Friday, May 22, 2009

Status of Cash-Out System: None

There have been no updates on the cash-out system in nearly a month, with the most recent update on the blog coming on May 1st, but says little in terms of what was supposed to happen with the system. In reality, it is doing more harm than good to keep the users misinformed and out of the picture.

As it currently stands, roughly four hundred thousand credits have been depleted from the system, assuming that the correct percentage is being returned back to members. This is a far cry from the one million that were supposed to be depleted daily. More credits are being generated daily now than before, and many members have become infuriated to the point that they no longer want to participate in a system that doesn't invite new ideas from a traditional advertising system and traffic exchange, as the "community" has nearly died as the system has become monetized.

In the one to two months since the new system was launched, there have been numerous occasions where questions were left unanswered. The simple fact of the matter is that this advertising system needs to be advertised elsewhere, outside of the system, to people who may have larger budgets than many of the smaller, personal-level bloggers involved in the system.

For one, to encourage more people to cash-out, a flexible rate should be provided, depending on the demand: more demand, less $/1,000 credits, and the less demand, more $/1,000 credits. I am sure that there are ways to track the value that credits stand and appropriate pay rates (for paying in the future), so a system where there isn't a flat rate of a paltry $1.

Finally, even if there isn't funding behind the site like there once was, there is also an apparent lack of time being put into managing the blog, a critical part of the site, which serves to inform members and present them tips on improving their blogs. These are just a few ways that the system could change, and they don't require many drastic changes beyond simple modifications to what is already present.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The [Expected] Next Step

Where do you want to see Entrecard go in the future? Right now, it appears as though it is quickly stagnating as an online service. Unlike offline companies, online services always have to be rolling out new features, and that isn't the way that Entrecard is moving.

Perhaps it could be that the advertising platform didn't launch as expected, with a lot of backlash from users, at least relative to the amount of positive thoughts on it. Otherwise, there really isn't anywhere that the system could go from here. It has accomplished the community part, through forums and social media tools, and the traffic part is mostly covered, with many people thanking the service for getting them at least noticed on the internet.

However, the one thing that I think could be changed at the moment is the economy. I don't want to get into any lengthy discussion about how it should and could work, but I want to say that I am slightly disappointed in how the cashout system and the removal of credits from the system was managed.

More than anything, you want to see the number of credits removed from the system be greater than the number that is created (in order to gradually reduce the number in the system). At the current rate of credit withdrawal and the number of users who are participating in the advertisement/credit system, the ratio likely isn't good enough to maintain a course of deflation. With deflation, you'll see lower credit prices across the system, from purchasing ads on sites to buying items in the marketplace.

Something that should have been done was credit limits on daily earnings from credits. Currently, this stands at 300 per account, but unlimited if you have multiple accounts and sites. Ideally, it should probably be around 100 per account/day, or 1,000 per IP address. This will still allow people to earn a good deal of credits, but the people who would rather stick to one or two blogs will see slight reductions in the number of credits generated, because there won't be room to increase the credits unless they add another account to the site.

Another issue that I had dealing with this is the price of credits: $1 per thousand, and the rate of time that it has stayed there. Initially, it was supposed to increase and decrease with the market, but it hasn't. Why not increase it by say, $0.25/thousand every week or so, to let members decide when they want to cashout. If a large number of credits are generated on a single day (5 million, for example), then decrease the rate of payout for a certain period of time until the number of credits is reduced again.

The ideal way it should work and the way that it does are completely different and the conditions involved cannot be controlled too much without inflicting a lot of backlash from members.

What are your thoughts on the cashout system (rate) and how the economy is managed?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

April Traffic Figures for Entrecard

It now appears as though traffic growth is slowing down slightly for Entrecard. Now, you have to take into account that a large number of bloggers left the network in April, when many of the largest paid-ads changes were taking place.

Entrecard Traffic Statistics

When you look at these figures, you have to take the overall trend, as traffic can vary greatly from one month to another and the quality of traffic you get from the service depends largely on how you use it. Additionally, any large drops in the overall traffic will mean less traffic to "distribute" among members.

Unique Visitors: 1,606,693, down 6.85%
Total Visits: 3,729,677, down 11.95%
Overall Rank: 1,127, down 81 places
Traffic from Blogger and Blogspot Total: 19.69%

Compared to other services that try to aim at the same niche, it is currently between MyBlogLog (1,014,560 unique visitors) and Blog Catalog (1,964,161 unique visitors).

Please note that traffic numbers from Compete are generally from the United States.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

1200 Words on Entrecard

impNERD (Gary R. Hess) published his thoughts on Entrecard, the direction that it is going, and some of the misguided complaints that people are sending towards the system.

List of Sites Not Accepting Paid Ads

Dianne of Wahm Cafe is collecting a list of sites that do not accept paid Entrecard ads on their site. You can add your site to the list, as it currently stands at 79, and they want to get up to 300. It is recommended that you add the image/link to your site to help others who may be interested and joining, so others know that your site is "Dropper Friendly."

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Fixing the Entrecard Toolbar

impNERD has a tutorial on how to fix the Entrecard Toolbar from bleeding, by still displaying some text when turned off.

This is a good tutorial, albeit it may require some technical knowledge of file structures and accessing Firefox plugin customization areas, and solves the problem.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Top Droppers for April 2009

Thank you to the top droppers of the previous month.

You can share your own list by going into the Statistics area and visiting the sites, copying the links of the sites.

Dropper | # of drops
Septagon Studios Indie Comic Blog 31
The Way I See It 31
The Credit Bum 30
Blog Mockers 30
Autism Experiences 30
Blogging Ideas 30
Vacation Oregon 30
BMWF1Blog 30
Super Fisherman 30
More Game Cheat Links 30