He said it's needed for the hosting costs and the hardware in the posting about the paid ads (but in the 1 1/2 year before there were no costs for that??)
- The first step was to accept paid ads from members and non-members in April. In exchange for that he offered a Cashout-Program (which took for several members including me ages to get approved - over six weeks-)
- The second step was that he doubled the price of the paid ad after some days and the option of the CPC-Ads was no more available (i guess not many persons clicked that often to earn him 2 or 4, afterwards 4 or 8 cents per click, it's more effective to display it on thousands of blogs and get 60 or 120 cents for 1000 page impressions!)
- The third step was the lowering of the transfer limit to 1000 EC within one week (if you wanted to quit and give-away the points, you have first to ask the Support to higher the limit -> better monitoring of your actions!).
- The fourth step was the offers which whom you can earn additional credits without the need to click (for example: opening an account with Forex trading, buy some wallpapers/ sounds for your mobile, play online casino and so on).
In Germany there are similar programs/companies which offer such incentives for signing up, there i would get 10 or 20 Euro for opening an online casino account (Graham took a big amount of this money in his/Entrecards wallet when i look at his low credit payout for these offers.)
- The fifth step should follow soon, when he wanted to allow persons to become members without having a blog (meaning: reader of blogs) and earn credits too. Seems he wanted to compensate the loss of members with these new kind of members. Most likely he wanted them to take part in the previous offers, where he could earn 50 to 100% in hard cash from the affiliate programs.
- In the end he couldn't keep up anymore with the loss of money or perhaps just break-even of incoming and outflowing money (or not able of paying back the debt to the new owner, as Ziprunner is the business angel - means investors since the start of EntreCard).
The last point seems to be one of the reasons why you couldn't cashout more than 10.000 EC without waiting for weeks. I saw on many blogs that he just paid out amounts of 10.000 EC and lower within some days or a month.
At the moment it looks like they want to discontinue the CashOut-Program because new members or members who haven't already signed up for this program have no more the possibility to sign up (the link is missing on the dashboard).
If you have been approved or are waiting for approvel, this option is still available, but nobody knows if the payout will be made in a timely matter or not!
UPDATE (22/07/2009): The newest BUZZ in the Dashboard shows us... two things:
- Need Credits? Buy them here!
(Are they really so in need of money, i would like to trade in mine... cheaper than their offer for 6$ you get 1.000 EC :-( )
- Talk to other bloggers in our Community Forum!
(ok, there was not much activities in the last weeks/months, at the moment some are writing new posts)
What do you think about it?