Friday, February 12, 2010

Entrecarders: Response about ghost dropping

Regular readers: This is not horse-related and probably not of much interest to you. Sorry. We'll be back to our regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow.

Hi Entrecarders,

A blogger who writes Cornyman's Money blog wrote a post accusing a group of bloggers of "ghost dropping," or getting Entrecard credits by playing outside of the rules. He listed the blogs of those he thinks cheated based on a faulty test he conducted. I'm one of the ones he has listed. Oh, my goodness, the hits and comments this guy is accumulating -- no wonder he decided to make it a public outing rather than just reporting it to Entrecard. Well, here is a response from someone in the minority -- someone who blogs because they like to write, not to make money.

I like Entrecard
The intent of Entrecard was originally to build a community of bloggers who support each other by visiting one another's blogs and advertising on one another's blogs through a little token economy, rather than actual money. I support Entrecard and the idea behind it. But here are my observations as an Entrecard member...
  • Not enough real bloggers. Many of the blogs on Entrecard are not "real blogs" in the real sense that the blogger wants to write and be read. They're choked with ads, infrequently updated, and have very little content (listening Cornyman?). These are blogger posers and they are clogging the Entrecard system. The quality blogs -- the ones that are nurtured and updated by thoughtful writers -- are buried in the avalanche. I speak as someone who posts new, original content DAILY.
  • Dropping can be risky. Many Entrecard blogs run scripts, popup ads, auto-play sound effects/music, and processor-intensive junk that at best, hose my browser. Some have malware or viruses that have infected Entrecard members. These offenders are not warned or weeded out. I have to remember and track who they are so I don't visit those blogs.
  • Badge placement. The Entrecard requirement that the badge be near the top of the page is unenforced, and number of the blogs don't have badges at all. It takes a certain amount of time to load the page, and then I can't find the badge or there is no badge.
  • There's nothing new to see. The requirement that pages content be updated semi-regularly is unenforced -- in some cases I don't even see any content, it's just a bunch of ads.
  • Dropping (as it now stands) is boring and monotonous. It's a well-intentioned concept -- supposed to be a fun process of exploring new blog topics and writing. But as it stands now, it's a zombie's chore. Everyone just wants to get their credits, and most Entrecarders admit that pretty openly.
  • The toolbar is a slippery slope. The Entrecard toolbar was designed to make dropping easier, but it's much like "ghost dropping" in practice. No one is looking at content, it's just a rote task. BTW, do you all realize that dropping the way most people do it is "bouncing" that actually reduces your page rank in most search engines? So much for SEO.
  • Cheating is hard to define. Some bloggers outsource dropping to their kids, or set up sites with the blogs in iframes, and all other kinds of workarounds to keep from havng to do a task that is mind-numbing. These folks get the benefit of credits but never see the blog -- isn't that cheating?
The idea behind Entrecard is wonderful, but the process is bastardized. The actual practice of dropping is a wretched activity because there's no content out there. Cheating? I'd argue ghost dropping is adaptive behavior. It's the same reason we use vacuums insted of brooms. Entrecard, please, please, please put some resources into quality control on the blogs in your system -- there needs to be a spring cleaning.

Oh, and has anyone taken a look at the Cornyman blog -- the guy who is calling me a cheater and a scammer? To for all the finger pointers out there, take a step back and soak up the irony.

Deep, cleansing breaths...
I'd like to thank, and to show my appreciation to, the REAL bloggers on Entrecard: Daisy the Curly Cat, Five 'O Clock Somewhere, A Bay Horse, I Do Things, Margie and Edna's Basement, and many bloggers who actually write. You make communities like Entrecard worthwhile.


  1. I'm in the minority too! I blog because I love the things I'm blogging about, nature, photography and programming :-)

  2. Great post on this issue - you echoed a lot of my own thoughts on this. Frankly, when I saw the list, I was a little surprised because I expected most of the blogs to be those horrible, rarely-updated, quasi-English-written blogs that I try to avoid. The fact that quite a few of them were blogs I visit - and comment on - and who have commented on my own blog - indicated that perhaps this test was flawed and should not have been made public. And frankly, I can't blame those who actually DID ghost drop for doing it. Dropping is a tedious process, and a frustrating one, because I've found a number of blogs on Entrecard that I enjoy and I can't spend anywhere near as much time on them as I'd like because I have 200+ other cards to drop. The way most of us have to drop, frankly, is not much different than ghost dropping because we're not giving the blog quality traffic. Any of us who update regularly, whether we are doing it for income, to market or brand, or for the love of it (all of which factor into the purpose of Sparkle's site), want real readers and a community, not just traffic that "drops" and runs.

    I don't own horses, so I don't comment much on your blog, but I do love them and I really enjoy the videos you post and your commentary. Honestly? Blogs like yours make it harder to drop - they take up my time because I actually read them! Isn't that ironic?

  3. I have to agree with Janiss - Reading your blog takes a lot of my time every day LOL I have it in my reader so usually wait til I have the time to absorb it all, since I too know nothing about horses, but every once in awhile I'll see your badge on a blog and so click over - like today. I just saw this whole brou-ha-ha today - who cares? There are entre cards I never drop on because I know what the blog contains and I'm not interested and then there are blogs that have so much crap on them they take forever to load - Oh we could all go on and on about this

  4. First I didn't like Corymans post but I use the entrecard tool bar and most days I spend a few hours looking at blogs. I even try to comment on many of them. I do want to make a little money blogging but I also enjoy it. I like the tool bar because I can drop on the people who dropped in my inbox and I use the favorites tool often so I can see the blogs I have grown to love first.

  5. Ah well - seems like Corymans played this one "right".... he got a LOT of attention and probably some extra visitors......

  6. OK, I'm outta my league here. I just blog and read blogs because I like being a member of a virtual community of nice horse people and I like to write about my horse ideas...and other stuff when it's too miserable to ride.

  7. I used the toolbar too and got infected. One can't see which site is loading.

    I guess I'm one of those quasi english bloggers.
    It's a long time ago I started blogging to update my english friends and my blog was in (my) english and stayed that way.

    I've been on the list of that person, (I don't want to honor him with his name and/or link on internet again,) and I got quite some hatemail.
    Well, it shows how people are.

    I've said my bit on my blog and I'm trying to move on. Blogging was fun. Dropping doesn't value the quality of a blog (assuming there is quality). I liked the sezwho feature we had in the past. It counted visit and comment together. But ofcourse people started to comment nonsense.

    Maybe the amount of pages one is allowed to drop on should be limited to 100 or 200.

    Have a nice day.

  8. It's great to hear your side of the story on this. It''s hard to hurl strong accusations at one another. We've got to gather our facts first before we can say it's accurate and infallible.

    Being accused as a cheater is something that I can never accept if it happened to me. My integrity as a person is what's at stake here. I admire your mild manner of posting your reaction at Cornyman's accusations. Had I been in your shoe, I would go lambasting him all throughout, LOL!

    I must agree with you. A lot of bloggers out there are underrated. Quality is something that most bloggers put on the side. I myself is still a work in progress. I don't have a very good command of the language because English is only my second language. But I want to learn and improve.

    No great system can't be beaten. EntreCard got so many loopholes. It is from such security holes that EC can further develop.

  9. I definitely agree with you whole heartedly reagarding Cornyman's post. It was a petty tattle tale article and was unwarranted! I was not one of the bloggers listed, but I admit that I did the ghost dropping once, just to see what it was.

    I enjoy reading many of the blogs I have discovered via EC, but the dropping is very tedious and time consuming. As for my blog, when I first started it, I did post almost daily, but now my real life takes presidence over my online life. Thank you for this most needed view on what it's really like to drop some 300 EC's a day! For the record; I, personally do not drop for credits, I do it to find interesting blogs and to generate an audience to my little place on the net. Keep up the good work on your wonderful blog!

  10. Thanks guys. While I was dropping today I realized that there are such good blogs out there.

    And to those of you posting in English when it's not your native language, I admire you so much! I keep telling myself I need to take a class or get language tapes.

  11. I enjoy your blog and I was very surprised to see your widget slapped up on his blog. I thought that whole thing was handled very badly on his part and was surprised to see you had actually given him a link from your blog post. It's sad to see some good bloggers leave because of this stupidity.

  12. It could have not been said better than that. I didn't use a list, and I wasn't outed, but only because I didn't know there was a list. If I had believe me I would have used it because dropping on all these really crappy blogs sucks. The good blogs in EC I already visit daily anyway. I don't need a toolbar to go to their sites. I know my bounce rate is high and I struggle with staying all the time.
    Thanks for articulating all of this so clearly. Cornyman can't seem to string a sentence together that makes sense.

  13. I'm not sure I still know what this "ghost blogging" is, but like you, most EC dropping is boring--until, of course, you run across a wonderful blog and meet a wonderful new blogger friend! Then, it's all worth it!

  14. Thank you for your kind words about our blog. We spend a lot of time writing and visiting other blogs like this one. We appreciate all our visitors and have no time for some of the drama that goes on. You do a great job.

  15. I just joined Entrecard and now I'm thinking my impressions so far may be correct. Not sure I will stay on it.

  16. From Daisy's Mom:
    Well said! I decided to leave Entrecard when I started my new full time job. I have far less time now, and I would rather spend my free time actually blogging rather than dropping. I let my remaining ads run out and I recently removed my widget. I picked up bad virus from Entrecard dropping earlier and had to reformat my computer. It was starting to seem like a big chore! Anyway, I do think Entrecard is a great concept; too bad it seems to be going off the tracks.

    ps: thanks for the linkie!

  17. I have to say I was horrified to read the post. I don't think you need to defend yourself at all. Quality, well written content is what I look for in a blog and that you have.

  18. Thanks for writing this. It certainly has opened my eyes. I think I am going to do a whole lot less dropping and more commenting. I like to do the commenting anyway and see more blogs and meet more people. And there are tons of ways to do that besides Entrecard. And you are so right about there being a bunch of blogs out there that are nothing but ads and no content. You have a wonderful blog and I enjoy it alot. I should comment more but I am just not a big dressage person, but I do enjoy reading your blog and I do so every day.

  19. I'm not a big commenter either -- unless there is something I really want to say. Maybe new tactics are in order...

  20. I had never thought of "outsourcing" my dropping. Funny what some people come up with.

    I don't think I've ever even dropped all 300 of my cards in a day.

    I only drop my cards for a certain blog after I've recently updated it. I hope that helps some, becaue I know I can let mine sit a while between updates.

  21. One of the reasons I have a hard time dropping in large quantities, is that I try to actually read what people post; particularly if I'm leaving a comment. I've had several comments left that indicated the person read the first two sentences of a post and nothing more before leaving a largely irrelevant comment. I may only update my blog once a week, because that's what works for me, but I enjoy the process and try to make it fairly short and interesting for my readers. I may not have many, but I try not to put the few I DO have to sleep ;o) I am constantly amazed at the amount of copycatting (the same photo on umpteen different blogs) and outright drivel (I really don't need to know you spent exactly 38 minutes vacuuming your bedroom carpet today before you washed your hair) posted on so many of the blogs I see. While I have found some great blogs (present company included) through Entrecard, the amount of surfing/dropping required to actually find them doesn't always seem worth the trouble, does it? I'm thinking your post not only hit the proverbial nail on the head, it knocked that bad boy all the way in!

  22. I've long known of the ghost droppers. I even took a break for a few months, but have recently been dropping more frequently. And much, much more discriminately, too. After all, it's MY time. Why visit blogs I don't like?

  23. I used to be a member of entrecard but found the dropping too tedious and I got very little in return. I didn't find many blogs I was interested in reading at all. I now own several blogs but use other methods to drive traffic, however, I'm not doing that good a job of it at the moment ;) Love your blog as your posts are interesting to read about a very much loved (and missed) subject :)

  24. I have lots of content. Stop by


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