Blog banner exchange service Entrecard has been withdrawn from sale after a Sitepoint auction failed to achieve any official bids for a near $1 million price tag.
The official spin on the sale from owner Graham Langdon is that there were plenty of buyers, but he decided at the last minute that he wanted to keep the site.
The good news for Entrecard devotees is that post sale, Langdon is back on the deal path, with a new partnership with OIO Publisher that will allow Entrecard members to use their Entrecard credits (members receive credits based on ad impressions) to buy advertising on the OIO Publisher network.
OIO Publisher is a popular ad client for WordPress blogs (they’ve recently launched support for other platforms), enabling web sales directly on each users site. On top of the plugin, OIO Publisher offers a publishers marketplace where OIO Publisher users can advertise their ad spots, similar to BuySellAds.com. Although it wasn’t clear from the post, the inclusion of Entrecard as a payment within OIO Publisher would seem to be an option in the latest release of OIO Publisher as opposed to a standard payment option, so the scope only goes as far as those sites with Entrecard accounts who decide to support Entrecard credits for payment.
Allen Stern at Centernetworks notes that some Entrecard users aren’t happy with having to buy OIO Publisher, despite a $17 discount bringing the price down to $30. Former Entrecard users such as Matt Packer however feel that the new changes may actually bring them back to regularly using the service.
I’ve never used Entrecard, although I did take a serious look at the service when The Inquisitr launched. It definitely works for some people, and it has a passionate user base. However, there were numerous stories around issues with the credit system, with some suggesting that people were gaming Entrecard; I don’t know the truth of that, but certainly it was enough to keep me away at the time. Either way, this is a good deal for Entrecard and its users, and can only help the service grow.