Poker Blog Engines. Part 3

Poker 2.0 has recently started to investigate the most popular poker blogs. A few of the oldest and most respected ones have been created and hosted at Blogger.com which is constantly criticized for not bringing the updates necessary for its users. As we continue to analyze the blog engines designed specifically for poker players in some poker communities and social networks, we discover that some of them not only have a number of highly advanced blogging features, but are even determined to improve after reading our articles. In Part 1 and Part 2 we have already introduced 12 poker blogging engines. This article, being the last one this year, will analyze 7,5 more blogging services (why 7 and a half? Because I could not login and write the starting blog at the 8th blogging service – FlopTurnRiver, so its evaluation is not very accurate and is based only on the view from the outside). Those who did not read our previous analysis, should know that we evaluate the blogs in the scale from 0 to 5 based on the following 10 criteria:

  1. Visibility to the non-members of the blogging platform
  2. The editing of the text + embedding external media (YouTube or any other video, flash replayer etc.) options
  3. Tools to customize the design and the looks of the blog
  4. Possibility to manage the URI (the ending of the link) of a single blog post
  5. Possibility to share it with your friends and various social networks
  6. RSS feature availability
  7. Is the blog SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly?
  8. Does it have a statistics engine
  9. Scheduling and privacy options
  10. Tagging and categorizing your blog posts

Facebook pages every poker player should be a Fan of (Part 1)

Some people would say, that if you are not on Facebook, you do not exist at all or simply do not know what a computer is :) No idea what computers have to do with it, as Facebook has a wonderful iPhone app and a mobile version, so it is a perfect way of communicating with no boundaries. If you are on Facebook, you might face another problem – too much information, especially if you are a poker player. We would like to give you some guidelines on which poker pages should be followed.

The information quality in Facebook Pages (same as friends, only belong to some public person or brand) is a matter of discussion. If a website puts only an RSS feed in their Facebook page and nothing else, can it be a quality resource? Most probably NOT. If the website provides all its updates with links promoting some online deals, urging to sign-up, to subscribe, to download or try something out, it also can NOT be considered a quality resource. Some interesting and useful information gathered in 1 place, discussions, games and updates at least once a week may indicate a GOOD resource. So let’s look at the poker pages which provide quality information and should be followed.

10 best poker blogs: General

Poker BlogThere are thousands various poker blog on the internet. Most of them are plane garbage created just for link building or affiliate marketing. SEO rules the poker World; therefore lots of blogs are created just for the sake of keywords and not for some meaningful content or discussion of poker industry issues. Poker 2.0 Blog would like to introduce some short reviews of quality poker blogs. All of them can be followed by using any RSS reader. Some of them have Twitter accounts and even Facebook fan pages.

Here are a few groups of poker blogs in the market:

  • General poker blogs – the blogs written by online poker players, businessmen and professional writers. They usually prefer to stay anonymous or just refuse to tell their real names. Well, a nickname is quite enough these days, so there is no need to elucidate their real personalities. These blogs cover everything that is happening in the poker world + the writer's personal life.
  • Brand poker blogs – usually official or non-official blogs of the online poker rooms which mainly focus on the poker room's features, promotion deals and the achievements of the supported poker pros. Fulltilt and PokerStars have tons of pros, therefore there is always something to write about.
  • Poker Pro Blogs – the blogs written by the poker pros (this might be done by the pros themselves, their agents or by some Public Relations agency). The blogs are mostly about their personal life, poker tournaments, online play and some business they are involved.
  • Specific poker blogs – the blogs dedicated to some niche topics, just like Poker 2.0. They analyze only the narrow poker topics. I bet you wouldn't approve if the Poker 2.0 Blog would involve some ‘played-with-my-cat’ or ‘saw-through-the-window’ stories or my holiday photos

Poker leagues go social with PokerDIY

From the social network and web 2.0 perspective, the 80% of the poker league consists of the poker community and 20% of the social network as the players are related both as colleagues and as competitors. The league is based on the achievement process – people must complete various tasks, get points and rank in the leaderboards. The interaction between players forms a social network – they communicate in the forum, update their status, use the internal messaging, write blogs, upload pictures and videos to share their experience and educate the newbies.

PokerDIY is a little bit different from the social network point of view. It provides much more web 2.0 tools than any other poker social network. As the RSS widget is no longer the 8th miracle of the Word, the poker league Facebook application and the iPhone app are definitely worth your attention as they are the first ones in the market. Blogging is not so important at this rather old poker social network, but people still post. There is always a member who has something to say to their peers and to the community.

Interview with Geoff Manning of Twiter Poker Tour

If you would look at the history of Facebook, Twitter and other social media giants you would notice that at the beginning most of them were just nice personal incentives trying to make the world a better place. Then they boomed, got investments, their shares got listed at the stock market, some of the founders could make themselves a nice 25th birthday present – no more work for the rest of their lives  A lot of nice incentives have also disappeared because of having too little members and fans. This usually happens when there are thousands of video sharing or micro-blogging sites. But if you are one of the kind, the chances of succeeding become greater.

Poker is a still an untapped market as the majority of poker players prefer traditional media and communication at the online poker room chat or trying to read opponents tells through the mirror glasses. However, the times change and those who will be able to get the most of the new social media solutions will go to the next level (what web 3.0 will be like no one knows yet).

Geoff Manning and his colleagues will most likely be the first ones to reach the next level because they understand the importance of social media in poker. Who is Geoff Manning? He is just a guy who created (with the help of two friends) the first poker league community for Twitter users – Twitter Poker Tour (TPT). And it is not just another poker league community, which are available on every poker social network, because the main TPT focus is towards the communication between league players on Twitter. The rest comes as usual – tournaments, winners, nicknames, points, the leader board.

Poker Blog Engines. Part 2

Do you still have doubts on where to start your poker blog? This article will introduce you to some of the most popular poker blogging platforms. In my first Poker Blog Engines article I have started analyzing poker social networks and blogging engines built exclusively for writing poker blogs. The rating system was based on 10 key points and their evaluation in a 5 grade scale. To remain objective and righteous I shall continue with the same 10 principles:

  1. Visibility to the non-members of the blogging platform
  2. The editing of the text + embedding external media (YouTube or any other video, flash replayer etc.) options
  3. Tools to customize the design and the looks of the blog
  4. Possibility to manage the URI (the ending of the link) of a single blog post
  5. Possibility to share it with your friends and various social networks
  6. RSS feature availability
  7. Is the blog SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly?
  8. Does it have a statistics engine
  9. Scheduling and privacy options
  10. Tagging and categorizing your blog posts

RailBirds – amazing blogging experience

RailbirdsWhen you participate in a social network or a poker community you expect to be noticed. I got noticed immediately after posting my first blog at Railbirds.com – one of the fastest developing social networks. A few comments to my "hello, this is me" type of blog were posted in just half an hour. In the next half my blog had disappeared from the general list as more and more blogs kept coming in. And they were all about playing poker and personal poker experience. And not just 1 or 2 sentences, no spam, no affiliate links. That’s why I was amazed by the blogging service in Railbirds. Need some numbers? I have counted 188 blog posts written in August 11th, Tuesday.

Poker Twibbon

Have you noticed a Twitter avatar with a small image of underlined Internet Explorer logo, Twitter bird, or simply a yellow ribbon? If you did, you probably know that these people support some kind of cause using new Twitter application called Twibbon.

TwibbonFor those who still do not understand what it's all about, I will try to explain it in a simple manner. Have you ever supported some politician and wore a badge with their picture? Have you ever had a red ribbon to support people with HIV? The Twitter ribbons are something similar.

TWItter + riBBON = TWIBBON

The most popular cause supported on Twitter was the Iranian president election and it was turning your Twitter avatar green. The same system is used by Twibbon.com where you can select 1 cause you want to support. For example, "I ♥ Twitter", "IE6 must die", "DDOS sucks", "Supernatural", "I love Harry Potter", "#iamthemob" etc.

Creating poker social network is easy with Ning

This article is dedicated to webmasters who run or would like to run a poker site with no big investments. Usually creating a good website costs a lot of effort, time, energy and money. The logo and the design is one part of a job. Another one is programming and support. Let’s cut the programming expenses by using some free tools. Let’s decrease the design costs by using numerous free designer tools. Cutting the expenses for support service could be difficult, unless the visitors would come just out of nowhere. It is obvious that at the beginning stage of the website's existence the traffic would be a big problem. 

Therefore one of the easiest ways to get visitors is to create a community-based website with people who are already involved in some other similar communities. This can be done with Ning - the online service that helps create your own social network. The best thing is that it can be done by anyone, no matter if it is going to be a network for people from a particular country, or just a close circle of home gamers.

What is a Poker Social Network?

Poker in Social MediaRecently I have started investigating Poker Social Networks. I have started some topics on the major poker forums, such as 2+2, FullContact, Pocketfives asking people what poker social networks did they know. Although these threads were deleted rather quickly (people started advertising their websites even though they were not social networks at all), some answers made me worried. 

It seems that people do not understand what a poker social network is.
 
I would like to explain it in a simple manner. Let’s start from the definition of a social network. According to Wikipedia a social network is
…a social structure made of nodes (which are generally individuals or organizations) that are tied by one or more specific types of interdependency, such as friendship, kinship, financial exchange, dislike, sexual relationships, or relationships of beliefs, knowledge or prestige.
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