Tuesday, July 28, 2009

EC Drops Paid Ads & Cashout

As the new Entrecard team begins to take shape, a number of changes are beginning to be announced.

First, a new Director of Business Development was appointed. Her name is Cindy and she will be communicating with the Entrecard user base via the Entrecard Blog which is accessible as a menu choice along the top of the EC pages.

Second, in her first post on Wednesday July 22nd 2009, Cindy informed the community that the "Paid Ad" program will be discontinued. This is great news to EC members because it means that everyone's Free Ads should now be showing on the EC widgets. She didn't say what the time frame of the phase out would be, and as of yesterday, paid ads were still displaying. Hopefully this change will become effective soon.

Third, the "credit cashout program" is being eliminated. EC will try to fulfill the outstanding redemption requests with the available funds remaining, but makes no promises on fulfilling those requests.

So, what does all this mean to members of the Entrecard community?

Primarily, it tells us that EC is going back to the original business model of providing a free advertising vehicle for bloggers, and nothing more.

Unfortunately, the blogging landscape has changed. Companies like Adgitize and CMF Ads provide cash incentives for active members. This means that EC is now left behind.

Further, EC places an expensive "Rake" on members wishing to advertise. When an advertiser agrees to purchase an ad, 1/2 of the EC credits go directly into the pockets of the EC Corporation. Additional "taxes" are placed on purchases in the Marketplace and in EC transfers.

Even though EC credits are now declared worthless, there is an underlying value that is not communicated to the membership. Why in the world would EC wish to rake off commissions unless the credits had some definitive financial value? How many credits are we talking about?

Well, assume that EC has only 5,000 active members who purchase a single 32 credit ad daily. Of this EC gets 16 credits per ad, and the publisher gets 16 credits.

If you do the multiplication, you will see that (5000 ads * 16 credits * 365 days ) = 29,200,200 is deposited in the banks of the Entrecard economy per year. And, this is only a drop in the bucket since EC membership had peaked at 30,000 members and many ads are valued at 64, 128, 256, 512 and more credits.

So while the new Entrecard managerial policies are formulated, we recommend that you hold onto and amass your EC credits, rather than spend them frivously. If the new company goes public, we think that credits belonging to Entrecard members will be awarded actual cash value on par with those in the vast holding of the Entrecard banks.

If however, the new EC Team insists that the credits are worthless, then all advertising rakes and taxes should be abolished, as there would be no incentive for EC to accumulate them.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Add a Favicon to Your Website or Blog

If you have a website or blog with hosting capabilities, you should consider making yourself a favicon! What is a favicon? It's the little image that appears next to your browser url and on the various tabs. A favicon is a 16x16 bit image which can may be a .png, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .bmp or .ico format.

Its easy to make a favicon by visiting the website http://www.favicon.cc

There you will be presented with a 16x16 grid that you can fill in using their paint tool. As you design it, you will see exactly what your image looks like.

Once done, you can save it and then upload it to your website.

If you're adding the favicon to your website, then you should use the default favicon.ico file name. Every time your website is accessed, your favicon.ico will automatically be retrieved.

If you want to add this image to your Blogger blog, then you will need to save your favicon with some other name, and then upload it to your web host account.

Next, you will need to edit your Blogger Layout and add a reference link to your image just before the < /head > tag. An example link is:

< " link href='http://www.yoursitename.com/yourfaviconname.ico ' rel='shortcut icon' / ">

Remember to supply your site's URL and favicon filename by substituting what we've shown in RED.

We have already added a favicon to our Ask The Blogster and Lottery Power Picks News/Blog.

Hope this helps!


Note that the favicon must be hosted somewhere for this to work easily. Since we have a website, there was no problem. However, those with only blogger accounts may not be able to do this.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Entrecard Sold to ZipRunner

We received mail this morning from Entrecard founder Graham Langdon, announcing the sale of Entrecard to ZipRunner.

We would like to congratulate Graham & the rest of the Entrecard team on creating a fantastically free product which helped thousands in the blogging community to grow.

While many could criticize Graham for running the ship with an iron hand, he certainly provided a friendly environment for us to increase our traffic and make lasting relationships globally.

In the recent months, EC made many changes which affected the company immensely:
  1. They raised $140,000 in Angel Money
  2. They began selling paid ads
  3. They placed a cash-out value of $1 per 1,000 credits.
Many members complained about the paid ads because: their own free ads were not being shown; the paid ads were unattractive; and cash out requests were not paid. As a result, many left outright and others simply became less active.

Companies like Adgitize and CMF Ads - Low cost, no-nonsense advertising took up the slack.

We don't know that the future holds for us EC members, but we are grateful to Graham for helping us grow, and wish him an enjoyable retirement.


PS: For a little more information, read: Entrecard Acquired By ZipRunner

Monday, July 13, 2009

Adgitize Ad Groupings

We received a comment on our Lottery Power Picks New/Blog from a member named Cornyman, telling us that we had a comment on our Adgitize blog post. After performing a search for Adgitize in that same blog, we found another Cornyman comment telling us that we had too many ads on our blogs.

We next checked the Adgitize Faq page, and sure enough, it states:

Can I show more than one ad on my blog at a time?
A - Yes, we have a wide range of ad sizes 125 X 125 and 468 X 60 that you can place on your blog. These ad sizes can have groupings of between 1 and 4 ads of their specific size. You are limited to only 2 groupings on your blog. These 2 groupings can contain only 10 Adgitize Advertiser ads total.

So we quickly examined our blogs and remove the 3rd occurrences.

Thanks for pointing this out Cornyman! And remember, if you're looking for an effective way to increase your traffic, join Adgitze by clicking on the banner below!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Along for the Ride - The Clickables #2

Several months ago, we discovered:

a free clickable service offered by: The Matthias Chronicles

You simply register your site and add their widget to your blog. They provide 2 types of widgets: one which you can mouse over, and the other which is clicked.

At first, we were skeptical and didn't think that this would bring any traffic, but we added the script to our Lottery Power Picks News/Blog and waited to see what happened.

While reviewing our Google Analytics recently, we were pleasantly surprised to discover that we were receiving over 100 visits per month from this service!

AFTR lists our site with 105 visits per month, while Google Analytics says 108!

So, if you're looking for a Free, Easy and Fun way to drive traffic to your site, we suggest that you add Along for the Ride by clicking on the link above. After a while, you just might be as thrilled as we are!
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