Sunday, March 15, 2009

The NEW "New Entrcard Economy"

Friends, I have bad news to report; the ladies at BadGalsRadio are pissed. Then again, I can see their point. They declare their anger in this post, a fundamental blast against the Entrecard "drop and run" technique. To be fair, EC does not endorse "d 'n' r", nor do they encourage it. Then again, in a system which allows, no, requires the acquisition of vast numbers of EC credits [which can then be used to advertise on the most popular EC blogs], what did they expect would happen?

To be fair, Graham and Co. have tried several ways to get droppers to linger and comment. Limiting the number of drops per blog in theory should give EC'ers the time to leave a comment or two [of course, serious 'Carders simply started multiple blogs, then shifted credits around as needed]. SezWho seemed to be a step in the right direction, but went nowhere [technical issues at the launch didn't help]. Comment contests were nice, but only for the host blogs [and, if memory serves me right, most of the comments were, at best, "Great blog! Hi..."; at worst, they were an excuse for link requests and monitization offers (obviously people who, again, weren't even reading the blogs).]. Nothing seems to work.

Another issue BadGals is aggravated by is this weekend's announcement by EC that, starting very soon, it will sell advertising on blogs, reducing [in theory; see below] the maximum number of ad impressions to 50 % in some cases [if paid ads run on specific blogs]. As EC's in-house J. Arthur Crank, you'd think I'd be bothered by the whole thing myself. Truthfully, though, I'm rather blase about it. Of course Entrecard needs to find a revenue stream to support itself; selling advertising is a reasonable way for the company to do so [with tens of thousands of users, it certainly has an audience]. And, for the vast majority of EC blogs, nothing will change. Let me explain: enterprises spending money on advertising will want the biggest "bang for their buck" [or Euro, Australian Dollar, or, well, you get the idea]. There is already a whole sub-industry on the Internet concerning keywords, ideal ad placement, etc. "Real-world" advertisers already have experts advising them on where to spend a shrinking advertising budget. EC ad buyers will almost certainly want to purchase space on the most popular blogs, within their field of interest. Sure, there will likely be some experimental "mass buys", wherein an advertiser will consider buying space on a large number of blogs within a category. But I expect these to be few and far between.

One point I disagree with the BadGals on; those blogs that are chosen by "money" advertisers will receive compensation, at least to the degree they are willing to sell acquired credits back to EC [I'm assuming "selling credits back" is not mandatory; it shouldn't be. None of this should be mandatory...]. Will EC get the lion's share of the compensation? Of course it will; it created the mass of audience, and it's handling the sales of space.

One point I agree with BG on; there should be no penalty for rejecting advertising. In the above paragraph I said, I think rightly, that EC created the "mass of audience". It did so by creating the social network that is Entrecard. But the most popular blogs within EC are responsible for creating their own following. Just as a radio or TV station, newspaper or magazine can choose to turn down advertising not consistent with its philosophy, EC blogs should be free to refuse advertising they are for any reason uncomfortable with, without penalty, save the loss of compensation. We the bloggers own our blogs. It is our toil, tears, and sweat that power them [no matter what Blogger thinks; of course, with their "I power Blogger" buttons, they've shown that they get the message].
Once again, Entrecard is rolling the dice. Unlike some of their previous attempts, I believe this one could lead to a stronger Entrecard framework, which will make the whole network of blogs more secure. Let's see who comes to the table. Let's see who chooses to sell ad space. Let's see who rejects it, and why. Let's be observant, patient, and willing to let this brave new EC world play itself out for a while.
-Mike Riley


RE Ausetkmt said...

very interesting Marc, but you didn't address the real problem which is the continued deception by entrecard; toward it's members - by constantly changing the rules.

you see that in itself makes the entire system totally insecure.

major changes require adjustment; and granted an announcement says one week - do you think eachperson who got it will have read it and implemented the required acceptance of tos changes by then ?

I will leave my responses and your questions there as you seem to be fishing, and I'm through feeding frogs for snakes; friend.

Mike Riley said...


Agreed - changing the rules does change the game. Further agreed - a one-week notice of a major change like this is at best unrealistic, at worst patently unfair.

Rewmember, though, Graham has always referred to this as the EC "economy". Economic systems change frequently in the real world and, if Graham is trying to play by "real world" circumstances, rule changes are inevitable. "The only constant is change".

One final point. My opinions are my own. I "fish" for no one but myself. I turned down Graham's offer of publicising a previous "change" because I didn't want it in the blog he asked for, and a concern that the change would not be particularly helpful to anyone using EC. I don't feel the need of veryfying my revolutionary credentials to you or anyone else...


P.S. : The "M' is for Mike, not Marc. Honest mistake...