Finding Entrecard  

As I recall, I was checking out various widgets on blogs, and trying to figure out which ones I wanted to add to my blog, when I first encountered an Entrecard widget. Sadly, I don't recall whose blog it was on, but it did lead me to my most active social networking experience to date. While I'm not blogging very often nowadays, I still consider myself a member of the Entrecard community and experience.

Recently I saw a graph that Graham posted related to Entrecard's growth and how it is similar to that of Pay-Per-Post. I got to thinking about the fact that there are millions of bloggers out there and only a small percentage that have joined Entrecard or even heard of it. For example, I have a friend from Dublin, Ireland whose blogs I have been following for the past couple of years, through several name and platform changes. While she used to have dozens of readers, there are only a couple of us now who comment regularly on her current blog. She and I are also friends on Facebook, which is a much more robust method of connecting than just via a blog. However, understanding the value of having at least a couple of regular readers of one's blog, I stay on top of her now-somewhat-infrequent posts. I suspect there is a boost that comes from knowing that someone will read what one has written, which is where Entrecard comes in.

Forum squabbles, feature flops, and other negatives aside, Entrecard does a great job of getting exposure for one's blog. No, Entrecard probably won't make you an A-lister or drive tons of unique visitors to your site. But with just a little effort, Entrecard will put eyes on your blog that wouldn't have seen it otherwise.

So why aren't there more Entrecarders? I've got to think that the vast majority of bloggers don't create a new post every day or are in it to make money. I wonder what percentage of bloggers actually want to have others--strangers--read their blogs? Does Entrecard really want casual bloggers in their community? I hope so. The spammers and gamers can go away, but there should be a place for the occasional blogger to participate and be a part of Entrecard.

OK...so do we just wait until bloggers find Entrecard on their own? Should there be an incentive for recruiting new Entrecarders? Should Entrecard take out ads on Facebook, Myspace, or other social networking sites? I can't say that I would spend much time myself searching out new Entrecarders, but I might try a bit harder if I were rewarded for my efforts. Shades of a complicated Affiliate Program! I don't know how best to structure a referral program, but I'd be OK with it if Entrecard decided to go that direction.

While it might not help everyone, Entrecard is designed to be an easy, free method for promoting one's blog. There is room for another 100,000 Entrecarders or more, if only they have the chance to try out the service. To do that they first have to find it!