A week ago I decided that I was going to try every piece of technology I came across on the Internet. Not become an expert in it, but at least try it out and report my findings. Today I decided to install Entrecard, a viral marketing “widget”.
First of all let me say there is a LOT of disagreement about Entrecard, it’s value to your website, general misuse, and the concept of “drop and run”. Before I go into these I will explain a bit about what it is.
Entrecard is a system whereby you create a 125×125 pixel advert for your site and “drop” it on other sites that have the Entrecard widget. If the owner of the site likes your advert they will approve it, and usually in turn will visit your site and may “drop” a card on you. This process is repeated over and over until you have approved lots of adverts. These adverts are displayed on your Entrecard widget on your website and a queued up and shown in turn.
The good thing about Entrecard is people do end up visiting sites they would not have usually visited.
Because the owner has to approve the banner you can assume the advert is at lease vaguely relevant. This is not always the case but more oftem than not it is.
You will get an increase in visitors to your site once you start to use Entrecard, and if you use it according to the guidelines (a lot of dropping) then you should gain a good amount of visitors. The value of these is debatable, and will be discussed further down.
Here’s where it starts to get messy. There is a lot of negativity thrown at Entrecard and there are various reasons why.
Firstly, 99% of people who visit your site from an Entrecard link will be Entrecard advertisers. They will load your page, drop their card, and they will be gone within 5 seconds. They will probably not even glance at your posts. The problem with this is twofold. Firstly it takes up needless bandwidth and secondly if you have monetized your site, a visit without any clicks will hit your earnings.
Website success is often judged on visitors per day. Using Entrecard will undoubtedly increase the traffic on your site, but if these people never read the posts and never comment then your statistics are skewed. In my mind the success of a website needs to be judged by genuine visitors per day (not Entrecard) and subscribers to news feeds/newsletters.
More importantly than the above points is the fact that it is seen by many as amateurish and people who otherwise would take your message seriously will see you at attention seeking and unprofessional. For this reason I am unsure if I will keep it on this site.
So, what do you think?
I have only just added the feature to my site, so at present I am unsure how it will work out. From what I have heard you need to put in a lot of effort dropping cards here there and everywhere. I am unwilling to do that.
The reason I am unwilling is I am not going to drop a card on someone if I am not genuinely interested in participating on their site. I think it is rude and defeats the object of networks in general. I know a few people with Entrecards and I will drop on them, but I will also read their posts and comment on them.
For this reason I am unsure if Entrecard will work for me. I will give it a little while to bed in, see how it affects the stats, and will post an update once I have some findings to report.