Like many bloggers, I was impressed with the digital card dropping site EntreCard when it exploded onto the scene last year. I added the widget to a few of my blogs however today I decided to remove them all.
Credit system is seriously flawed
Like most things on the internet, once people realise how to game a system a certain percentage will exploit it. This is what has happened with EntreCard. Admittedly, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where the system had flaws. You earn credits every time someone drops a card in your widget box and you also earn a credit every time you drop a card in someone elses box.
Clearly, this credit system rewards people who actively drop cards. EntreCard lets you drop up to 300 cards a day. Now sit back and let that nugget of information process – the maximum amount of cards you can drop is 300!!! I’m not sure if anyone is dropping that number of cards a day but there are certainly a lot of bloggers doing card dropping exchanges (ie. you drop your card in my widget box and I’ll drop my card on yours).
The price to advertise on a blog should be related to how popular a site is but this is rarely the case. At the moment BloggingTips currently has around 2,000 RSS subscribers and it costs 64 credits a day to advertise on our widget. There are a few blogs which do so many card exchanges that it costs 1,024 credits a day to advertise on their blog (some of these blogs only have around 100 to 200 RSS subscribers too).
You might be thinking that I’m just pissed off because BloggingTips is so cheap but I’m not. You see this huge price difference between blogs effectively makes EntreCard usless to me. Blogs which get a 10th of the traffic cost 16 times more which means BloggingTips rarely gets any traffic back. I’m sure there are a lot of you in this same situation. It basically means you are giving away advertising on your blog for free.
Spam, Spam and more Spam
One of the other things which has annoyed me about EntreCard is the volume of spam I get from other users. It seems like every week a blogger is messaging me to take part in his blog competition or check out his blog.
What can be done to improve EntreCard?
Reducing the maximum number of cards you can drop a day would certainly help however I think that EntreCard is always going to suffer from the problems I have talked about as the system is based on people going around the web dropping business cards. The thing is, very few people use EntreCard for dropping business cards, most people see it as a traffic exchange service.
I know EntreCard is still hugely popular with bloggers but I see very little value in the service for me and have removed the widget from all my blogs.
What do you think, is EntreCard still worth using?