Archon Digital joined Entrecard around this time of the year almost exactly two years back on December 2007 on Yaw-Yan ArDigma first as an experiment to how effective the new blog network is compared to Blogrush. You first get the initial feeling of awe of suddenly getting so much traffic and meeting new people which at that time the experience was something new and exciting. Genuine bloggers went widget surfing to find other bloggers and soon got the feel of it and started to enjoy the newfound community of like-minded people.
Then in droves came the spam bots, the schemers, the whiners and the cheaters. Factor in the inability of the owner to responsibly take control and put direction to the entire effort and you got yourself a recipe for failure. Like the absentee landlord that Al Pacino refers too in the movie Devil’s Advocate, the owner never really became a real part of the community but instead it was the volunteer mods and the lead developer who kept the community running all this time.
And yes, with that I would have to admit that Entrecard is a failure.
Though it still functions to this day and it still is a benefit to new blogs and for some to meet new people but it is far from its original goal, whatever that original goal was. What is now left of a once vibrant community are blogs dropping on each other just for the sake of earning credits and some just for the sake of keeping the widget like what I was doing until now. The people who acquired it from the owner even took off the forums which was the only thing keeping the community sort of alive and intact.
I have never been critical of Entrecard in the sense that I never publicly complained on as to what is wrong on their system. There are plenty of people who have covered this subject far too much and for far too long now and what I would have to say would then be just redundant and insignificant.
From that period of time starting December 2007 to July of 2008 I was an active member and dropper. The last Top Ten Entrecard post I did was on July 2008 which was around the same time I got to think I would no longer actively drop but instead would just drop back to whoever drops on me and keep the interaction real. I made an effort to reduce bounce rates on others by clicking on an internal link as soon as I finished dropping and even tried to come up with a nice campaign for it.
Though I did not hide my disgust for the things I found to be just plain wrong and unprofessional during the time, I kept silent and chose not to publicly criticize and ridicule hoping that as a community it would correct itself and regain what it has lost. And so I lost touch and lost interest altogether and even came to a point where I would set my theme to display Entrecard’s widget using conditional tags in PHP so that the widget would only appear on a particular page I wanted it to show. I would soon find out the obvious and my bounce rate improved dramatically after I stopped actively dropping and returning drops since middle of 2008.
Let me also say that I am grateful that I was also one of the fortunate ones to have been able to cash out the majority of my credits before the site was “acquired”. But just recently there is this new directive that you can pay them a certain annual fee so as to keep your widget free from paid ads. I’d say screw me if I’d have to pay someone fifty bucks a year just so they can stop advertising on my property.
On top of that there was the need to reduce the number of widgets and scripts used to keep Archon Digital as light as possible. The obvious choice was of course to remove the least performing of them all.
I still have a lot of friends on the network and so I kept one last Entrecard account on one blogger blog which I rarely update so I can still contribute to friends’ blogs by way of dropping on them only when I get a chance. There is still a few thousand credits left on that last account, a combination of the earnings from all the other accounts I closed down. Hopefully I will find something useful for them in the marketplace.
It was an interestingly unique yet bumpy ride dropping for the past two years but as for this site Archon Digital, Entrecard has been finally dropped.