When Entrecard had offered Entrebar, I said "no, thank you". I have never actively participated in the Entrecard community, even though I had my Entrecard account for almost more than 6 months now.
A few days back I Entrecard announced the launch of their new Ad network and Credit Cashout Service. I felt that this is a pretty bad move. It only exposed their lack of a proper business strategy.
First, what the people at Entrecard fail to understand is that we use Entrecard to increase traffic in our blog, we don't blog because of Entrecard. So they should be making use of Entrecard more simple so that we can spend less time on Entrecard and more time on our blog.
Second, if we are to use an ad network, then why not a professional and well-established ad network like Adsense or Adbrite? Why would we like to go for some newly created ad network who, before just one week of launching their ad network, have not yet decided on what would be the revenue sharing system would be like! It's a clear sign about the lack of proper planning.
Third, why should I use an ad network which does not have a granular structure. It's mandatory for every Entrecard member to participate in the ad network, not only that, but the users would be penalized if they reject ads! What if today I don't want to display an ad about online marketing because my blog is about technology? Why should I be penalized for that!
Fourth, initially Entrecard had made it mandatory for all it's members to place the widget at above-the-fold. Even though after lots of hue and cry (read the comments) from it's members, Entrecard had changed it to one-page down rule which is as cumbersome as it sounds. My point is, it's me who should have full control over my blog and not some other entity like Entrecard. I know best where to put what on my blog, because I designed it. So why should Entrecard tell me where to put my widgets! And now that they have changed the rule, I don't think they would be able to implement the one-page down rule either, because they would have to listen to there users. Cause if they don't then people would start leaving Entrecard like they did with Facebook after it changed it's terms about sharing. And moreover, why should I place Entrecard ad above-the-fold and not my Adsense ads? Does it not sounds pretty weird?
I still have my Entrecard widget on my blog where it was. If they want to penalize me for not placing it one-page down, then I would be too happy to leave Entrecard. Entrecard is not my primary source of traffic. I have an increasing number of Constant Readers who come to my blog because they find what they need, not because I placed an ad on someone else's blog through Entrecard. And I think the same goes for many more like me who are a member of Entrecard.
So, it's decision time for Entrecard. Would they create a solid business strategy or would do want to lose their customer base.