me the answer is simple: Monetizing Entrecard Credits created a monster that can't be ignored by many Entrecarders. Provide us a way to make money from our blogs and we'll focus on how to maximize that income while we build traffic. That's part of the Entrecard pitch, even if the fact that Entrecarders fully embraced it seems to have taken Graham and Phirate by surprise.

Entrecard is going to continue to grow and will provide a great opportunity for thousands of bloggers to get cheap exposure to their blogs. However, I think it would help to view the Entrecard experience as a training ground, a phase for newer bloggers to hone their craft and learn from their peers. Some will decide that blogging isn't their thing and some will decide to move on to greener pastures, but it's my opinion that most will agree that they had some really good experiences as a result of being an Entrecarder, and that's almost as good as money in the EntreBank.


Entrecard Represents What % of Your Site's Traffic?  

Results of last week's survey about the percentage of your site's traffic that comes via Entrecard:

0....................1 (3%)

<25%.............9 (25%)

25-50%.........5 (14%)

51-75%.........5 (14%)

76-95%.........8 (23%)

>95%............2 (6%)

Don't know...4 (11%)

Don't care...1 (3%)

Total respondents = 35


Entrecard Puzzle of the Day  

How does one drop a card on an Entrecarder who isn't currently displaying a widget?

Note: The above is a rhetorical question. Please don't answer. I'm not interested in circumventing the Entrecard security system. However, I know of at least 10 Entrecarders who have been and this is a little word of warning to them.

Entrecarder Profile: Lee Doyle  

One of the most well-known Entrecarders, Lee Doyle, isn't always a happy man, although he would like to be. Fresh off a post where Lee is attempting to re-vitalize his U Drop - I Follow movement, Lee is a great example of moving forward despite significant difficulties in his personal life. I'd be angry most of the time to be going through what Lee is going through, and I believe it attests to his character that he is able to look beyond himself for ways to aid the Entrecard community.

Lee is a young (25) father of three who is battling for the right to stay regularly involved in all of his children's lives, and in the past has been an outspoken proponent of fathers' rights, which he believes has led to some of his current difficulties. I've had a few interactions with Lee regarding his Followers and found him to be a reasonable and amicable fellow. He really does Follow those who drop on his site with a drop of his own and is seeking to improve his U Drop - I Follow movement by weeding out those who are Followers in name only.

I've found that a good way to see what a blog is about is to take a look at the Categories. Here's what I found on Lee's site:

* Uncategorized
* Poems
* Funny
* News
* Rants
* Fathers-4-Justice
* Website
* Blogging
.....o Guides
.....o Meme
.....o Debates
.....o Questions
.....o Blog Of The Week
.....o entrecard
.....o Blogging Tools
* Computing
* My Case
.....o Social Services
.....o Police
* My Children
.....o Harmony
.....o Faith
.....o Jack
* Media
* Fans Section
* Thoughts
* Interviews
* Reviews


Entrecard Popular Page Revisited  

Three weeks ago I spent too many hours on a post that took a look at what it took to get onto Entrecard's Popular page, which at the time consisted of the 30 Entrecarders with the highest ad prices. Shortly thereafter, Entrecard changed the ad pricing system and the Popular page ceased to exist, replaced by a Popularity ranking number for each blog. There is still value to being in the top 15, 30, 45, 60, 90, or 120 (depending on the Browser tab default) in Popularity, as your Entrecard will be seen by more folks. The Popularity ranking is currently determined as it was before, by the number of drops your widget has received in the past 5 days. I thought it would be interesting to see how the ad pricing system changes impacted the 30 Entrecarders whom I had previously highlighted.

I'm using the same table as before, only I have taken out the Location and Alexa Ranking columns and added current Rank and Ad Price in bold.

RankImageURLAd Price
1 2Internet Business Guide838 1024
2 6Dot Com Mogul808 1024
3 1Monkey Fables and Tales734 2048
4 18CK Marketing684 1024
5 99Ahkong.net675 1024
6 86Personal Finance Management Guide650 256
7 -Chalk is Cheap642 -
8 11Fantasy Baseball636 512
9 129SiteHoppin'622 1024
10 4Saphrym607 1024
11 171Josh's Unconventional Marketing Blog599 512
12 8Turnip of Power598 2048
13 15Joan Joyce590 512
14 54Reward Rebel585 256
15 28Sense to Save584 1024
16 48Media Morgue582 512
17 59Pandora's Casket575 512
18 51Lee Doyle574 256
19 72Blissful Weddings571 512
20 5Diet Pulpit567 1024
21 35Geek Mom Mashup560 1024
22 177artconstellation558 256
23 10New York Nitty-Gritty550 512
24 351Momma Muse544 128
25 31Bloody Computer!538 512
26 68malinesky534 256
27 136Biyahilo520 256
28 239My Absent Mind515 512
29 195Hulag509 256
30 116Wild Clips Comedy498 512

First off, let me say that these numbers are moving all the time and since I started this post there have been several position changes in the Top 30, as well as Ad Price changes. I'm presenting this information to highlight trends and am not claiming any precision in the analysis.

I can think of several possibilities for the fact that almost 2/3 of the Top 30 from 3 weeks ago are no longer in the Top 30, and a good number of those are no longer in the Top 100. I suspect that the #1 reason is that they are no longer dropping as many cards as they were before the ad pricing system change. Second, some of them were involved in the U Drop I Follow movement and the new drop stats have weakened the Recipro Groups considerably, as it is easier to see who is actually "Following" your drop. I noticed several blogs who used to have Lee's graphic are no longer displaying it.

There are a couple of other reasons that might explain the shift in the Top 30, like burnout, disenchantment with Entrecard, discouragement resulting from Alexa's changed algorithm, better ad info and cheaper ads resulting in more folks advertising than dropping cards, and maybe fewer overall drops in the system than before. As far as overall drops goes, I don't have access to the numbers, but looking at the Top 10 blogs from 3 weeks ago and the 10 Ten today, we see total drops for 5 days of 17,240 versus 16,524. The difference is not significant enough to suggest that there are fewer cards being dropped over all, at least on the Top 10 blogs.

What is clear is that it costs more to advertise on most of the Top 15 blogs than it did 3 weeks ago for ads you want to purchase right now. The upside is that one lucky person will get to purchase an ad for half of what is currently listed as the Ad Price once the current ad expires. The average price paid for an ad on the Top 15 has likely dropped in the past 3 weeks, but, again, I don't have access to those numbers. Right place, right time (hint: many ads currently expire between 8AM - 9AM ET) and you can occasionally get a bargain...like finding Problogger available for 256EC. :-)

It was my intent to include updated Alexa numbers, but the rankings came out weird this morning and I'm delaying that analysis for a future post.

Entrecarder Profile: Mike Huang  

Bloggin-Ads was created by Mike to explore the whole Blogging Community by reviewing a blog every single day. Mike started this idea because he felt that people paying to get reviewed was not very fair to smaller blogs or blogs that do not receive income. Regular visitors to Mike Huang's Blogging-Ads will note that he and his wife Michelle have expanded their original concept to include "Blog Reviews, Ramblings, No Money Involved!"

Before I address Blogging-Ads' content, let me say that Mike already has 3 things going for him in my book: 1) He's from Los Angeles, where I spent most of my life prior to moving to Utah; 2) He's a devout SiteHopper; 3) He always has pretty girl pics on his Entrecard. While age is no real barrier to becoming a successful blogger, I'm still surprised by how young some of our Entrecarders are (Mike is 20), probably because I have children ages 25, 21, and 18, and while I accept their skills and accomplishments, I haven't quite made the full mental shift to embracing their generation as peers.

Mike is a fan of the NOT-Evil one, which is interesting because Blogging-Ads is not an MMO site. They do take paid banner ads in order to pay hosting fees, etc., but the reviews are not paid and there aren't any funny MMO schemes woven into the site. Recent posts include some of the above-mentioned "ramblings":

User Friendly Is A Bonus
John Chow Is NOT Evil
Global Warming: A Scientists (rare) Perspective
Retiring Early With A Bang
The Secrets Of eBooks

I first became aware of Bloggin-Ads via the "One Heck of A Giveaway Contest" Mike spearheaded in January, in which I was fortunate enough to be the winner of Group 6 prizes, which included 200 OneBuckWiki pages from SiteHoppin Max. Not many other Entrecarders can boast 917 subscribers and I find it amazing that Blogging-Ads has a price of 256 EC at the moment. I wonder if Mike and Michelle will continue to go the review-for-free route, considering the number of subscribers they have? Personally, I wouldn't think less of them for charging a few bucks for a review, seeing as I'm thinking of doing the same. Of course, my subscriber count hovers around 20, but that should be worth about a nickel a day, don't you think?


Entrecarder Profile: Cecilia  

The Cleveland Ohio Real Estate Blog has some great tips for buyers and sellers of real estate, regardless of where they are located. Great tips aside, it's the person behind the blog that has made a mark on the Entrecard community. I did have to look up her full name, but that only helps support my point that Cecilia Sherrard, aka The Realtor, is one of the few Entrecarders whose first name is sufficiently well-known as to generate immediate recognition from many of the active members of the community.

Perhaps it's due to her photo being an integral part of her Entrecard, or maybe she's easy to remember because of her quick wit and humor, but there have been few Entrecarders who've hit the scene running as quickly as Cecilia did and become so recognizable so fast. After reading her bio page I shouldn't be surprised at all, as Celicia has garnered many awards as a successful Realtor. What is surprising is that she manages to find the time to stay active in the Entrecard community! I spent 8 years as a Loan Officer and interacted with many real estate agents, most of whom weren't particularly drawn to techie stuff, and the more successful ones (like Cecilia) were too busy for something like Entrecard. Honestly, it was usually the guy who sells two properties a year that was into Internet stuff and not the top agent in the office. What that tells me is that Cecilia is just plain good at what she does.

Cecilia also did something that I think is really smart in that she put her URL on her Entrecard, which might seem unnecessary as far as the Entrecard community goes, but makes for a great ad on sites like Chow, Cow, or Problogger, where the vast percentage of visitors aren't Entrecarders. She's got name recognition, face recognition, industry recognition, URL recognition, and location recognition all wrapped up in her Entrecard presence. There's a lesson to be learned here for those Entrecarders who are in the community to promote their businesses.


Entrecarder Profile: IT-Aid  

Do you know this blogger? IT-Aid: PC Tips, Tricks and Tweaks is at this writing in the 56th position on the Popularity rankings and deserves to be there. Check out these stats: current Alexa 3 month ranking of 114,492, but 1 week ranking of 37,148, Drop Master status, and a Google page rank of 3. What's not clear is who the author is, merely a username of Slavezero. Ah, well, a few minutes of searching did not yield a answer and so Slavezero's anonymity can be left in place.

Ok, so IT-Aid is the real deal and that's leaves us asking the question "Why?" This answer can be found without much difficulty as the site is full of exactly what the title suggests, tips, tricks and tweaks. Recent posts include:

* The easy way to Fix your Task Manager
* Restore your desktop icons arrangement
* How to disable PC speaker beeping on errors
* How to convert DVD movies to PSP format
* FREE Traffic Exchange / Stumbleupon Exchange
* FREE Blog Backup
* World's Fastest Internet
* Future applications for mobile devices using nanotechnology
* The Ten Most Dangerous Online Activities
* How to Remove Happy99.exe

Not thrilled with that list? Give credit where credit is due...someone, a LOT of someones, must enjoy these posts and it would be wise for each of us to take a closer look, if for no other reason than to place an ad on their widget. This is one Entrecarder who is headed to the top of the heap!


Entrecarder Profile: Is A Man's World  

For starters, you've got to love the non-politically correct title of today's highlighted Entrecard Advertiser. Is A Man's World is authored by David Jackson, a New Zealander, and the site's byline is Where Technology and Humanity Meets, which helps focus in on the real intent of the site, which has nothing to do with the anti-feminism movement.

From Dave's About page:

This blog is about My thoughts, My Interests with Sports as well as technology, planes, motorsports, everything about big boys toys, including New Ideas, News, Gadgets, Resources related to technology, Opportunities, Comedy and more.... that is why my Site calls "Is a mans world" I will be posting contents that interest men and women in some occasions.

Sure enough, the top post categories on the site are Home Technology, Motorsports, Mega structures, Technology, Airlines, Supercars, Make Money, & Big Boys Toys, topics that have traditionally been "guy stuff." Dave must be doing something right as Is A Man's World has been climbing the Entrecard popularity rankings of late. (It's not hard to figure out...he's dropping lots of cards and placing ads on good sites.) I liked the site right away, because it has a "guy" feel to it and he's featuring a SiteHoppin Beer Credits widget.

The blog is appropriately listed in the Entrecard Men's Interests category, but that shouldn't stop the ladies from visiting to see what interests the fellas. However, if you're looking for controversial commentary about the sexes or how to win a man's heart, you'll have to look elsewhere. This blog is about the stuff that interests guys, not what's interesting about guys.


Entercarder Profile: Bloggernoob  

The Noob got married! Any day now Bloggernoob will be returning from his honeymoon with pics and stories for all his fans. In the meantime, the "BrotherNoob" is filling in and has written some interesting posts of his own. This is a site worth spending some time on and not just passing by while dropping cards. Chances are, if you have already been to the Noob's site, you might have missed his video that got over a million hits on youtube. It's on his About page, as well as some FAQs that give you an idea about his personality.

Bloggernoob has been very successful making money online in just a short few months and if you are trying to do the same you should check out his income recap post for some ideas. I enjoyed the random pics of starlets that are scattered around Bloggernoob's site, decorations and eye-candy that have nothing to do the various posts, but make your visit a bit more enjoyable nonetheless.

Bloggernoob has been pretty vocal about the Entrecard popularity rankings and for good reason. At the moment he boasts 282 Subscribers and can back that up with the number of folks who have signed up for various programs via his affiliate link. Of course, the new Alexa rankings smacked the Noob on the backside along with most of the rest of us, but it's my belief that the Noob's widget is a good one to consider buying an ad on. I did!


Entrecarder Profile: Mall of Earnings  

Pay attention, those of you who want to see an example of how one can design a great looking site that is hosted by Blogger! Mall of Earnings' site was so good I had to check the URL to make sure it had blogspot in the address. Mall of Earnings is "A place where you can earn everything... from money to wisdom, life's humor to life's lesson, tips and turn, and a lot more!!!"

Lucky_witch is the author of Mall of Earnings and her site is a good study in how to diversify your traffic so your Alexa ranking doesn't tank. She is listed with a number of social networks and blog directories, something that I should do more of, and have since visiting Mall of Earnings. Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see an About page or section and while I was able to track more information about this author with some Google searches, I'm hoping she'll list some personal info on her site and allow everyone to get to know her better.

The Entrecarder? Poll Results  

This poll was a bit tongue in cheek and I suspect that a few folks might not have responded for fear of offending me or somehow my being able to track their vote. My purpose was to get a feel for whether or not I was being perceived as a "spammer" for my 20+ Entrecard accounts. I didn't feel that I deserved that pejorative, yet I wasn't going to fool myself any longer if that's how others perceived me. The choices were a tad disingenuous in that one had few choices that might have accurately reflected their feelings. Nonetheless, my intent was to get a read on the spammer question and as only 1 out of 32 respondents chose that option, I can view the rest of the answers as "non-spammer" votes. It was funny the number of people who chose "who?".

54% chose Creative Guy

34% chose Who?

9% chose Misguided Soul

3% chose Damn Spammer!

*Total number of respondents was 32.


Entrecard: Is the Honeymoon Over?  

The Entrecard community has steadily grown over the past 6 months and there are hundreds of near-addicts who find themselves spending too much time every day dropping cards, blogging, reading others' blogs, and posting in the forums. As is true of many new businesses (and marriages), there comes a time when the honeymoon is over and the real work of making the venture successful sets in. Recent events, both internal and external, suggest that Entrecard's honeymoon is over and that it's time to decide whether or not this thing's going to work.

Here's a list of 10 challenges that Entrecard has to deal with that could make or break it:

1) Alexa - Ouch! Many Entrecarders (and other bloggers) got spanked hard this past week when Alexa changed their ranking algorithm and there were few left in the community whose Alexa number was under 100,000. Some have suggested that it is a short-term adjustment and that in a week or two they will be able to regain their favored status. Wishful thinking! They must be looking at their 3 month average and not their 1 week average! The real pain from Alexa's change is yet to be felt by many Entrecarders, as the not-too-distant future will see them with a much higher number than they want or are accustomed to. What is important here isn't the number, rather, what will an increasingly worsening Alexa ranking do to the psyches of Entrecarders who have justified their community participation in part to their robust Alexa position? Just how many will toss in the Entrecard towel is yet to be seen.

2) Entrecard Burnout - It's fun to try new things and to become more proficient at new processes. Based on many comments I've read on blogs and in the Entrecard Forums, there are other Entrecarders who have experienced the same burnout that I have been through. It was exciting at first to find sites to drop on and more exciting to get folks to drop a card on your site. Hours and hours and hours later the thrill has worn off and it's not likely to be very thrilling in the future. I'll bet the numbers show that over 50% of those who signed up for Entrecard are done dropping cards by their 3rd month. Oh, their widget might still be on their site, but they really aren't active Entrecarders at this point. This isn't just an Entrecard problem...it happens all the time in MLMs and other situations where expectations outrun results. What's specific to Entrecard is card-dropping and there's no getting around how tedious and boring it can become if one is trying to hit the magic 300 per day mark. All of this means that unless Entrecard develops additional methods for generating credits that reduces the need/desire to drop til ya drop, Entrecarders will continue to burn out, leaving a passel of dead accounts that clutter up the community.

3) Too Successful Too Soon - It happens in the MLM industry all the time. A new company gets overwhelmed by their own success and are unable to keep up with all the new sign-ups, which success ultimately kills the company. With Entrecard it's not just a question of needing a new server, as the real problem is the lack of customer support. We're talking about a founder and a programmer, the latter of whom has 10 other clients, with a few forum moderators thrown in. There just isn't the personnel to handle all the Entrecarders currently in the community and if growth rates continue to hold, Entrecard might sink under its own weight.

4) Graham - I suspect that Graham has no idea how much time and effort Entrecarders are putting into his venture. He had a good idea...but folks, he's still just a kid and there's nothing on his resume to suggest that he has any experience with running this type of organization. Ignorance was bliss...and my confidence in Graham's ability to run this community was shaken by his recent video blogs. I've got a 25 year old son who is a programmer and another son who is 21, and while they are very talented, they still don't know just how much they don't know. Graham's a nice kid and he came up with a good idea. Does he have what it takes to turn his idea into a thriving, long-term successful venture? I get the impression he's on a lark, having a great time basking in the spotlight, clueless to the impact his decisions have on the community, ignorant of the effort that folks have expended as Entrecarders. Does he have what it takes to step up to the next level and run a company? Time will tell.

5) Big Brother is Watching - I understand the need for a security system. I understand the need for selectively withholding information that could compromise the security system. I don't understand why changes are made to the pricing system and other Entrecard components without proper notification or community consultation. Push a button and send a message to every Entrecarder about outages, policy changes, new features, etc. Posting in the Entrecard blog or forums doesn't cut it because only a small fraction of Entrecarders go there on a daily basis. Entrecard could survey community members about possible changes and get better input than from by just asking the forum regulars. What it feels like to me is that Phirate and Graham aren't really all that interested in what we have to say, as if they feel they know best. Cool...I can appreciate that confidence. But what if they don't know what is best? There are many, many Entrecarders with significantly more experience in business and life than Phirate and Graham have and could be a resource to Entrecard if their input was more highly valued. Idea guys and programmers have their value, but they don't always see the full picture or impact of their decisions. The dust has settled on the new ad pricing system and while it is an improvement over the old system, it still has significant flaws, not the least of which is there are so few pricing options between 256 and 1024 ECs. Again, the bigger problem I see is a Big Brother Knows Best attitude that I believe has to change.

6) The Worth of An EC - There was a thriving market for ECs until the Credit Exchange was announced. Some will say that it was the "spammers" who drove the price of ECs down, which I think is pure nonsense. Sure, if there were 250,000 ECs up for sale at any given time the supply would be greater than the demand and the price would drop. No, what I believe happened is that folks sat back and decided to wait for Entrecard's exchange to kick in and it was the demand that dropped and caused the lower prices, not an increased supply. It doesn't help that Entrecard has been touting itself as a community where a blogger can make money via the sale of their ECs, should they so desire. Delays related to paypal have extended the credit exchange's launch, and the current low price of ECs, coupled with limits on max drops per IP address and changes to the security system that slowed down dropping speeds, have created a situation where most folks would be hard pressed to earn $2 a day from their card dropping efforts. Sure, $60 a month from your blog is still $60 a month...but the opportunity cost of what you could have done with that 1-2 hours a day looms large. For a while it was possible to drop 300 cards in 20 minutes and if one had 3 accounts they could reasonably generate 1000+ ECs for an hour's effort. Turn around and sell them for $10 and one could almost justify spending the time building their blog traffic via Entrecard. Now, hustle and drop 400 cards in an hour, get a 50% return drop rate, sell the 600 ECs for $5/1000 and end up with $3. Whoopee! Creating a cash value for Entrecard Credits is a great idea and once the credit exchange is operational, I believe it will be a good thing and we'll see many folks sign up as Entrecarders as a result. The risk is that the market drives ECs down to $2/1000 and the EC as currency loses its appeal.

7) Lack of (Funds for) Marketing - I'll bet that Graham hasn't spent much money on advertising or marketing up to this point. I understand why, yet at what point does Entrecard spend money to increase its public profile? The Entrecard community feeds upon itself and the lack of any incentive to reach out to those outside the community (i.e. - referral program) means that folks stumble upon Entrecarders rather than seek them out. Entrecard has an opportunity to tout its collective expertise as an asset to the public at large, which could result in many new readers to Entrecarders' blogs. However, such touting costs money, which seems to be in short supply.

8) Creature Comforts - I started a blog called Entrecard FAQs because there really was a lack of good info available for new Entrecarders. Even now, the new Entrecarder is thrown into the community without much aid or direction. I've read Phirate's reasoning for the type of forum that is used by Entrecard, and while I acknowledge the good reasons for it, I can also see that most people come into a community expecting to find answers more quickly and easily. Unless it has changed, I don't believe that Entrecard sends out much in the way of a welcome letter or anything that would help the new Entrecarder figure out what's what. Even the TOS is buried and is presumed to be agreed to, without the cursory "Check that you have read the agreement" verbiage. Yeah, I know, Phirate's been busy with higher priorities...which is a poor excuse for saying that Graham is underfunded or there'd be more cooks in the kitchen. Not everyone enjoys camping out and roughing it and Entrecard would be better served by offering more creature comforts to its members. Instead of creating its own item number, I'll throw in access to better data under this item. Entrecard has all sorts of data that we could use to make our dropping decisions (e.g.-number of times we have dropped on someone in past 30 days, ability to sort by number of times someone has dropped on us). Come on guys, give it up and make our lives easier!

9) Too Many Entrecarders? - Is it possible that Entrecard has already become grown too large? Is being a global community too ambitious? Would smaller Entrecard communities that were topic or location based be more rewarding for community members? I joined Entrecard in late December and could tell that there was a core group of Entrecarders who knew each other and visited each other's sites on a regular basis. Due to burnout, life changes, discouragement, or burnout, many of those early Entrecarders are no longer active. I think part of it is related to the size of the pond and whether or not you know the rest of the fish. Imagine 50,000 Entrecarders and the task of trying to get to know more than a few of them. Yes, it can be done, but will the sense of community cease to exist when you no longer know 99% of the populace?

10) Revenue - I've saved what I think is the biggest issue for last. Gee, this is fun, but just how is Graham going to pay for his new digs in California? Project less-than-Wonderful adds a few hundred a month, and the Credit Exchange might bring in some cash should it ever get off the ground. We've heard rumors about other ads that could bring some dollars into Entrecard, but is there really a plan? Not that I'm concerned with whether or not Phirate has pizza money, but no one wants to spend time swabbing the decks on a sinking ship. There is either a plan that includes having sufficient revenue to run this place or there isn't. One thought I had was to have a premium VIP Entrecard club. Monthly fee sort of thing, which I would usually turn down flat, except in this case I might be able to pay my dues with ECs, which Entrecard could then sell. (Or conversely, I could sell the ECs myself to pay my monthly dues.) Sign up 1000 Entrecarders at $30 a month and then Phirate could buy some beer to go with his pizza and Graham could afford to fly across the country.

I like the Entrecard community, even though I'm trying to sell The Entrecarder and move on. It's been fun and I've been able to test out some ideas, but most of all I've realized that I don't want to be a regular blogger. Yes, I have proven to myself that I can do it, I just don't want to anymore. Both by the nature of this blog and the time that I have invested in the Entrecard community, I want to do what I can to help Entrecard succeed. My intent today was not to trash Graham or Entrecard, but to highlight what I perceive as challenges that must be overcome if Entrecard is going to thrive and be profitable.

Entrecarder Profile: ClickDTalk  

Today I am highlighting Iris of Clickdtalk, "A sister, a daughter and a mother of two gorgeous kids and most of all a wife of a wonderful and loving man from New Zealand." I didn't realize until I wandered through her site, but Iris is also the author of TheBuzzNutter, another very popular and familiar Entrecard blog.

Spending so much time writing about Entrecard, I enjoyed reading Iris' posts about buying a new vacuum cleaner or who should be in charge of the money, husband or wife? From her About page we get an idea of what her blog is intended to cover:

About clickdtalk
Clickdtalk is about womens interest, fashion, styles, beauty tips and tricks. Every now and then i am posting funny stuff. This is sort of personal diary for me but have included some stuff that have interests me being a women, a mother, a sister and a daughter.

My Motto is "No venture, No gain"

I love to learn and i am passionate of what i do, i simply love blogging and i love tweaking, playing with my site -- That is why i got in trouble most of the time :(

Really, wouldn't you rather read about what Iris is experiencing today as a mother than the current Entrecard issue-of-the-day? I think Iris is much more representative of today's blogger than I am, and as such you should pay her a visit!


Entrecarder Profile: FeeFiFoto  

Today's highlighted Entrecarder is FeeFiFoto, one of those folks who has a blog that supports their main website. In this case, FeeFiFoto's blog is a great example of how to draw attention to one's main business without distracting from the main purpose of the blog and also not feeling constrained to keep all of the blog posts focused on the business.

FeeFiFoto's blog includes blog reviews, memes, contests, Wordless Wednesdays, and is rich in photos and graphics, which one would expect from a Foto-driven author. In fact, if there is a downside to the blog, it's that it stands on its own two feet so well that one might forget that there is an associated business that merits a visit.

Also easy to miss is the About button on the left hand side of the page. It leads to one of the most informative (considering that the author chooses to remain anonymous) and interesting About pages that includes this short bio:

FeeFiFoto is a recovering attorney with two kids, one dog, a gift site called FeeFiFoto, and very little free time on her hands.

I'm glad that FeeFiFoto chose to advertise on my widget today, else I might not have slowed down enough to give her blog a good read. Now that I've spent so time there I'll definitely be back!

The Net Fool’s Outrageous Blog Contest  

The Net Fool has a great contest that only takes a few minute to enter. Here's a recap of the prize list that should motivate you to go visit his site and enter the contest yourself:


  • $250 Cash from PepperJam Network

  • $50 Paypal Cash from Ades Blog

  • $25 Paypal Cash from Sohaib Thiab

  • Web Hosting
  • 1 Year Web Hosting from Young Online Millionaire

  • WordPress Themes & Design
  • $500 Custom Premium Blog Design from Pixel Jig

  • 2 Copies of the Revolution WordPress Theme from Brian Gardner Media

  • WordPress Scripts & Software
  • 2 Copies of the FruitfulTime TaskManager from FruitfulTime

  • Licenced Copy of OIO Publisher from OIOpublisher

  • WP Auctions Gold Version from WP Auctions

  • Blog Advertising
  • Featured Listing on Aviva Directory from Aviva Directory

  • Blog Listing and Bundle Pack 2 from 1 Cool File

  • 125x125 Ad Spot from BlogTrepreneur

  • 125x125 Ad Spot from Life Is Colourful

  • 2 125x125 Ad Spots from Webmaster Plaza

  • 2 125x125 Ad Spots from Blog Dahh Net

  • 125x125 Ad Spot from BobbyT Blogging To A T

  • 125x125 Ad Spot from Hedge Against Speculation

  • 720x90 Banner Ad Spot from Webmaster Plaza

  • Blog Reviews
  • Full Blog Review from Wayne Liew

  • Full Blog Review from Article Snatch

  • Full Blog Review from Life Is Colourful

  • Full Blog Review from Webmaster Plaza

  • Full Blog Review from Blog Dahh Net

  • Subscriptions
  • 2 Year Subscription to GoStats Pro from GoStats

  • 5 One-Year VIP Memberships to CreateBanner.com from Xavier Media

  • Premium Subscription to DotSauce.com from DotSauce

  • Entrecard Credits
  • 5000 Entrecard Credits from Blog Dahh Net

  • 2000 Entrecard Credits from Article Snatch

  • 2000 Entrecard Credits from Big Free Articles

  • 1500 Entrecard Credits from BobbyT Blogging To A T

  • 1500 Entrecard Credits from Webmaster Plaza

  • 1000 Entrecard Credits from Tim Yimto

  • 750 Entrecard Credits from Let's Talk About Money

  • 750 Entrecard Credits from The Work From Home Professional

  • 500 Entrecard Credits from DotSauce

  • 3x 168 Entrecard Credits from Bloggin-Ads

  • Miscellaneous
  • Professional Blog Consultation Report from Scribbles & Words

  • 2 One-Hour Blog Consulations from The University Kid

  • 20 One Buck Wiki Pages from OneBuckWiki

  • 20 Beer Stock Pages from Site Hoppin

  • Unique List of 20 Available Domain Names from Word Fuse

  • Aviva Directory T-Shirt from Aviva Directory

  • Unlimited "Dollar Million" guides from The University Kid

  • I was made aware of this contest as a result of reading about it on SiteHoppin.com and am new to The Net Fool, but am looking forward to reading his posts via the required subscription for those entering the contest. The prizes that I'm most interested in winning are the cash, WordPress themes, and Beer Stocks!

    The Hochstadt.com Party Contest!  

    The Hochstadt.com Party Contest features prizes from a broad range of industries and categories. Meaning, there is something for EVERYONE:

    Consultations, Products & Services

    Ad Space

    • KiwiPulse from KiwiPulse gives 3 x 125×125 top ad space for one month worth $15 each = $45

    • Deimos Tel´Arin from ahkong.net gives a 468×60 top ad banner box for one month worth $36

    • Anna from My Cornerstone Trio gives a 125×125 top ad space for one month worth $35

    • Turnip from Turnip of Power gives a 125×125 top ad space for one month worth $35

    • Wayne from Ez DIY Electricity gives a top ad space (125×125 or 468×60) for one month worth up to $30!

    • Caleb from environmentastic! gives a 125×125 top ad space for one month worth $25

    • Kathleen from Entrepreneurs Only gives a 125×125 top ad space for one month worth $25

    • Marty from Money Maker Times gives a 125×125 top ad space for one month worth $25

    • Constantin Codreanu from INconstantIN gives a 125×125 top ad space for one month worth $15

    • Mirjam from Me Myself and I gives a 125×125 top ad space for one month worth $10

    • Lee Doyle from Lee Doyle - Contains Nuts gives a 125×125 top ad space for one month worth $10

    Entrecard Credits

    Marcus is at it again with a great contest that has numerous entry methods, so spread the link love and enter yourself 50 times by blogging about the contest and including the above list of sponsors and prizes. With so many great prizes it's difficult to decide which ones I'd like to win the most, but it's hard to pass on the top cash and EC prizes, and of course the Beer Stocks from SiteHoppin.com!

    Thanks to all the sponsors who signed up for this great contest!


    Entrecard Drop Masters are Misguided Souls  

    Yeah, I'm one of them...my name is Kent and I'm a Drop Master. I've lost my way and I'm having a hard time breaking the habit. Some days I'll drop just a little when I first wake up and think I've got it under control. By mid-afternoon my fingers start to twitch and if I don't feed my addiction I know what I'll be doing right before the magic moment (midnight ET), after which I can relax and become a real person again. How did this happen? Why did I think that dropping 300 cards a day, mostly on the same people who I dropped on the day before, was a good thing? What is this self-loathing I feel for only dropping 293 cards the other day? What kind of monster has Entrecard turned me into?

    Thank goodness for Alexa sending most of the Entrecard community a nasty wake-up call yesterday. Ha! You just thought your blog was popular because we, the Entrecard community as a whole, were gaming Alexa with our daily repetitive visits and drops. What are we doing? This isn't about dropping an Internet Business Card on a potential reader. This is a game where we huddle together with other players and agree (indirectly) to boost each other's traffic numbers with 3 second visits. No, not every Entrecarder is a participant...but you don't usually get labeled a Drop Master by throughly reading 300 blogs a day.

    I've spent a few moments pondering the efficacy of reaching out beyond the Entrecard community for possible readers of this blog and always come to the same conclusion: this is a blog about and for Entrecarders. Entrecard is my niche. My challenge isn't to reach beyond the community, but to extend my reach within the Entrecard community. I should be dropping cards on every active Entrecarder at least once a week, which would mean that I wouldn't be returning very many drops from daily visitors. [Hands start trembling.] That would likely mean my popularity ranking would go down. [Throat getting dry.] And it might mean that I get more readers coming to my site on a regular basis! [Huh?]

    Sure, I wouldn't have kicked the habit and would still be a Drop Master, but hopefully I can move away from the hard stuff and get closer to finding some balance in my Entrecard activities. It's been helpful to post more in the forums, but that can become an addiction of another sort. It has also helped to prep myself to sell The Entrecarder and remind myself that the blog is the thing and not credits or rankings. I feel I've done a credible job of establishing a brand that adds value to the community and I shouldn't expect to command the same ad price or be rated as highly as blogs whose subject matter has wider appeal.

    The challenge each of us faces with our Entrecard participation is to not get sucked in by the game and to remember that Entrecard is a valuable tool, a needed crutch for many of us when getting started. However, lean on that crutch too long and you might not ever want to get rid of it and it will begin to inhibit your progress rather than aid it.

    Entrecarder Profile: Fantasy Baseball  

    Fantasy sports leagues have been around for some time now and I think I joined one for all of about 2 weeks. That doesn't stop me from appreciating the passion that surrounds this digital pastime and the real sense of competition that it can evoke. Hardly anyone who has posted in the Entrecard Forums has escaped bumping into Fantasy Baseball, so I decided to take a closer look at the site that currently is advertising on my widget.

    Writers for the site are Rudy Gamble and Grey Albright and you can almost smell the pine tar as you click from page to page of detailed notes on today's major leaguers. I grew up in Los Angeles during the Koufax and Drysdale era and stopped followed baseball shortly after Fernandomania. However, wandering through this site (which is located at Razzball.com) reminds me of my youth, when I was the winning All-Star Little League pitcher for the National League, playing at Like Field on Sepulveda Blvd in West Los Angeles. Sites like Razzball exist for the boy in grown-up men who never quite left the ballpark and each year look forward to changes in the weather that herald the beginning of a new baseball season and yet one more chance for sports glory.

    Yet, what makes Fantasy Baseball a valued member of the Entrecard community isn't the stats and commentary, but the playful and good-natured ribbing that permeates the Forums during game time. Whether forum or dugout, Fantasy Baseball is going to make you laugh, give you an honest opinion, and occasionally make you look to make certain your fly's not open before you step up to the plate.


    Entrecard Myth: Spammers & Credit Farmers Making Big Money  

    I've watched with a bemused detachment as the myth that Spammers and Credit Farmers are destroying Entrecard crops up here and there in the community. There's no denying that it's irritating to arrive on an Entrecarder's site that is just one big ad or is clearly a "made ya look" site. What's boggles my mind is why some folks keep harping on Credit Farmers with such vigor, even after the Entrecard security system closed down the ability for bots to hunt and drop, and limitations were put into place that restricted the number of drops that were allowable per IP address. I've asked the question in the Forums and I'll ask it again here: Where's the proof that Credit Farmers are a threat to Entrecard?

    I suppose that if the threat is a theoretical one, based on the idea that shrewd entrepreneurs are already lining up hundreds of willing 3rd world country sweatshop workers to drop on thousands of Entrecard accounts and generate millions of credits that will flood the market, effectively killing the EC currency...it still doesn't make sense! Holy smokes, Batman, someone is making $3 a day farming credits! Call Commissioner Gordon and let's round them up! Sheesh.

    The real issue here isn't Spammers and Credit Farmers. No, the real issue is Blogger Elitism. You have to be blind not to recognize the subtle and not-so-subtle statements made by "legitimate" bloggers about those folks who are more inclined to marketing and making money via their blogs than they are in traditional blogging. People! Blogs are websites, blogs are billboards, blogs are tv ads, blogs are radio ads, blogs are direct mail pieces, blogs are vehicles for marketing...if one so chooses them to be. However, blogging purists turn their noses up at these bastardized applications of "web logs." Too many ads? Boo! Hiss! Using a free host? Tres gauche! Working within a system to maximize your marketing approach? Risk the scorn of the collective ignorami.

    Ah, but it's so easy to cloud the issue by grouping allowable, yet unwanted behavior, in the same sentence with unacceptable and unwanted behavior. Spammer = Bad. Credit Farmer = One Approach to Entrecarding. Hmmph! Well, what sort of person drops cards every day in an attempt to further their own selfish goals? Uhhhh....duh.....how about looking in the mirror! OK, so you're not a Credit Farmer...you're just a Credit Gardener. Bully for you.

    Many, many active Entrecarders do some Credit Farming every day and everyone's OK with it because.....because.....heck, I don't know. Why is it OK to drop like a madman on 2 accounts and not 3? Did I miss that passage of scripture? Entrecard allows multiple accounts and they seem to think it's OK, assuming that all the drops are made manually on a fully loaded page. Got 4 hours a day to burn dropping cards and want to "earn" 2000 ECs? Hold on...before we authorize that activity, let's consider the impact on the Entrecard economy. Hundreds of thousands of credits are generated each day and someone's worried that a single Credit Farmer might get 1% of them for their time and effort? Wow. Then the good part...now they can try and sell them on ebay for $4/1000. Nope, nope, we just can't let them walk away with $8. Think of the children!

    Ridiculous. Absurd. Moronic.

    Back to the real problem: Snoggers (snobbish bloggers). Entrecard needs to establish minimum community standards, like the ones they brag about in their video. Should I have been able to establish all of my new blogs as Entrecard accounts right away? Probably not...and I wouldn't have been bothered to wait a bit until they met the minimum standards. I had a distinct strategy in mind when I established each of my 20+ Entrecard accounts and a large component of my plan was to harvest ECs. In hindsight, it was an OK plan, but one that I voluntarily abandoned after getting bored out of my mind dropping cards on multiple accounts. Not only can't you get rich by harvesting credits, you can't even earn a decent hourly wage. The really sad part is that I made more money by my credit harvesting efforts than most bloggers do with their acceptable, legitimate blogs...er...hobbies.

    Of course, my expectations for income are different perhaps than those of many folks who live in 3rd world countries, and earning $10-$20 a day without having to break a sweat might be a good option for them. They should be allowed to do that with Entrecard IF their blogs meet the minimum community standards, even if the purists have a conniption fit.

    Credit Farmers destroying Entrecard = Myth. The real threat = Blogger Elitism.

    Entrecarder Profile: Joliber Mapiles  

    Mapiles.com, Your Partner Online, is written by Joliber Mapiles, a 23 year-old blogger from Candaba, Pampanga, Philippines. Joliber is a Software Engineer by profession and also a licensed Electronics and Communication Engineer, and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer, too. He loves basketball and chess, but loves internet marketing more. He also loves to problem solve, something I can easily relate to.

    Reading through some of Mapiles' recent posts, I noticed that he's running a contest that easy to enter. Register in his new Forum and write something about YOUR blog. Now that's a nice twist for a contest entry! I found his content to be so interesting that I signed up for his feed by email so I wouldn't miss anything whilst card dropping.

    Other than his obvious expertise with IT and the Internet, what strikes me most about Joliber is he seems to be a nice guy. He does a great job of replying to comments on his posts and appears to be doing a good job of building a loyal readership without excessive self-promotion or chest thumping. So, as long as you slowed down your card dropping long enough to read this post, take my advice and head over to Mapiles.com and say hello to Joliber, enter his contest, and subscribe to his feed. Go ahead and tell him that Kent sent you! (And that I finally got around to correcting my multiple misspellings of his first name. My bad!)