A few months ago I stumbled across the Entrecard community on an illustrator friend's blog. Not having a whole lot to do at the time and still being on maternity leave (which gives one license carte blanche to goof off on the internet) I figured what the heck and signed up. Now without going into a complicated explanation of what Entrecard is (click here for that) the short story is its a little gizmo that lets you advertise your blog on other people's blogs and vice versa. You earn credits by checking out blogs and writing your own posts and then spend them to buy you own adverts. You can approve or decline an advert. Its all freeeee.
At least it was until Entrecard figured out that letting the blogosphere swap binary code for advertising was not putting groceries on their table.
So they developed a paid advertising system whereby people buy credits to advertise on other people's blog. Now this is all fine well and good with the Fabulous Illustrator except when I signed into Entrecard this morning there is a list of about 20 paid adverts waiting to run on my blog. I scanned through the list, a lot of Etsy shops, a few get rich quick scams.
Went to put some laundry away. Came back 15 minutes later.
There are now 40 adverts waiting my approval.
There are now 60 adverts waiting.
holy moley these people are insane. I scrambled back to my e-mails from Entrecard where I vaguely remember reading that you can control these paid adverts. I find the setting that lets me limit it at least to my category (art-duh) and set about trying to approve or decline the pending adverts. After about 45 minutes of scanning blogs I realized that I have a life and I don't have time for this. I flirted briefly with the idea of setting standards like declining if I don't see the Entrecard widget on the blog but quickly realized I don't have time for that either. So I just started randomly approving and declining based on whether I like their blog button. Cool horse-head illustration, approve! Obvious sex-sells naked chick with laptop, decline. Cute kitten picture, approve! Lame 3D snowman with dollar sign eyes, decline. It's kind of like choosing a wine based on the label.
It seems blogs are lighting up about this all over the Entrecard community. I hope this new thing works out for the folks at Entrecard, and I really hope these paid adverts don't become just another virtual junk mail pile.