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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Entrecard Whiners Circle & Fair Weather Entrecarders

Holy Crapamoley, Entreman! Have you seen what they've done to Entrecard? They've actually taken a huge leap forward in making it a VIABLE economy. Entrecard has recently just made the leap from Marxism to Capitalism. And I can't wait to see how it goes...!

However, there's been a lot of bitchin' and whinin' lately... and from the usual suspects.

But It Wasn't ALWAYS Like That...

You see, in the beginning, as it is with most things, Entrecarders were all on the big ol' honeymoon. It was like every night was sitting around a big campfire or a ski lodge with Saphrym trying valiantly to get his bodyfat numbers down and his testosterone numbers up and the siren-like EvilWoobie quietly and cleverly becoming every lonely man's Asian dreamgirl. BigPap was blinding everyone with his Big shiny bald head and I was busy trying to find the community's pain threshold.

We Were Ignorant. And It Was Bliss.

We'd start recognizing some of the ads belonging to the real hardcore go-getters like that red cake box with the white bowtie on it that looked just so damn you good you wanted to suck it right off your screen. Then there was that simple unassuming black and white Entrecard of a turnip, so bland and unnoticed in real life, that it, ironically, invaded our minds. We all got to know the Easter Islandesque stone statue of a man that, without a doubt, caused every first-time viewer to ask aloud, "Dude, wtf?" - I was almost sure it was never gonna make it. But it has, and how!

The price of a barrel of oil was still under a hundred dollars. Graham and Phirate made themselves unusually available. Everyone was pretty content to lay in the tall grass like a lion on the prowl just to POUNCE on the EntreNoobs at 2EC to advertise. And our biggest problem was something like the now laughable....

"AD REJECTED - COLOR SCHEME DOESN'T MATCH."

We Entre-laughed. We Entre-cried. And we Entre-visited each others blogs... at first, like a little rascally coyote, we were just trying to grab a credit chicken from the credit coop and run away to do it all over again somewhere else. But then something weird started to happen. We started to fall in love. Ok, we started to fall in love as much as bloggers can.

There was, has been, and continues to be so much quality, new interaction due to Entrecard that, if one were to really take a bird's eye view of the whole thing, it would truly be staggering.

Take, for example, the supreme irony of the following article at Optempo,

"Why I Removed Entrecard"

... who includes the following reactions to Entrecard's EC valuation changes:

  1. Surf the Mind: Thinking Through the Entrecard Changes
  2. MoneyBites: EntreBashing: The New Pricing System
  3. Michaels’ So-Called Life: EntreCard: The New Supply & Demand System
  4. EntreCard Blog: Myths about the new pricing
  5. The University Kid: WTF Is With Entrecard?
  6. Quick Online Tips: Entrecard Changes Pricing Algorithm: Card Dropping Game Stops
  7. Tha Slayer: The new Entrecard Credit system

The supreme irony lay in the rhetorical question, "Just how did OpTempo get learn of these 7 other bloggers?" and why would these 8 bloggers spend their valuable time, energy and blogspace writing about Entrecard if they didn't have a significant audience of ENTRECARDERS to care about it?

"Out With the Old, In With the New"

or...

"The Strong Will Live and the Weak Will Die"

I would say, in general, the same people who complained about the credit valuation system way back when are the same people who are complaining about the credit valuation now. In fact, some of these complainers were supposedly going to retire, but like Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler or "Manos de Piedra", Roberto Duran, they just couldn't resist the allure of "the comeback", of giving the thing that attracted them in the first place just one... more.... chance.

So, how would you like it if you were a young 20-something year old entrepreneur and every time you made a significant change in hopes of bettering things for everyone, a small faction of fair weather users would splinter off and start screaming bloody murder? Or what if, also at that young age, you had demonstrated your intellect and know-how by bringing such a venture this far only to have people threatening to instantly jump ship whenever something was too brilliant for them to comprehend? Or what if every time you tried to outmaneuver the inevitable gaming of the system, various peoples starting predicting the date of your demise?

It wouldn't be much fun, would it? Unless, of course, you had an unshakeable confidence in yourself and in what you were doing. Then, eventually, as you stayed the course, you would attract to you all those who DID possess the intellect and understanding to comprehend the vision and the direction in which you were taking things. But just imagine what all that would be like - and you might begin to understand why you are just a blogger making less than a couple hundred dollars per month and not an entrepreneur losing, or borrowing, a couple thousand per month, so as to allow for the extraordinary to come true.

Graham, Slam, Thank You, Ma'am!

While so many fly-by-night entrepreneurs and work-from-home wanna-be's pop up on the radar only to disappear a short time later, Graham has stayed the course. That doesn't mean Entrecard will definitely succeed or become a household name but it DOES mean that Graham has already outperformed the majority of those who ever dared enter his field. For example, out of the thousands of people who've joined Entrecard, or tried their hand at online marketing, how many of them have been invited to display their innovations at web innovator's gatherings? Or anywhere for that matter...?

In Conclusion

For all you naysayers out there, please, for the love of G-d, shut your traps and give "the kid" a chance. If all you can do is bitch about "bounce rates" or the bumpy beginnings of an effort to forge a REAL, VIABLE Entrecard economy, then you'll never make it online until you get that focus problem sorted out. Because YOU are focusing on what you DON'T have, while I, and others, are focusing on is what we DO have.... and are trying to show a little gratitude for it.

And if your bounce rates are high maybe it's because your site isn't sticky enough.

But that would require taking a new level of responsibility. And why do that when it's so much easier to blame a 20-something Entrepreneur and his flagship, Entrecard for not making you an overnight success?

Taking strong early actions like posting in the forums can really make a difference over the long haul.  Once again, I refer people here:  Click Here to Get the Most Out of Entrecard

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20 comments:

Rachel Keslensky said...

Meh, the new pricing system equalized out for me - i.e. since I stopped being an active dropper, the price hasn't changed much anyway.

FWIW, I stopped messing with Entrecard so much because it hit me that none of the categories available right now really fit what I was doing, so regardless of where I went - even other supposedly related comics blogs - the results were about the same. The next option would be convincing Phi to start a new category for "Webcomics / New Media" blogs; maybe I'm pessimistic, but I just don't see that happening.

I went and just focused more on the content and on retooling the blog to relate it more to the comic versus being a standalone; there's fewer hits than I'm used to with EC, but the subscriber count's been climbing instead. It just seems to be a better use of my time versus click after click with Entrecard, that's all.

Sam Freedom said...

I understand, Rachel. Admittedly, Entrecard does have to figure something else out in relation to people getting tired of dropping. For example, if the inbox didn't have such a confined feeling and returning drops were a lot easier. Early on, I, as well as a few others, tried to devise ways to expedite return drops or just mass dropping, in general, but the atmosphere has changed now - rather than the fresh and newness the early adopters experienced, the newcomers get a kind of "gotta jump in with my feet running" feeling.

And, in this business, the rule is to make everything AS EASY AS POSSIBLE for people for the maximal result. Even the RSS feature for the inbox is too much for a lot of people to even comprehend... the most savvy get it but, again, it has to be AS EASY AS POSSIBLE so that all newcomers can feel excited and get up to speed as fast as possible.

I'm wondering if newcomers should remain accessible only to other newcomers for the first 2-3 weeks so they can all get to know each other very well before stepping off into the deeper end.

In any case, a solution that I hope Graham takes to heart, would be if somehow the browser can be made to import all the websites of those who dropped on us (in our drop inbox) and then open them up in new tabs, perhaps 5 at a time, and staggered by like 10 seconds. Not necessarily that formula but something like it. Something that would make dropping feel easy again and incentivize people for remaining on others sites.

I'll tell you something else, Rachel... no matter how easy ANY venture is in the beginning, it's always going to come down to some version of what you're experiencing as the numbers increase. While some of us might be level-headed and/or see the future vision of it all, the rule, as always, is that instant gratification rules the day.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Sam

Bald Eagle said...

I just recently started using Entrecard, so I'm one of those newbies. I'm glad I'm not stuck with other newbies, because I'm finding some really good blogs to follow through Entrecard. Yes, it is a pain to keep up with dropping, but it is slowly building traffic to my site. I know I still have a lot to learn. Thanks for the post.

Rik said...

WELL SAID!!!!

It's always harder to create than criticise, but critics invariably get the most attention, despite their inabilty to do anything constructive.

For myself, the great thing about entrecard is the way it leads me to new blogs each day, by following the ads on other members sites.

In fact, since the changes to the new system I've added 2 more blogs to the EntreCard system, simply because it works so well in getting me new readers.

Not all of us are interested in being 'powerdroppers'. I enjoy finding new blogs each day. The world is filled with interesting people and it's fun reading their views.

Rik

feefifoto said...

Excellent public flogging for those who expect something for nothing. Personally, I've found a huge benefit in Entrecard from the many blogs I've found that I wouldn't have otherwise.

I'm always striving to make my posts more sticky. Think I need more honey? ;)

Sam Freedom said...

@Bald Eagle,

You're welcome - remember, turtle wins the race. Some people get too savvy and then, therefore, too demanding, too damn quickly. Go at your own pace and what you learn will be more reliable and more a part of you. Thanks for commenting.

@Rik

Exactly, Rik, exactly. As in the previous reply to Bald Eagle, some people get too savvy, too fast for their own good. They come to think of 10-15 minutes of dropping as a huge chore because they're so conditioned by the internet (and dare I say copywriters) to think they can, and should, get whatever they want pretty much instantly.

Therefore, 10-15 minutes of dropping, which is not instant gratification, becomes an experience that they begin to rationalize as inefficient or unworthy. Whereas, to me, it just reeks of ignorance and a pseudo-elite kind of thinking done by amateurs to convince THEMSELVES that they aren't as amateurish as they really are.

While I can appreciate the power of 1000s of people flooding a site daily, there's actually more value in making STRONG new friendships and alliances which can lead to untold permutations of joint venture style experiences. Imagine such people spend so much time with "social media" yet when they have to spend 10-15 minutes dropping cards and, very likely, getting to see some cool, informative, valuable blogs, they express ingratitude towards the very thing that has fed them in such a manner.

They "deserve better..." ;-)

Thanks for your comment.

@FeeFiFoto,

No more honey required. However, you might want to move your widget a little closer to the top and on the right side just under the contact me ad square so Entrecarders see your offer. Or, in the very least, I suggest putting something very tempting to the general populace under the widget. In your case, just for an example, I might put something like this.. "Eventually, you're going to need a unique gift... eventually, you are going to need photos... click here for an amazing offer", etc or whatever, but perhaps anything that causes the casual dropper to go 1 stage deeper into your site.

Anyways, for what its worth, we met around and about the Entrecard topic so, apparently, it works in other ways in addition to clicking the widget. ;-) Thanks for commenting.

Evilwoobie said...

As always, thanks for the mention.

Turnip said...

I must have woken up on the controversial side of the bed today. Love them or hate them, the 20 or so chicken littles that regularly post in the entrecard forums post for the sake of being noticed. Yes, we've both made several posts telling people to do just that, and now we pay the price for the free marketing advice. Not that it's bad to occassionally take the rectal temperature of the entrecard community, as I've been not so politely told by PM from powers above.

More interesting was the response of those who came out of the woodwork when phirate introduced the 600 daily max drop limit. Who knew that having 6 made for adsense pay-per-post splogs was such a family bonding experience? My pimple faced daughter, my dog with a limp, my goldfish with leprocy all need to drop 300 per day. There lies the true hidden backbone of Entrecard. Insult some pay-per-post whore personally, and Graham will write a letter of apology to her. Insult the 3000 content stealing spammers on blogspot and you get death threats and phirate rewriting the code to appease them so "families can enjoy entrecard".

Entrecard is what it is. Even when spammers and craptastic blogs make up the bulk of the blogs, they exist within their own world. It's your own forum participation and the blogs you choose to visit that make up your entrecard experience. If you don't like a blog, don't visit it. I'm not the dipshit that told you dropping from your inbox was a good thing. I've been against it from day one. Obviously it's the people that have time to drop 900 cards a day that spend the least time on their writing. Don't blame me if reading all that crap burns you out. I have my own list; you have yours. To each their own.

Bottom line is Entrecard will cater to the numbers until it attracts capital. Like someone buying a blog based on RSS numbers, a venture capitalist will invest in Entrecard based upon user numbers. Once the money and paid help arrive, then real change will occur and the "fair weather friends" may return. For all it's faults, Entrecard is still the best traffic tool for small blogs. Blogs with 7 subscribers don't need to worry about bounce rates. Blogs that make their income converting traffic to dollars don't either.

So set your sails to the great turnip in the sky. I'll still be there posting my same boring articles on getting the most out that sinking ship called "Entrecard".

Sam Freedom said...

@woobie - you're welcome.

@turnip - no dipshit told me to drop out of my inbox but now you have me wondering, just what kind of a dipshit are you then?

Ok, in all seriousness, you're one of the few who, in my opinion, have used Entrecard the way it's been intended and have benefitted both yourself and the community, as a result.

As far as those allusions to controversial interactions go, I think you need to spill a little more... sounds pretty interesting.

Good analysis...

Turnip said...

When I say "you", of course I am referring to the "regular entrecard users" taking bad advice from dipshits. Not any particular bad advice giving dipshit, including myself. In the same vain "we" refers to the royal Turnip himself.

As for the more controversial interactions, those will have to remain secret for the time being. Teach a monkey how to use a Tor client, and all you end up with is an anonymous monkey, not William Shakespeare. No need to publicize poorly written hate mail.

Regarding Entrecard... Entrecard's been bery, bery good to me! It's a tool that's brought traffic, a few dollars from credit sales, a couple of friends that I correspond with, and an endless source of anger and amusement. Not bad for the hour a day I spend dropping cards and commenting. When someone shows me something better for the small blog owner, I'll be just as interested.

evilwoobie said...

@Sam
You're in your element again! Love the article!

@Turnip
It's funny how being on EC let me discover exactly how people are earning. Doing the google search on how to earn leads me to sites that charges for how-to-earn ebooks, while being in EC gives me free inside info on how people go about the earning thing.

Amy Lilley Designs said...

WOW..this is some of the best reading I've done in days..I'm just trying to hold my own, drum up some interest and traffic..you guys are the 'heavys' around here...it's been fascinating!!! Thank you!

rskirk55 said...

Thanks for a great retrospective and funny article about Entrecard. Like so many others, I am hooked. The traffic to my site has built, though the click through rate is very, very low with people just dropping. I would say I have increased the QUALITY traffic to my site by about 10% in the six weeks I have been dropping. Thanks again for your insight.
Making Perfect Sense

Susie said...

Bottom line, its basically a free service, other than our time, our time is valuable yes, but the whiners need to stick a sock in it, and realize the amount of hours that these two folks have put into providing us an outlet. A free outlet mind you, other than entrecredits, it's given exposure!

I dropped furiously and faithfully for a months time, found dedicated readers, found great blogs to read, found people to network with. Thats what its all about - I was on top of my art category for a few weeks, that was cool! Can I continue it loyally forever, no, but every thing in moderation!

Your post as SJP would say.. was fabulous!

EmmaB said...

I must say your site hit me as sticky lol. I will be coming back not just to drop but to read posts as well :p

- said...

ohhhhh so you're the one with that logo. Sunday is my "go explore" day. Well it's a good piece, the irony image alone was worth the visit. But I'm in agreement; I feel WAY too many complain about a system that has, in a short amount of time, campfired a lot of folks.

I haven't done my standard "I'm new to EC so let me explain it for the millionth time" piece yet-too busy writing about how to ACTUALLY make money online. But my feeling is EC can bring you a percentage of not so useful traffic as well as very useful traffic. If you go in with an objective you can make it work for you-like anything else. Plus, it's full of surprises...


Dave from WelcomeBackRosenthal

tv bracket said...

I debated on joining Entrecard months ago and just never got around to it. In the end I am kind of glad I have not gotten into it they seem to have their growing pains.

Dental Marketing said...

I personally get a lot out of EntreCard and do not understand why some are whining about it. It is like anything else you reap what you sow.

Dental Marketing said...

Entrecards sound worth looking as long as no huge risk of losing your funds, though the pros and cons had me worried a bit..

live said...

thanks very much and I just recently started using Entrecars.
http://www.liveonnetwork.com