Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Did you laugh?

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 ..."

Yeah. Right.

There must be something that these EC people see that I don't.

Four points.

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.

OK then.

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.



BK said...

Just a thought while I was reading this; $50 per Entrecarder who doesn't want sponsored ads in his/her widget can be quite a lot of money for EC. Can they ensure that they will survive through a year? If they don't, they can make good exit with that money. :)

PJ said...

i like how you put this, great perspective. i for one will be hanging in there with ec, for now, to see what will happen. i don't like the mandatory sponsor ads which will probably lead me to put my widget at the bottom of the page, but i have found so many wonderful blogs with this service that i probably wouldn't have found otherwise so i will wait and see. have a great day!

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Nicely written. I will be sticking around to see how things pan out. If need be, I can always delete the widgit or my account.

Mar Matthias Darin said...


The paid ads would be alright if I could screen them for my blog. I made the mistake of trusting an advertiser once and got burned bad... they were only supposed to put family safe ads in my rotation. They were actually slipping in porn ads. My readers and I both went through the roof...

Getting burnt once was enough...

RE - EntrePOD said...

oooo Jay, you are joining the wait-n-see's. good.
I see that you say you return drops, but maybe you've been missing mine. because I drop on you often yet I never see a comment from you or hardly ever a visit. Ahhhhhh,,, I get it.
it's like those entrecard ads, I have to wait and see. ;)

The Fearless Blog said...

Good piece.... I am checking out of EC however...I like balance in my life, stability and as a dedicated "fellow" in the community I like making commitments I can keep. I have added you on my blogroll, so I can stay in touch with you. Wishing you many good things Buzzing J. Always a pleasure to read your words and maintain a "long-distance relationship." May the Blog Force Be With You!

Kloggers/Polly said...

Remember what they used to say 'there's no such thing as bad publicity' - how many blogs have freely advertised Entrecard by just a mention of this new paid ad idea? On top of this, Think of how many thousands of Blogs that now belong to Entrecard - if 10% of those pay 50$ each per year think how much money that will be!!

I'm not sure whether I have my facts correct by I think the US can claim their $50 back through their taxes .... that leaves the rest of the world. Do we want to spend hours clicking from blog to blog and paying $50 for the priviledge? Probably not. I think if this does go through it will be a sad mistake. I remember the last time and peoples blogs became boring as too many had the same advert showing at once! I don't think that it should be re-introduced and if it is then we should be able to reject unsuitable ads - this is a matter of personal choice - just as some people find certain films objectionable while others think they're PG rated - then so we will have the same differences on blog adverts. 'One man's meat is another man's poison' what is acceptable to one person is offensive to another. I can't see any way around such differences!!!!!!!!!!

Jan from BetterSpines said...

Well said. Covers all the aspects. I think the $50 is a "try-on"; if enough people pay it, they won't need paid ads! That said, I like EntreCard for the convenience of visiting my favourite sites via the EntreCard toolbar. I have met some wonderful people, and if I had to bookmark them and visit individually, I probably wouldn't. EC is convenient, no out-of-pocket $, and after being in the system for a while and dropping regularly, I have a reasonable amount to pay for advertising. And any traffic is good traffic!

Buzzing J said...

You're absolutely right. There would be a lot of money if all, or even part of us, would choose to opt out of the sponsored ads by paying. It's brilliant, isn't it?

Can they ensure that they will survive through a year? - with the way they're running it now, that's a good question.

I've noticed some are already putting the widget at the bottom of the page. That's one option to be considered. Let's hope it'll work out fine this time round, like last time.

So I guess you won't be paying the $50, huh? :)

Mar Matthias Darin:
With the experience of last attempt in mind, I guess their reliability in implementing what they promised is also in question.

Aahhh ... RE! My apology to you. It's just that work has been busy with me lately. Didn't manage to drop as much. Anyway, ever since the hassles from the last round of paid ads, I has slacked off in the EC activities. I'll visit, and comment too - if there's something I can contribute. You just wait and see. ;)

The Fearless Blog:
Y'know, one of the greatest benefit that EC brought me is your words of encouragement, especially during the initial phase of my blogging activities. I always remember that. I'll keep in touch, that's for sure.

Free publicity - that's what I've been missing!! Good point!

And I do agree - there's really no practical solution to the problems of different tastes for different people. That's why I think it makes business sense in forcing the sponsored ads on everyone, except in this case, nobody get any benefit, apart from the EC people. And with the experiences from the last round, nobody has trust or faith in their ability to screen through the ads either.

Totally agree - any traffic is good traffic! It lies with us to come up with contents to convert traffic to readership - though I'm not saying I'm successful with that.

"try-on" - that's what they are. It does seem the EC people likes to play around with us, doesn't it?

And you're totally right, EC in its original shape and form is a very, very good idea.

Lagawan said...

For now, I'm sticking with EC and will wait and see :D But in my opinion it's a big mistake if they'll do it. Haven't they learned from the previous failed paid ads they'd implemented? and hello?! $50 just to opt-out? Members would surely stop or delete EC with that. Didn't they know why EC is so popular with most blogs/website? it's because it's free! no $$ involve! It feels like a community because of that. But I guess they really need those sponsored ads to keep EC running. Just hope they can find a better solution that will make everyone happy, especially the members.

Well, let's just wait and see since this hasn't started yet.

T-MobileG1 said...

You have a very very very informative write up keep it up!Do You want to make money online?

Just Jennifer said...

Hi. Just stopping by your blog to say hello. :D

I found your blog on another site, and it looked very interesting. I've read a few posts and it's held my attention enough to subscribe to your feed. I'll be reading daily. :D

Thanks for having me, and I hope to see you drop by my bloggy if you have the time and/or interest. It would be great to have you. Have a great weekend.

Bella Biscotti said...

Good points to ponder and very clearly written.

Mom said...

There's only one little problem with your dialogue.

Mr A is calling the shots here, not Ms C.

Ms C is only the press release agent.

Buzzing J said...

Today is 7th of October, but I don't think I have seen a "sponsored ad" yet. Any idea?

Nice having you here too.

Just Jennifer:
Welcome. I've been to your blog. And I'll visit again. Thanks.

Bella Biscotti:
Thanks. Nice having you here.

Thanks for the info. But I won't know anything about Mr A, since I've stopped visiting the EC blog and forum when they raised the qualification of members allowed to attend the forum last time round.

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