Serving Notice to Entrecard: A steady hand… respect your EC users…

By | April 21, 2009

One of the reasons I pulled Entrecard from my blog before was because I couldn’t see its value, couldn’t see where it was going, couldn’t understand why things changed… Now it seems we’re all in for a new ride: EC has changed things AGAIN without providing any advance notice.

Any business needs a steady hand… If you don’t have a steady hand at the tiller, you get this situation: sudden changes to the system without notice, promises that go unfulfilled, new users barred, old ones excluded, parameters changed without notice, …

EC, this is why I dropped your card before from ALL my blogs; don’t make me drop you again! PLEASE.

Keep a steady hand, announce changes, keep people informed… I have still no idea why you did what you did. But one thing is sure: you depend on your users, not the other way around. If you didn’t have users, you wouldn’t have EC. And the web is littered with failed dot coms for the same reason.

So, try to respect your users, even if you disagree with them. Remember: you can disagree and say:”This is my website. We’re going to do things this way or that, please understand.”

But don’t do this. Don’t suddenly pull features, concoct half measures that don’t work properly, and treat your EC users like dirt.

If you treat us like this, then that is what you will get.

Kenneth

On a forum, one of the worst things that you can do to members is to reset the forums, remove all the posts or reassign privileges. It is the fastest way I know of to kill an entire community.

Take a look at the GeekySpeaky Boards to see what I mean. These boards have been around for over two years, but last year the owner cleaned out the forums, reset the users and set everything back to zero. It’s nearly a year later, and of 10,000 members, there are ONLY 436 articles.

A forum used consistently over a period of several years becomes a valuable source of wisdom, information, support and community among its users; a group of people who become involved and will give back to the community far in excess of any monetary gain they may have; and the SEO benefits of having a large inventory of posts, searched, stored and organised in Google bring residual traffic for years.

Unfortunately, all of this is user-contributed; and as such, they members become co-shareholders in the ‘community’. Their opinion counts, as does their support. To ride roughshod over users as EntreCard has done.

Other posts: EC founder fakes his own posts.

Author: InvestorBlogger

Investorblogger.com takes you on a 'Random Walk To Wealth' through money, investing, blogging and tech. We'll explore my insights, mistakes, and experiences together.

7 thoughts on “Serving Notice to Entrecard: A steady hand… respect your EC users…

  1. My Journey

    The problems with EC have been esculating since last fall. It is clear that Graham and his team are not concerned about the community, the very same community that helped get EC to where it is. What Graham doesn't realize is the community made EC and the community can take EC down. Shutting down the forums the way they did is a sure sign to the demise of EC. What is rather interesting is as EC has plummeted on it's downward spiral, there has been no sign of Graham. He has according to those in the know done a runner leaving the last couple of loyal volunteers to go down with the ship. It is sad to see but totally predictable from Graham.

    1. InvestorBlogger Post author

      You could very well be right. I don\\'t expect the ship to go down, but it will be death by a thousand cuts. Falling confidence in the system is enough to destroy the system, as we all know full well from the banking crisis.

  2. Staci

    I used to be a member of the CBS CSI message boards. Last year, they did the same as the Geek Speaky boards. Fan fics were deleted. Entire threads just disappeared into a black hole, and the new format was not user friendly. What happened? Most members left, split into their various board cliques, and started their own forums. Last time I visited the boards, they were nowhere near as active as they were the year before. It was like a forum wasteland.

    I'm upset about the EC change because I read those forums every day. I've been a member for months. I tend to save up my credits and buy ads on blogs with a lot of traffic or vary my purchases (some low cost ads, some high.) As a result, I've only bought a third of what I need to join the boards. Have I ever flamed anyone? No. I have never even posted. Was I accepting paid ads? The nonquestionable, nonspammy ones. Yet here I am, locked out of the forums, and I didn't do a dang thing wrong during the recent Adele-gate.

    1. InvestorBlogger Post author

      That is the way I felt. I have no idea why they would do that. Still, I posted a full-length complaint on their board because there was nowhere else to post it. I think it worked. Forums are partly back. But still you cannot read much.

      The other thing that bothers me is the way in which it was done. It\\'s very sclerotic. Really. Lots of features are not working properly yet on EC, yet here we have a whole new ball of wax to deal with. If you do not want people criticising your system, either close ALL the forums permanently or better still never have them in the first place.

      Cashout is not working yet, the markets don\\'t work… credits don\\'t get sent! I know I sold stuff, and never got my EC. Stopped selling through the markets. So I sold through the Forums. I did a big push to get extra readers… and bam! no one can now read my push. It\\'s locked behind close doors. This is not a good sign for the strength of EC in the long term.

  3. Steve Randel

    Hi,

    Your comment has really got some thought of excellence. Any business needs a steady hand. Initial part is very important and once it gets going nicely it becomes more important to maintain that level. You have to keep your customers happy with your service. If you don’t then they may not be your part in future. The same thing has happened to EC. You have to intimate before going to change any thing in your process.

    You comment has really given good morale to all the people who run this type of business. "Reach a level is very easy but to maintain that level may not be so easy".

    Thanks,
    Steve Randel

    1. InvestorBlogger Post author

      I suspect that they will relent on the forum choices but it doesn\\'t suggest that they really know how to run forums. I managed to login to part of the forums, but I can\\'t post yet without permission. Totally dumb idea. If you are going to have forums, you need to let people know what you are going to do. Start with a couple of VERY specific forums and TOS, then gradually loosen. It will be more effective than this whiplash effect!

  4. InvestorBlogger Post author

    Well, new management in, old management out. EC flailing around like a ship tossed in the ocean storms. Does anyone have a clue what’s going on? It seems there is a new set managers AGAIN: forums are opened, ECs are reduced, no mutuality anymore in ECs clicking… cashouts are gone, and I wonder will the EC community survive. I have no idea why I keep going back there. I think it’s time to give the thing the cold shoulder. Clearly, the entire EC community, boards and system is in a parlous state, … given my experience of other organisations in similar situations, the tensions are coming close to the surface; I doubt the EC community will survive even more whipsawing. What happened to the steady hand advice? Clearly it fell on deaf ears.

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