When the paid ads first appeared mysteriously on my EC dashboard and clamouring for approval, I was a bit dumbstruck by the crowd. Still, I approved most of them. Mainly because as part of a community that have brought me so much, I wanted to do my bits to help sustain it. And also because a lot of the paid ads were from fellow Entrecarders who are doing their bits to help.
I like the idea of being able to exchange EC for cash. In fact, I was a bit disappointed last year when they banned the selling of EC in open market. After all making a side income was one of the reasons I started blogging. So, personally, when they announce that EC would be able to be exchanged with cash, I was overjoyed. The hole on my roof was a proof of it. I would like to see this paid ads work too.
While I was doing my bits to help, it didn't occur to me what that means to my EC-paid ads in the queue waiting patiently to make their appearance in my widget. When I read about the unfairness that they were being dealt with in other blogs, I felt guilt. Although I'm aware of the 50/50 air times, the injustice didn't immediately struck me when I was dutifully clicking "Approve" on those paid ads. So, after approving two days of paid ads, I started rejecting all paid ads.
Right about the same time, I stopped buying ads with my hard-earned EC, not wanting to gamble them on uncertain exposures. Also, the waiting room of my approval-seeking EC-paid ads was starting to have echoes. I thought perhaps the EC-paid ads will die a slow death. I read in the Entrecard forum (or blog?) that, having the value of our ads to decrease accordingly is part of the plan, so that more could afford to place ads. And I agree it's not exactly a bad thing. But before that actually happens, what will happen to EC paid ads that are already in the queue?
I would have gone on to reject paid ads silently too, had I not seen a widget pop up in my queue for approval that was paid by EC, much to my surprise.
With that, I felt compelled to cancel all my previously approved paid ads (which I initially intend to let them run their course) and make an announcement here:
My EC widget will be paid-ads-free.
I'm not sure why Mr Langdon started Entrecard. Fame? Fortune? Community service? But I'm grateful that he did. After reading about the necessity to maintain it with paid ads, I started to wonder how did he manage to keep it up before, and thought he must have done a good job with it too. But I guess he's at a cross road now. It's not easy being the leader or the management of any community. But I guess he has some tough decision to make. And doing something controversial for the sake of being controversy might not be the best way to bring Entrecard towards a better tomorrow. And a better tomorrow will sure sound hollow with a smaller number of following. Ultimately, I hope he has the dibs within him to get us, the Entrecarders, to the next level. All of us.
Entrecard, I can blog with them, I can blog without them. But I will be happier, much much happier, if I can blog with them.