Living In AET

The little clock at the lower right corner of my computer screen says it’s 1am  (Pacific Daylight Savings Time).  But I find lately that regardless of what the clock says I am living these days  in Alan Erratic Time.    I’ve always been a night owl.  And since getting very caught up in Empire Avenue,  my hours are more irregular than ever.

I’ve been very fortunate to stumble into a great small community within EA (#SocialEmpire).  Honestly, for me it is a bit reminiscent  of my early days on Entrecard,  which initially attracted a very bright and engaging group.    Once again I am making a bunch of new friends and spending a lot of time online engaged in  good discussion with smart people.   It’s really one of my favorite things to do, but it is actually fairly rare in my experience.    I am also of course recalling how @GrahamLangdon  drove Entrecard right over a cliff.   The cool kids decamped to CMF Ads— which is great btw, but of course it was never the same.   What’s funny is,  that even while I am greatly enjoying my participation and am certainly doing all I can to contribute to community creation,  a part of me is kind of waiting to see just whom it will turn out to play the Langdon role this time.  

The one thing I’ve learned about online communities that I believe is Always true is that the Only constant is Change.   They all have an incubation period,  hopefully followed by a start-phase,  then if successful to be followed by a prime phase, and then eventually a decline and inevitably irrelevance, relegated to the archives at the WayBack Machine.    I’ve seen it happen to Compu$erve,  and later to AOL,  as a customer and employee of the former and as former employee of the latter.    Today, look at Yahoo– except for their fairly successful (though not wildly money-making) Flickr site it has clearly seen its day come and go.    Which is why I am pretty sure that after some (perhaps great and long) run Twitter, Facebook and even beloved Empire Avenue will fade away as all of the people worth interacting with there now have drifted to other sites and other people.    Some friendships and acquaintances will continue on, on other sites.  (I still try to keep up with my friends Ron and Bev from way back on Compu$erve in the late 1990’s.)    And like a blogger who one day stops updating their site,  and you find you don’t have an e-mail for them,  and they never post again, and one day a spammer takes over their URL and you wonder whatever happened to a person you had really considered a friend, even though you never met them face to face,  that disconnect will one day affect most of the new relationships I am so ardently cultivating today.

Such is life.   It is a bit sad, I suppose, but in my experience discovering great new sites and falling into great online communities is something that happens to me over and over again.   I was tweeting with some new friends about the nature of the universe about 1am last night.   Whether it was physics or philosophy,  I am not wise enough to say.   But it was fun.      I was going to link some of the company names above to the WayBack machine to give everyone a giggle,  but it’s down now at the moment.   Sorry.   To all my new friends,  welcome to My world.   To all my old friends,  thanks for standing by me,  after all these years.   Hope it’s a happy Wednesday for you.

Alan

And a PS to my buddy @scribdiva   I’ve been thinking about what you said.   I will e-mail you today.

time to end Entrecard participation?

If you haven’t already heard, Graham Langdon, entrecard.com‘s number one douchebag, banned leading blogger Turnip of Power from the Entrecard system after Turnip posted a mildly rude tweet on Twitter. The tweet intentionally Mentioned Entrecard, in order to show the apparently Clueless Langdon why it’s Not such a Good Idea to post to your website Everything that Everybody tweets about you, particularly not when you have spent a lot of time pissing off a lot of people. And the reaction to that tweet, arbitrarily and immediately banning one of the site’s Top Users over a silly and not very important tweet on another social network, is just so over the top arrogant that I am Utterly disgusted and find myself contemplating a departure from Entrecard.

On the one hand, I hesitate to give up the traffic. I’m certain if I stop dropping (even if I keep the widget) my traffic will drop and my Alexa will go back up and my Google page rank (4 last I checked) may go down. In terms of selling ads, I am getting decent but not spectacular results from Project Wonderful and CMF Ads. I’m not making a lot of money, but I am making money from my site and I have every hope it will grow. But after reading a couple of post (s) I forced myself to really think about whether the time I spend dropping cards (all too often on crappy blogs where my only reason for visiting is to get a drop credit and maybe inspire a return visit and drop might better be spent creating quality blog content and marketing that content through other avenues.

Much as I really have enjoyed getting to know so many great bloggers through Entrecard, I have to admit that my time would be better spent building a better blog and doing more to market it beyond a social networking web site that clearly seems to be on the wane and, much more importantly appears to be run by a meglomaniacal asshole who feels that the normal rules of courtesy and concern for ones customers somehow don’t apply to him. And that is just Not the kind of company I really want to be associated with, let alone depend on for a large share of my traffic.

For now, I am leaving the widget up but am not accepting new advertisements at this time. I have nine or ten ads sold so it will be more than a week before I am in a position to pull the plug on Entrecard altogether, and I am not 100% sure if I will remove the widget or not. But my drop 300 per day days are Done and I suspect my time as an Entrecard member will soon be Done too. My sincerest thanks to all of my advertisers and visitors, many of whom I met through Entrecard. I will certainly continue to visit my blog friends and will be working on other ways of marketing the site and hope that I will continue to see you around the blogosphere and over at CMF Direct. If you haven’t already go list your blog on CMF Direct. It’s free and allows you to accept any kind of advertising and is a great place to find new blogs and connect with other bloggers. It may well be what comes along to Replace Entrecard once Graham drives it over the cliff, so be Sure you are listed.