Entrecard Catfight!  

There's been a firestorm in the Entrecard Forums and here's some of my comments that were recently posted there:

"The thread everyone seems to be focused on was not the first time that certain folks had crossed the line of civility in these forums, whether it be in the name of humor & wit, free speech, or lively debate. (Guilty as charged.) I agree with Woobie's statement and further feel that over time the "witty" comments that were bouncing around here with regularity had become an unacceptable norm, no matter how entertaining to some people. It doesn't really matter how things came to a head, the point is that Entercard stepped in and correctly a situation that had gotten out of hand."


"I don't agree that the "little guy" is hurt by the changes that have been made to Entrecard since January, mainly because the little guy still has the ability to promote their blog via card dropping, advertise on other Entrecarders' blogs with credits instead of cash, and comment in the forums and on others' blogs. Entrecard is easier to use now than it was in January, there are 5x the blogs in the community, and there are better features for accomplishing the primary goal of most Entrecarders, that of promoting their blogs.

As far as censorship goes, even those in the world who enjoy free speech accept that there are limits to that free speech. I don't believe that these forums were designed to provide a venue for free speech, which can more effectively be accomplished via our own blogs anyway. It's great to get a healthy conversation going where the different sides of an issue (eg-powerdropping versus chain-dropping) can be presented in a civil manner, if that debate benefits the Entrecard community, to which end Entrecard has engaged Moderators to watch over the forums.

I haven't liked all the changes that have been made to Entrecard since January, but I do like the fact that Graham and Phirate are making changes and continuing to try and improve this service. This Firestorm brouhaha will have barely died down before the next one starts up, which I predict will be in about 5 or 6 days."


"Hold an event at a public park and there is an expectation of free speech with limited moderation. Hold that same event at someone's home or place of business and free speech is limited by the ground rules set by the property or business owner. I never perceived that these forums were "free for alls." There is a specific purpose for each Entrecard forum and they are moderated to make sure that Entrecard's desires for the forums are not subjugated to those of individual Entrecarders.

These forums--by design--are different in their appearance and function than most forums many Entrecarders will have encountered in the past. (Perhaps Phirate could link to the site that explains the reasoning behind this type of forum design.) And it's not like it's easy to figure out the ground rules here, as with other aspects of the Entrecard experience it seems like self-discovery is part of the agenda, Entrecard E-book notwithstanding.

In my opinion, the strength of the Entrecard community is not determined by what Marcus, or Deimos, or Sam, or any individual Entrecarder adds to the forums or the overall community. The strength of Entrecard is that there is a steady stream of bloggers who are eager to publicize their blogs and increase their readership via a free service that has greater utility and quicker payback than most communities or services that they have encountered anywhere else. I miss some of the Entrecarders who were active in January and February and no longer participate, just as some of those who were Firestormers will be missed should they choose to opt out of Entrecard as a result of the hubbub over the past couple of days. But Entrecard is bigger than any of us and will continue to roll on, bumpy ride and all...or at least I hope it does."

What next?

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