As many of you know, Entrecard is a service that calls it self the 2.0 of business cards. Basically, as a member, you display a widget in your sidebar or somewhere on your website that displays a 125 x 125 pixel image (either your own on someone elses). People then ‘drop their card’ on you and you can do the same to them. As you gain credits, you can start advertising on other blogs in exchange for credits, rather than money. Your ad is then displayed in the widget on that persons website. It is a good service because it has opened me up to a lot of different websites about student entrepreneurship, making money online, and others. But it also seems to be flawed to me because of some of the loopholes in the system. Some bloggers such as John Chow have rediculously high credit prices for their blogs where if someone who casually dropped cards on other peoples website would never have the chance to advertise on his site. I understand the trade off of making the sytem work for you and being popular, it then allows you to “charge” a higher credit price. But there should be a limit, there is one, but it needs to be lower I feel.
Anyway, the point I am gettng to is that another flaw within the system was people taking advantage of the way Entrecard works and exploiting ways to quickly gain credits through “power dropping”. Power dropping is basically clicking on as many widgets as you can as quickly as possible. This started out with focusing on websites that loaded quickly and had their widget located above the fold. You would quickly visit a website, click their widget, and then move on. Many people would sometimes open up tens or hundreds of sites and quickly tab through them all leaving their card and not visiting the site for more than 5 seconds – this obviously defeats the purpose of the site and exposing yourself to new websites and blogs. As the idea became more popular, many blogs set up landing pages for their sites where you would first come to a blank page with just their widget and after dropping your card, you could continue on to their site. Or some sites just had the widget and some ad’s displayed on them. Either way, it was taking advantage of the system. As a result of power dropping, someone could easily accumulate thousands of credits and be able to either advertise on all the most popular blogs in the system, sell the credits on eBay, or trade them for other things.
Well, Graham and the Entrecard gang have finally decided to put a stop of the abuse of the system and drop the real bomb on the power droppers. As of today, July 1st, they are supposed to be putting their foot down on all the quick drop and power dropping pages out there. Their accounts will be closed, credits lost, and will have to sart over if anything.