Entrecarder Adventures

Multiple Blogs on One Entrecard Account  

Responsive fellows that they are, the guys at Entrecard have streamlined the process for adding a new blog to an existing Entrecard account. Many Entrecarders have multiple blogs and it's been a bit of a pain to log in with a separate email address for each account. Entrecard has solved that problem and it's now possible to link all of your Entrecard accounts together, plus, any new blogs that you want to participate in the Entrecard experience can be added without the need for an additional email account.(Add a Blog feature.)

I've been using this new feature for a couple of days and it's really slick, so much so that I might add another 20 blogs to my Entrecard account! I also like being able to see all the blogs that other Entrecarders have linked together. Good stuff!

Finally, the long-awaited Entrecard E-book is a ready for distribution!


U Subscribe - I Follow - Ahkong.Net  

I guess it started with the "U Comment - I Follow" movement, and was adapted for the Entrecard community by Lee Doyle to read U Drop - I Follow. I admit that for a while I was thinking of using "U Drop - I Smile" but figured it would engender the wrong reaction in folks. However, I have seen a "U Drop - I'm Happy" that made me smile.

Now, Deimos Tel`Arin (ahkong.net), who was one of the first Entrecarders to publish a list of sites to drop cards on, and was the first (to my knowledge) to come up with a Reciprocative Dropping group, is pushing a "U Subscribe - I Follow" fellowship. Great idea! You subscribe to his blog feed via email and he will return the favor and subscribe to your blog's feed. What a great idea!

Perhaps you are saying "Duh" and yet there are some Entrecard-specific dynamics that make this new movement a valuable one, at least to me. I haven't yet run contests or used any other device to encourage readers to subscribe to my main blog, The Entrecarder and it took me almost two months to put a standard button on my site where folks could easily subscribe to my feed. Over the past couple of months I have routinely signed up for blog feeds as part of contests and usually unsubscribe a short time later. I don't feel much loyalty to a blogger just because they gave me a chance to win something, even more so when I don't get much from their blog entries. The same might hold true for the U-I Subscribers, but at least they are having to see my feed for a nanosecond before they move on.

I actually prefer to read blog posts via email feeds because I don't have to break my rythm when card dropping. I seem to be able to scan an emailed post quicker than reading it on the webpage and then just archive it when done. And for those who chose to only send a partial entry in their feed? Hasta la vista, baby. I don't care who you are, if you think your writing is so wonderful that you are going to get me to click through to your site to read beyond the teaser, I've got one word for you: Unsubscribe.

I expect that the honor system will have to be the order of the day for the U-I Subscribers and that's ok. It's not worth the time to try and track who is commenting back or dropping back and if someone really doesn't like what you are writing, then let them drop the feed.

Note: Deimos does something that is really slick and that I will probably start doing myself. He updates his Entrecard profile with the specific address of each new post so that the traffic goes to that page and builds a better overall site ranking as a result.


Entrecard Dropping Tools  

Speeding up the Entrecard dropping process is on a lot of Entrecarders' minds as they click, click, click their way through up to 300 sites per day, per account. Dropping your entrecard on others' widgets is not a requirement of Entrecard participation nor is it the only route to Entrecard success (eg-Joe Tech.) However, for those of us who are clicking for at least an hour a day, any legitimate method of becoming more efficient is gladly embraced. The Entrecard resources that I'm writing about today deal with power dropping and reciprocative (recipro) dropping.

Turnip of Power was one of the first, if not the first, to offer a list of bookmarks for those who are interested in power dropping. Deimos of Ahkong.net initially offered a list of sites to drop on, but has changed his approach to reflect his status as the King of the Reciprocal Drop by establishing the Reciprocative Entrecarders Guild. Power Dropping and Reciprocative Dropping are the two most popular methods currently in use in the Entrecard community, but that could change as folks become more familiar with Site Hoppin.

Site Hoppin is a browser in a browser that--as the name suggests--allows one to automatically hop from site to site. With the ability to create a custom list of sites to cruise through and set the time before the next hop, Site Hoppin can work well for Entrecarders who want to take a bit more casual approach to Entrecard dropping.

PowerDropping.com is taking the speed approach to power dropping and publishes a list of Entrecard sites by their site loading times. When opening 10-100 sites at once (either via folders or the Linky add-on) one doesn't want to get hung up by slow sites and this type of list can trim minutes off of the daily card dropping chore. (Entrecard Hacks is taking a similar approach.)

A soon to be debuted Reciprocative card dropping site is run by Chalk is Cheap.Site author Arnold is hoping to get 200 participants in the group, each of whom will commit to dropping on all the other members' sites on a daily basis. Rounding out this review of Entrecard dropping tools is a recent entry in the drop by folders approach found at TysBlog.


Entrecard FAQs  

A new Entrecard account popped up recently that is entitled Entrecard FAQs. The author must fancy himself to be a clever fellow as the FAQ doesn't stand for Frequently Asked Questions, but Forum Admin Quotes.

The site isn't fancy and is limited by the Blogger driven labels versus the more user-friendly tags & categories. Still, there are a number of quotes from Entrecard Admin PhiRate that address key rules and concepts central to the Entrecard community. Not to be confused with a real FAQ section, Entrecard FAQs is mostly relevant to the Intermediate Entrecarder, not the brand noobie.

The site has not been endorsed or shunned by Entrecard as of this writing and does contain a small disclaimer in the header that it is not an official Entrecard publication. The quotes appear to be completely lifted from the Entrecard Forums and contain a link to the specific thread being quoted. Not all of the Admin quotes are included and it's entirely possible that key quotes are missing or policy changes have rendered some of the quoted passages moot. Regardless, this is a useful resource for Entrecarders and worth a few minutes perusal.


Entrecarders Create Useful Tools for Others in the Community  

I don't have the experience to evaluate whether or not what has occurred in the Entrecard community is typical of other communities or not. What I can say is that I find it interesting that individual Entrecarders have been willing to share with others info and tips that improve the functionality of Entrecard.

Turnip of Power was the first one that I noticed with his list of card drop bookmarks. He regularly updates his list and those who are striving to be Drop Masters will save hours of time by taking advantage of Turnip's goodwill gesture. Others have followed suit with lists of links posted on their sites, some that should come with a warning label in that dropping cards too quickly will result in penalties being assessed.

Ben Barden highlighted a method of reciprocal card dropping that targets another approach to utilizing Entrecard. An assist can be given to Cecilia of You Should Own for discovering the tiny link that opens the expanded Inbox. (I'm still waiting for the official explanation as to why Entrecard didn't let us know about it.)

Entrecash.com and Entrecredits.com opened up the door for commercing in Entrecard credits, and again it was Turnip who introduced the paypal widget that is now seen on 5 different sites where one can purchase ECs. (In case you don't know, I started a site called the EntreBank where I was going to lend ECs and have since converted it to Black Market ECs where one can find a comprehensive list of EC vendors and their prices.)

Daily Tech Impressions has created a toolbar for Entrecard, Linkfog has a fun Entreball page where one can buy numbers and possible win the EC pot, there are several sites where one can have their contest listed, and I've got an Entrepoll site (that is feeling very neglected at the moment) where one can take part in Entrecard related surveys.

My bottom line is that if you are an Entrecarder and haven't perused the Blogging Resources Category or wandered through the Promotions Forum you are likely missing out on opportunities to improve your Entrecard experience.


The Elephant in the Entreroom  

Many Entrecarders participate in order to quickly build their traffic and readership numbers.

There...I said it. I described the elephant in the Entreroom.

And I recognize it's not all about getting more money. There are a number of reasons why bloggers want bigger numbers. But it's hard to ignore that a large segment of the Entrecard community is thinking about how to improve their numbers. Most of the contests are designed to increase readership, comments, links, etc. The Entrecard Shop is full of offers that one can purchase that will result in getting Dropped on, Recommended, Favorited, Stumbled, Dugg, Linked, Commented, Reviewed, Subscribed, and more. Folks, it's just business.

Is this a bad thing?

Not necessarily...but that darn elephant is still standing there.

Is it "selling out" to buy reviews, etc.? Does it make your blog less "real"?

I guess it depends.

So, let's say you're ok with buying all of the above mentioned services, in the name of building up your blogging for money business. Can you do it and look the elephant in the eye or do you have to look the other way to ease your conscience? Is it easier to hold a contest or "pay" people with Entrecard credits than it is to pay them with cold hard cash...even though it has been shown that ECs are convertible to cash? Are you willing to pay someone $1 to subscribe to your email feed and leave you a comment? Is it worth $100 to boost your subscriber base by 100, even if they might not ever read your feed?

To some people the answer is an easy "Yes."

Case in Point: Our resident 13 year old blogger, Mark (Blogging Brainiac), has a promotion going wherein he is "giving away" 100 ECs to the first 70 bloggers who subscribe to his blog. That's roughly 60 cents to $1 depending on the black market rate for ECs. It appears that he is willing to spend $42 to $70 to increase his readership numbers. In essence he is buying numbers.

I decided to help him...25 times. I've got 20 active Entrecard accounts and another 5 that I'm getting ready to launch. This young man wanted numbers and by golly I delivered...'cuz I'm riding the elephant!

Is that too blunt? Do you think Mark will balk at paying me the ECs because I gave him what he wanted...just not in the form he expected? Was he paying for numbers or was he buying fans? If it's the latter then I'm sure I've disappointed him. But if he's able to look at the elephant then he should just send me 2500 credits with a big THANK YOU.

So there you have it. You might be asking why I chose Entrecard Resources for this post, as it just as easily could have gone in The Entrecarder. The answer is that for those of you who can look the elephant in the eye and not blink, I have a resource to offer you: 25 email subscriptions, 25 places to advertise, 25 possible text links...and so on. Efficiency. Economies of scale. Volume discounts.

Whoa, Dumbo! Who wants to take the elephant for a ride?


Forums & Groups for Entrecarders  

In addition to the four official Entrecard Forums, there are several other places where Entrecarders get together to exchange ideas and information:

1) Fawnzy.Com - There are few recent posts in this forum.

2) Blog Catalog Groups:
a) Entrecard Group
b) Entrecard
c) Entrecards
d) Entrecard-2

3) DotSauce's Forum

4) Other Forums, not exclusively for Entrecarders:
a) Bloggeries Blog Forum
b) Blogger Forum
c) Authority Blogger
d) Blog Mastermind
e) The Blog Experiment
f) Bloggst
g) Performancing
h) Digital Point
i) Blog Chews