Well? Did you?
I did. Heartily too. My computer was lucky that I wasn't holding a mouthful of coffee or water in my mouth when I came across that statement.
$50 to opt-out. For one year. Brilliant! Hahahahahaha ...
If you're an Entrecard member, and if you haven't already known, according to some fellow Entrecarders, it has been announced that firstly, the sponsored ads campaign has been postponed to 5th of October, instead of 28th of September; and secondly, you can now opt out of the sponsored ads by paying a minimal amount of $50 ... for one year.
Hmmm ... how do I start?
I'll start with - In my personal and humble opinion -
I guess EntreCard had grown in its value when its membership expanded significantly some times back. Having its widget appearing in thousands of blogs probably means a great potential in internet marketing. But how do you convert this great potential into cash? Mr G failed. And by the look of it, in my personal and humble opinion, so would Ms C.
"That's so not the way to do it."
"Yeah? You got any bright idea?"
"You shouldn't have given them choices! Be firm. Corner them. Then offer them a lifeline by paying cash. That way, we earn from the sponsored ads AND from those who don't want sponsored ads. Win-win! Muahahahaha ..."
There must be something that these EC people see that I don't.
But before that, let me state that I totally understand and accept that it requires funds to run something like Entrecard. If the EC people can make money out of it as well, I'm happy for them. But this should be implemented in a way that's acceptable to people who makes it successful, or valuable, in the first place - the members. And - I'm not leaving Entrecard just yet. I'll stick around to see how this will turn out. And to my favourite bloggers that have stated their intention to leave Entrecard, I'll be bookmarking you all for future visit.
The first point - the intention of Mr G in launching the paid ads campaign a few months ago is understandable. But I guess the members' negative reception to his paid ads was probably not something he expected. So he learned. And he backed off.
So when Ms C decided to launch her sponsored ads, did she not have the knowledge of what Mr G experienced previously? If she knows about the episode and still goes ahead with the sponsored ads, then there must be something very, very profitable about these paid ads or sponsored ads that I fail to see. Or maybe her brilliant $50-opt-out is her ulterior motive? Maybe there's something that I've missed.
Secondly, assuming paid ads or sponsored ads is the way to go about in solving the financial issue of Entrecard, there is something not right with how they launch it. I assume what makes Entrecard widget attractive to advertisers is that its widget appears in thousands of blogs - great exposure. And I assume, ultimately, external or third party advertisers are their targets for some serious money.
"Come, come buy our ads, you'll get exposure in thousands of blogs. Great value for your advertising money. Come, come. But before that, we'll drive away many blogs to devalue the advertising potential of Entrecrad. Come, come place ads with us." - make sense?
Or, maybe they have a brilliant plan to attract thousands more bloggers into Entrecard after this round of exodus, for the second time. Something I have missed?
Thirdly, did it cross the brilliant minds of the EC people that there are more than one way to opt out from the sponsored ads? Hmmm ... if I'm so concern about the sponsored ads, should I pay 50 bucks, or delete the widget? Pay 50 bucks? Delete the widget? Hmmm ... that's a tough one.
Or maybe they've secretly re-coded the EC widget such that it can't be torn away from our blogs. And to make it sponsored ads free, we'll have no way but to pay the $50. Again, is there something that I have missed?
Lastly, if I'm concerned about the sponsored ads, and I want to remain in Entrecard for the traffic, is $50 worthwhile?
Compared to Adgitize, where members are induced to click on ads by money, EC members are rewarded with ECs (and nowadays, they don't get any if others click on the EC widget on their blogs) that cannot be converted into cash, and can only be used to buy ads on other EC blogs, which starting from 5th of October will get only 85% exposure.
And with most EC blogs now have Adgitize ads displayed on them, the Adgitize ads will be the more likely exit point, compared to EC ads, for most widget surfers. I know I do. Therefore, when we place EC ads on EC blogs that also have Adgitize ads (and there are a lot of them), it's likely, and that's what I've observed over the past months, that we'll get less click through from the EC ads that we buy. Value for money?
I guess the greatest beneficiary from the side effect - the exodus - of this sponsored ads will be people like Adgitize, or CMF, or ... wait a minute, maybe the EC people IS the Adgitize people ... Hmmm ... There must be something that I have missed.
I like this community of Entrecard. And it is a community. Unlike BlogCatalog or MyBlogLog (I think), with Entrecard, whenever someone drops on my blog, I feel bounded by a sense of fellowship to drop back. Thus the reciprocal visit is more than likely to occur. Although, how to convert this traffic into readership is something to be considered.
Again, I totally understand the need to find money to finance this beloved community of ours. But is there a better way to do it without offending many of our members? And I guess most feel offended by these changes because they are implemented halfway through. Nothing was stated about the one-page-down (is this still being enforced?), or the paid ads, or the sponsored ads when we joined this great community of Entrecard. And I guess for the goods of the community, nobody would object to changes that are beneficial - to both the management and the members. But when it's forced down our throats without our consent, nothing nice will come out the other end. Anyway ...
I wonder how sites like Facebook or Twitter survive financially.
Oh, and if you want this piece of junk out of your face, you can just pay me $50 too.