Some Entrecarders like dropping and some don't. I like it for the free advertising it provides. I buy Entrecard credits when I have to but I'd much rather use Entrecard credits I've earned by dropping.
Some Entrecarders don't like dropping because it takes too much time (due to the slow page loading of most sites). I know what you mean! I can't tell you how many times my browser has locked up and I've had to shut the browser down and start over.
I have some great tips below that will help you out in this area so keep reading!
The Wonderful World of Blogs
Entrecard is a great social network of bloggers. If it weren't for Entrecard, I wouldn't have found so many wonderful blogs. Over the past nine months, I have gotten to know many of the bloggers and look forward to visiting their blogs daily and seeing what they're up to.
More often than not, I'm a drop-and-runner (meaning I drop my Entrecard and leave immediately). The reason for this is that I don't have a lot of free time (work, a baby etc.) and have to maximize every bit of time I have. The thing is... even though I drop and run most of the time, I always catch the title of the first post on every blog I visit. If the post interests me, I leave a comment.
Following are a few of my favorite blogs:
Last week was a bad week for me, "dropping-wise".
While dropping, my PC was bombarded by several trojans. My antivirus software, Windows Live One Care, kindly notified me that it had thwarted the attack and asked if I wanted to clean my PC of every trace. I said yes and thought all was well. It became quickly apparent that all was not well. No, not well at all.
Throughout the night and the following day, I kept getting annoying popups even when my browser wasn't open. Then when I would get on Firefox and do anything, I would get notified again of another trojan attack. I knew I was in big trouble.
When something like this has happened in the past (and it has happened to me many times), since this is a company-owned PC, I would take it into work and have the hard drive ghosted (wiped clean). Then I would have to take several hours to reinstall all of the software! As you can imagine, I didn't want to do this but I didn't think I had any choice.
I checked Entrecard's forums, but couldn't find anyone experiencing any problems with trojans or viruses. I decided before I went through the trouble of getting everything cleared off the hard drive, to reach out to the Entrecard community. I wanted to get their recommendations for antivirus/malware removal/spyware removal software.
So I went down the Top 100 Dropaholic list, clicked on their websites, then on their Entrecard widget and clicked "Send a message to this user".
I quickly found out Entrecard has a great community. The response was phenomenal! Following is the summary:
Do NOT use Internet Explorer, but DO use Firefox (I knew this and have been using Firefox exclusively for over a year. I'm listing it here for those who many not know of IE's security flaws).
Unfortunately, the trojans got through Firefox so you definitely need good antivirus and spyware protection for for safety on the net. I also found out that you should configure your Firefox settings for a safer browsing experience (see details below).
The majority of Entrecarders use Norton or Norton360 for antivirus protection. Coming in for a strong second place finish was McAfee. Third place went to freeware Avast.
There was one person that went above and beyond, and that is Windmill of Windmill on the Hill. Windmill told me, "Microsoft has done some great things, but there are a few features that come packed with their OS that isn't worth its salt - one of them certainly is Live One Care." I thought to myself, "Now, doesn't that sound about right? Just my luck!"
As did many other Entrecarders, Windmill recommended that I use Avast antivirus and AVG Antispyware. He also recommended that I use Ad-Aware in addition to the others. Windmill then went to the trouble of setting up a special download depot where I could download the freeware from his site. I really appreciate your help, Windmill! :)
Paul also told me that Turnip had a post on how to make NoScript work with Entrecard.
"Flashblock is an extension for the Mozilla, Firefox, and Netscape browsers that takes a pessimistic approach to dealing with Macromedia Flash content on a webpage and blocks ALL Flash content from loading. It then leaves placeholders on the webpage that allow you to click to download and then view the Flash content."
Raquel at Memories Frozen in Time, told me the antivirus software she used but she also told me something else that piqued my interest. She mentioned that in addition to using NoScript, she disables images in Firefox, thereby enabling her to drop 300 cards in 30 minutes. She also said that she uses a droplist of 150 of her favorite sites (saved in Firefox-20 sites/folder) and drops the remaining 150 from her Entrecard inbox. Thanks, Raquel for the tips! :) JunkieYardDotCom has a post detailing how to set up NoScript as well as how to disable images for quick dropping.
Note: To turn NoScript off for regular browsing, right-click on the S in the bottom right-hand corner and select "Allow all this page".
Note: I like Entrecard's toolbar and have used it from it's creation and will continue to do so. However, some Entrecarders do not use the toolbar because they believe it is a security risk.
The cool thing about Entrecard's toolbar is that you can pull from your Favorites, Inbox, Popular Sites, or by Category. There is a single arrow for pulling one site at a time or you can hit the double arrow to pull ten sites per click.
Sometimes when dropping, I open up Firefox and Flock and drop from both. While 10 sites are loading on Firefox, I'm dropping 10 sites on Flock, then I switch back and forth.
5. Want More Traffic?
Place your Entrecard widget above the fold. If you don't think Entrecard traffic is worthwhile, then leave it wherever you please. If, on the other hand, you want to gain valuable readers, you'd be well advised to make the Entrecard widget easy to find.
6. A Freebie
Websites are read from left to right. If you want people to read your content before they drop and leave, you should place your Entrecard widget after your content. In other words, I have a 3-column blog. I placed my Entrecard widget on the third column (above the fold) so that people have to wait for my content to load before they can see the widget.
Leave me some comments and let me know what you think about all this. If something doesn't make sense to you, leave questions in the comments.