Admittedly, I haven’t been the most active with Entrecard dropping and getting my blog advertised on other blogs (in fact, I’ve got over 10,000 credits now just kinda sitting there at the moment). As I was browsing the site today, however, I noticed some new things – most of them good, but one of them quite confusing.
First, (somewhat like I did with WordPress), let’s go to the good stuff.
One of the new things you’ll see when you view the profile page of a blog on the site, you’ll see this new addition to the blog information –
That’s a pretty cool feature, because it lets you see if a potential advertiser has taken an interest in your site before they decided to commit their credits to advertising with you. For me, if I have a whole bunch of ads queued up in my queue, I can go through and see who’s had the most drops and kinda order them as to that, instead of trying to make a personal preference sort of thing…
Navigation in the Inbox
By far, this is the coolest new feature that they’ve added. You can now see everyone who has ever dropped their card on your widget in the inbox, instead of the “old” way of the last 70 or so. Also, to fix one of the more tricky problems of the old inbox, they’ve added a dropdown so that you can choose if you want to show the cards you have or the ones you haven’t dropped on yet today.
For both of these, I think the answer to “why” is fairly obvious – it’s something that there has been demand for in the past. However, something that I don’t understand the reasoning behind is something that kind of blindsided everyone – the new Ad pricing structure.
New Ad Pricing
As I was looking in my dashboard, I noticed that my price to advertised had almost halved itself from the around 200 that I’d been maintaining for quite some time now (thanks to averaging about 100 drops on my site per day, multiplied by 2), to 128 (or 27).
The strange thing is that, if you look at the post announcing this change, there are some of the same generalities strewn about, somewhat like WordPress did. In my (and probably about 90% of Entrecard users), apparently this was discussed in the Forums, but like WordPress, the changes seem to have no bearing on what users have been used to – a system that (for the most part) worked.
Just as an explanation of how the old system worked – the price to advertise was based on the average number of cards dropped on your blog over the last 5 days, multiplied by 2. Now, it’s based on varying exponents of 2, with the number of ads determining the exponent used for 2. For example, if you have 1 ad in your queue, then it costs 2 credits, 2 means 4, 3 means 8, et cetera.
Now, all those cards dropped on your site? Well, that just means you and the dropper get a credit for it, along with positioning on the popularity rankings (which are now available in the Browser feature).
In the end of it all, this (as they call it) Long-Awaited change to the pricing structure sounds to me a bit like WordPress 2.5 – a half-baked “fix” to something that really didn’t need fixing with little to no explanation as to why it was done. The old system was simple to figure out – you drop a card, that site’s price goes up by around 2/5th credit. Now, we have a system where if you want to advertise on even a moderately popular blog, you need to have a ton of credits bankrolled.
The only question, which for all intents and purposes is rhetorical, I have is “Why?”. Why, when you’ve made such good changes as the new features in the inbox and on the individual pages, did you drop the blog information from the Browse by Category page? Why did you drop the Nearby tab, which was useful for bloggers to connect to folks in their country? Lastly, why did you change your advertisement pricing from a stable one based completely upon merit to one that becomes based upon daily fluctuations in ads appearing or not appearing, with anyone with more than 7 or 8 ads in their queue (128 and 256 ec per ad respectively) having drastic jumps in the price of an ad?
Perhaps, a suggestion would be that beyond 8 ads in the queue, the next “level” of ads would be at a set separation – say, 128 or even 256, thus making a progression of 256, 512, 768, 1024, 1280, etc. (with the 128 progression being 256, 384, 512, 640, 768, etc.). That would eliminate the exponential growth problem that is natural with the exponential system in place, along with making the most popular blogs more accessible to everyone out there for advertising once again.