Our comrade and member of the All Arkie Army (New Jersey Division), the Crotchety Old Man, has made mention of a "Drop Free Friday."
To be fair, this Entrecard boycott was called for by Laane in this post right here (hey, let's give credit where credit is due). Regardless, the word's getting around as a lot of people are mad at the new paid ad policy put in place by Entrecard.
So, Crotchety is joining in the boycott by refusing to drop any cards today (Friday, April 10) as part of an effort to demonstrate just how irate some of us Entrecard members are. I'm good and mad, too, so I'll follow Crotchety over the cliff by refusing to drop any cards for this blog or the other two I've registered at Entrecard -- The Natural State Hawg and Straight Shooting Real Estate.
I'd encourage all furious Entrecard members to join the boycott. Gabba, gabba hey! Viva la revolucion!
Yes, you may be asking yourself, "What's all the fuss about?"
About a week ago, Entrecard unveiled its paid ad program. For those who are unaware of it, what that means is that people who pay for Entrecard ads share a widget with those who bought them with credits.
Take a look at that Entrecard widget on the upper, right-hand portion of this blog. If an Entrecard member "drops" a card there, we both get a credit. If that member then clicks on the ad there, he or she will pay a visit to the site that reserved that spot.
Until a week ago, the game was to save up credits and purchase an ad on Entrecard members' widgets so as to get more traffic. And the system has worked very well. I've met a lot of great bloggers through Entrecard and -- what's more -- I've been able to locate a lot of great, entertaining blogs in one spot.
"But, The Hawg," you might say. "Entrecard is selling paid ads because the company must make a profit to survive. What's the problem with that?"
In theory, there's no problem with that. Entrecard should be able to make some cash and pay the bills. However, the problem is that paid advertisers share that widget with the people who have done everything right. The people who have dropped cards, saved up credits and bought ads will now be rewarded with a reduction in traffic. Ads purchased with credits, after all, are only on Entrecard widgets half the time when it comes to those blogs that are accepting ads (The All Arkie Army accepts paid ads, whereas The Natural State Hawg and Straight Shooting Real Estate do not).
Ah, but there's more! Entrecard will start buying up credits with cash money, but the powers that be over there have let it be known that the good soldiers who accept paid ads will be given preference when it comes to selling credits.
In other words, the Entrecard folks are persuading people to accept ads. What will happen to the members that don't? Will they be unable to sell their credits? Will they be marginalized by Entrecard? That, folks, is anyone's guess.
I'd argue that the solution to this mess is simple -- Entrecard should develop a dual widget. One half would go for ads purchased with credits, whereas the other one would be for ads only. That suggestion has been made many times and I'd argue that it would allow for the best of both worlds. Members wouldn't be so reluctant to accept paid ads if they knew they weren't stiffing the loyal members who buy space with credits. Entrecard, meanwhile, would be able to boast about a higher ad acceptance rate and raise their rates accordingly.
Asking Entrecard to design a dual widget isn't asking for much under the circumstances. Perhaps a boycott is just what Entrecard needs to realize that a lot of members are upset and the service simply won't work without the support of bloggers.
There are other ways to get traffic, you know. Entrecard will be in a world of hurt if loyal members start searching around for alternatives.