While the system is a good idea (ie: a market based blogging network), having been using it now for over a month, I think it is in serious need of tweaking. Here are my suggestions:
1) Lower the cap on drops to 50 a day. This is a number which humans can reasonably do which would discourage chain dropping. The quality of traffic would increase as people would drop on sites they actually read. Chain dropping would still occur, but it would be seriously diminished. This would also deflate the currency. Over a few weeks the thousands of credits in the system would get eaten as ads are placed.
1a) Entrecard admins need to serve as a Federal Reserve and watch the supply of credits in the system and adjust the % of credits which are retired when an ad is purchased. They should be prepared to adjust this weekly if necessary and make the change public. I’d shoot for a credit per user ratio and try to stick to that over time. Just make the currency stable, regardless of what the ratio is.
2) Put in a real forum. If you want it to be a real community, put in real forum software. Let people create topics dealing with non-entrecard issues.
3) Remove categories and put in tags. Let each person give 3-5 tags for their site. I’d love to be able to target Filipino websites for example, but that is impossible with the current system.
4) Let site owners set their own price. A clearing price would soon be established for each site. Popular sites will sell for more obviously. If you set the price too high, you wont get advertisers. If you set it too low, you leave credits on the table.
5) Remove the “most popular” page and let people create ad hoc searches based on tags. If I want to find a site with “Japan” in the tag which sells for 30-60ec, then I can just find that site. This would remove the sexy factor of trying to get on the “most popular” page and eliminate a lot of the motivation for chain dropping. Results for “most dropped” could still be obtained and trumpeted, but you’d have to work for it.