Don't know what Entrecard is and why you should care? Widget is on the right - look for the yellow E.
Mkay. When I first signed up with Entrecard for my blog, I *loved* it. A free way to advertise my blog while discovering new blogs to read myself. Actual targeted advertising, on blogs whose visitors might actually want to read my posts. A fun way to earn credits - something I could do while drinking my morning coffee and waking up.
That does still exist....but, of course, change is inevitable here on the internets. And changes abound at Entrecard - some of which are frustrating and confusing.
I won't bore everyone with all the mathematical details - lots of people have already posted in their blogs about that. Suffice it to say that Entrecard has a new paid ad system, and a new forum policy.
I whole-heartedly disagree with the forum policy, which stipulates that people cannot read or post in the main forums unless they have purchased 400 or more ads. I have been with Entrecard for several months and I have just over 400 ad purchases - and I buy ads a lot. The forums were useful for newblies, so why they decided not to let them in, I will never understand. Apparently, there were a few people posting negative stuff over there, but hey. That's normal in every forum environment - that's what mods are for. To just ban half your users is immature and most assuredly a knee-jerk reaction. For certain, not all the negativity came from newbies.
As for the paid ad policy - I am on the fence. Most certainly, it has not been handled well by the powers that be over there. Many bloggers have opted out of allowing paid ads, and that's their choice. I kind of don't blame them - I mean, there's not much in it for us to accept the paid third-party ads. We aren't being paid for them - Entrecard is. And while I do understand the need for entrecard to make some money to keep the system going, they have done so at the expense of their most loyal users - the people who drop and spend their credits on ads. Those people only get their ad shown 50% of the time on blogs which still accept the paid ads, and that's really not fair. It's those people who really keep Entrecard going, in my opinion.
Am I still accepting paid ads? Well, yes, for the time being, but I am being very selective as to which ones. I still won't accept ads from sites which are completely unrelated to my content, and I am favoring the ads which are obviously from Entrecard bloggers or art/craft sites. I may change my mind on that soon - it depends on whether Entrecard decides to make this easier by offering more widget options, etc. I do see their need to make some money with the paid ads so they can keep offering Entrecard to us.
They do say that the reward for all this is the ability to cash in credits for money. However, for now, only certain people are being allowed to cash in, and the credit-to-dollar ratio is still pretty low. It's not really all that worth it to cash in, unless you've been hoarding credits for months and months. In which case, you likely won't be approved for the cash in service, due to the prerequisites there (higher priority given to people who spend credits on ads, place ads in the market, drop cards, etc.).
It's all so chaotic. Entrecard has implemented too many changes in too little time, with not a whole lot of obvious planning.
I'm sad because I really love the whole Entrecard concept. But I am going to take a wait-and-see approach and hope the storm passes without too much damage.
Pon Pon Morgana
3 minutes ago