We’ve had the entrecard (EC) widget on our blog for a while now and never really actively participated in their booming community. If you’re familiar with their forums, you’ll know there’s a select group of EC power-users. They seem to wake up, and go to bed with nothing but EC on their mind. Their blog’s are filled with post after post on how to increase your EC traffic, how to optimize it for your blog, how to network with the community,Top droppers MeMes, etc etc. That’s all great, but we think some are getting a little carried away with it all, unknowingly destroying the system.
Here’s the thing: The whole purpose behind EC is to get noticed in the blogosphere because your 125×125 ad gets displayed on other blogs that have signed up with EC. Obviously if your card is featured on a huge blog like Problogger (who gets sponsored by EC) or JohnChow, you’re bound get get a nice bump in traffic for those 24 hours. Currently the cost for these two blogs is 330 and 260. So why on earth would someone waste over 400 credits to get featured on a blog that has 21 RSS subscribers? You wouldn’t if you have your head screwed on the right way!
We’re not saying your blog is bad or crap, we’re just saying there’s no justification for such a high price, having compared the stats with the other blogs. It’s like us starting to ask $900 for a review, while you can go and get one for half that amount on JohnChow.com. We’d set ourselves up the bomb!
Now this is where the problem lies. The EC powerusers are so keen on getting becoming popular within the ranks of the community, that they are working hard in chain dropping their cards on all EC blogs each day, just to accumulate more credits and inflating their own advertising prices. Emails keep getting send around, asking for drops, reccomendations and whatever else it is that will get you popular on the categories pages.
Its really not doing any good for anyone. The blogs that get their cards dropped on are experiencing an increase in bounce rates. The bloggers that stops dropping quickly vanish into thin air. The bloggers that keep dropping, is happily inflating their own advertising cost. And for what? Just to get featured in the top 3 on their respective categories?
Bouncerates through the roof.
Unfortunately the current system “Effort=Reward” has become unusable since it has been encouraging this form of ‘gaming the system’ and the end result causes a distorted view of how popular a blog really is on the outside world. If you think you’re paying 400 credits to get featured on a popular blog, therefor getting high exposure to the blogosphere and receiving a bump in traffic, think again. You’ve just wasted your hard earned credits on a blog that might look popular inside the EC community, but isn’t all that popular outside the community – where it matters if you’re looking for traffic.
The only way to stop this is to alter the script so it won’t add to your ‘popularity’ when you’re dropping cards. Getting more popular because cards are getting dropped on your blog is a natural and organic type of growth, which would be a more accurate reflection of the popularity of a blog in the place where it really matters – the blogosphere. Until the EC team can find a way to prevent blog inflation from happening, we’re dropping EC.
(PS We’re waiting for Becky’s ‘told you so!’ comment).