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?


impNERD said...

I definitely agree with the 100 drops/day. Right now the amount of time we must consume to even stay on par is ridiculous. Yes, there are ways to 'drop 300 cards in 30 minutes', but that is not value. In my opinion, that sort of thing shouldn't be tolerated. What value does spending 6 seconds per blog give (yes, I did the math)? Absolutely zero. *That* is trash traffic. Yes, it makes your numbers go higher but that is it.

EC traffic isn't all trash. Actually, the right articles can bring in quite a few comments. The problem is there are certain droppers who feel the need to drop 300 as quickly as possible and spend absolutely zero time (ok, 6 seconds) on each blog. Even if there is something interesting, why should they bother?

Anyway, there are some fundamental problems with Entrecard which can't be solved by the cashOut. And yes, even the cashOut is having some huge problems right now ranging from SSNs to $1/1000 to long waits (for being accepted).

I love Entrecard, but it needs to change. And sadly, there isn't a real competitor even now.

Jan from BetterSpines said...

I love Entrecard for the traffic. And I read the posts on sites which interest me. Sites which haven't had any new content are of no interest. I enjoy the convenience of the entrebar to visit my favourite sites, and to reciprocate those who have dropped on me. Since I am retired, I enjoy visiting as many sites as I can. The politics of the process are irrelevant.

Jena Isle said...

I have traffic primarily because of entrecard and they did pay me the 10000 EC credits I have requested for payout. The traffic and bounce rates however are things that should be considered. We should at least take time to comment on good articles and not just drop and run. Good concerns you have raised up here.

Metallman said...

Hey there. I think the 100 drops a day would work wonders. Those that are here for monetary value would be the ones backlashing since they are being "robbed" of money by reducing the amount of ECs that can be earned. But the others that are here for the community will welcome it since it will allow more time to dedicate to read some posts and comment where they see fit.

As for the cashout, I'm sure it hasn't worked out as planned, but I believe that will work itself out over time. Later.

Maria@Conversations with Moms said...

From what I've seen and I could be wrong there is no real competitor for Entrecard. I owe a lot of my traffic thanks to Entrecard. But more importantly, I've been introduced to a lot of great sites that without Entrecard, I probably would never have come across.

Could there be improvement. For sure. There is no perfect system out there but they are trying new things. It takes time to smooth out wrinkles in new systems.