Poker Blog Engines. Part 3

4.5
Average: 4.5 (2 votes)
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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

Cardwolves – 0.7 average points

Cardwolves is a simple poker community with member profiles, blogs and a forum. Although there is nothing really special about this community, the homepage holds the message about the recent changes in management which is now asking the members for help improving the site features. We are not very interested in other options except the blogging so let’s get started with the evaluation.

  1. Posts are visible to everyone. Displayed at the homepage as well. 5
  2. No text formatting features. HTML codes are not allowed, even bold or italics are absent, not mentioning the links. The blog post is just plain text. 0
  3. No possibility to customize the layout or design. 0
  4. URI is generated automatically by using the ID of the post and the blog and there's no way to change it. 0
  5. Unfortunately, Cardvolwes does not provide any option that would allow sharing your blog with the other social media. 0
  6. There is no way of getting an RSS feed of one particular blog. No general blog RSS or any other feed as well. 0
  7. The blog is indexed by the search engines, however, only as a unit, because the posts cannot be separated. The Blog URI is not SEO friendly. 1
  8. No view statistics; comments only. 1
  9. Scheduling and privacy options are absent. 0
  10. Tagging is not available, no categories. 0

The total Cardwolves evaluation is the following 5+0+0+0+0+0+1+1+0+0=7/10=0.7. Personal verdict: blogging is NOT RECOMMENDED in this poker community as no actually valuable blogging features are provided. Hopefully the new owners will change the situation as Cardwolves has the potential to become an international poker community (they have Swedish and English versions).

PokerKnave - 4.3 average points

PokerKnave is a poker website based only on their members' blogs. The forum is empty, so calling this blog engine a community would not be fair. PokerKnave is created by using the Wordpress website building platform with limited Wordpress features. Let’s take a look at their blogging options.
 

  1. Posts are visible to everyone. Displayed at the home page as well. If you are a PokerKnave blogger, you can see all the recent posts in your blog as well. 5
  2. The Wordpress editor is used (it has less features than the FCK Editor), but HTML editing is also possible, so there is no trouble when adding images and embedded media. 5
  3. Only 1 template to choose from. However, the lay-out can be edited by adding some widgets – RSS feed, Twitter Updates, Blogroll, custom text and HTML boxes in the sidebar. 4
  4. URI includes the blog name and date and can be easily edited. 5
  5. Unfortunately, PokerKnave does not have an option of sharing the blog with the other social media. This is really strange and unexpected, because WP provides tons of plugins for sharing the posts. 0
  6. It is possible to get the Blog RSS feed subscription. No possibility to subscribe to all the blogs, but this feature is not that important. 5
  7. The blog is indexed quickly. URI can be updated easily. HTML boxes in the sidebar allow link exchange options and additional texts with links, so this blog is SEO friendly. 5
  8. There are no view stats, but the author can add an independent traffic analysis system Google Analytics or any other. However, the user must know how to do this by using the HTML box. 4
  9. Scheduling is available as well as the comment settings. There is also a standard Wordpress feature – protect post with a password. 5
  10. Tagging is available, the author can create as many categories as they wish and even add a description. 5

The total evaluation of PokerKnave is the following 5+5+4+5+0+5+5+4+5+5=43/10=4.3. Personal verdict: blogging is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in PokerKnave. This is the best evaluation so far as this Blog Service has almost everything a blogger needs. Adding 10 additional design templates would make it just perfect.

BlueFirePoker – 1.2 average points

BlueFirePoker is a poker community with both free and paid membership options. As the free membership gives the possibility to write a simple blog we did not bother looking at what the members should pay for, as our main interest is a free blog.
 

  1. Posts are visible to everyone, however only featured blogs get into the home page. 5
  2. A great FCK editor is used for editing the text. Pictures and videos can be added easily. 5
  3. No option of customizing the layout or the design – only the name of the blog and the tag line can be added. 0
  4. Blog post URI is generated automatically including the number of the post. There's no way of editing it. 0
  5. No sharing options are available. 0
  6. No RSS options either. Even the featured blogs cannot be subscribed to via the RSS. 0
  7. The blog is available for Google to index, however the long URI with digits in it does not help, no blog customization options make it SEO un-friendly. 0
  8. The view and comment stats are available for everyone to see. 2
  9. Scheduling and comment settings are not available. 0
  10. No tags and categories. 0

The total BlueFirePoker evaluation is 5+5+0+0+0+0+0+2+0+0=12/10=1.2. Personal verdict: blogging is NOT RECOMMENDED in BlueFirePoker. Even the basic blogging features are not developed enough. Sharing options, tags and RSS can be done in a couple of hours, but it seems that blogging it not a priority to the creators of this community.

PokerGob – 2.6 average points

PokerGob claims to be a poker social network. Poker 2.0 will analyze all of its features in the nearest future, but now we shall look only at the features of their not very active blog.
 

  1. Posts are visible to everyone, the latest get into the home page. 5
  2. The user is able to format the text with the limited FCK Editor. Pictures and videos can be added easily. HTML editing is also available. 5
  3. No option to customize the layout or design. 0
  4. Blog post URI is generated automatically by using the title words. There's no way of changing it. 0
  5. A large Digg button and a few smaller bookmarking site buttons are available. Unfortunately, none of the most popular social networks are among them. 4
  6. Every user’s blog can be subscribed to via the RSS with no problem. Big RSS button shows the feature very clearly. All of the blogs can be subscribed to as well. 5
  7. The blog is indexed by Google, the posts carry the URI generated by using the title words, so it is quite SEO friendly. 3
  8. No view or comment statistics are available. 0
  9. Unfortunately, the post scheduling is absent as well as the comment settings. 0
  10. There is a possibility to post tags. General tag cloud is also displayed in the blog list. No categories. 4

The total PokerGob evaluation is 5+5+0+0+4+5+3+0+0+4=26/10=2.6. Personal verdict: blogging IS RECOMMENDED in PokerGob. The community is not very busy, but that is the question of content and member activity. From the blogging point of view, this service is suitable for a beginning blogger.

LeggoPoker – 2.4 average points

LeggoPoker is a poker coaching community with free and paid membership options. It also has a free blogging feature which uses the vBulletin system. The members usually write about poker and their personal life, but let’s look at the technical capabilities of this blog engine.
 

  1. Posts are visible to everyone; the latest ones get listed on the homepage according to the blogger's membership status: Pro, Featured and Member. 5
  2. A limited vBulletin editor is used to format the text. Pictures and Youtube videos can be easily uploaded. HTML editing is not available, therefore no possibility to add additional HTML codes. 4
  3. No option to customize the layout or design. 0
  4. Blog post URI is generated automatically by using the title words and it cannot be changed. 0
  5. Unfortunately, there is no option of sharing the blog with the other social media or with the bookmarking sites. 0
  6. Every user's blog can be subscribed to via RSS. All of the blogs can be subscribed to as well. 5
  7. The blog is indexed by Google, the posts carry the URI generated by using the title words, so it is quite SEO friendly. It is also possible to edit the blog title and its description. 3
  8. No view or comment statistics. 0
  9. The comment and view settings are separated from the blog and can be different for every post. The scheduling option is not available but the draft can be saved and published later. 3
  10. The users can create their own categories and sub-categories and sort the posts accordingly. Tags are not available. 4

The total LeggoPoker evaluation is 5+4+0+0+0+5+3+0+3+4=24/10=2.4. LeggoPoker is also a very active online community (I got 10 comments the first day when my blog entry was published). Personal verdict: blogging IS RECOMMENDED in LeggoPoker. Poker coaching features have nothing to do with blogging even though the site’s priority are the poker strategy videos.

PokerCurious – 2.4 average points

PokerCurious is a community website with a lot of poker information dedicated to the beginning poker players. It also contains some poker pro blogs. Some useful links and other media resources are also quite helpful for the community members. PokerCurious has a blogging feature, which is somehow not so easy to find. However, let’s have a closer look at it.
 

  1. Posts are visible for everyone. 5
  2. The users are able to format the text with the FCK editor, so it is easy to add a picture, a poll or a video and to edit the text in HTML. 5
  3. No option to customize the layout or design. 0
  4. Blog post URI is generated automatically by using the title words and it cannot be changed. 0
  5. Unfortunately, there is no option of sharing the blog with the other social media or with the bookmarking sites. 0
  6. Every user’s blog can be subscribed to via RSS. 5
  7. Blog is indexed by the search engines, the post URI includes the title words, so it is quite SEO friendly. 3
  8. The view statistics are displayed publicly in the post list as well as every post page; the comments are visible as well. 3
  9. The comments can be turned on and off. It is also possible to save the blog post and publish it later. 3
  10. No categories or tags available. 0

The total evaluation is 5+5+0+0+0+5+3+3+3+0=24/10=2.4. Personal verdict: blogging IS RECOMMENDED in Poker Curious. The community is still rather new (launched in March 2009), but it has big potential. Especially because the website provides so much additional poker information. They will soon have their own poker hand replayer – a feature that should attract even more people to become members of this community.

PokerVibez – 4.4 average points

PokerVibez is a closed poker social network. It means that only the community members may enter the website and have access to the menu and all its content. Although the site is yet available in Beta version only, it already has some nice features. One of them is Wordpress-based blogs.
 

  1. Posts are visible to everyone even though the social network can only be accessed by its members. 5
  2. The users can format the text by using the Wordpress editor, so it is easy to add a picture, a poll or a video and to edit the text in HTML. 5
  3. As all Wordpress-based blog engines PokerVibez has the option of adding some of the most common widgets (including custom HTML) to the sidebar. Moreover, there are 6 very nice design templates to select from. 5
  4. Blog post URI is generated automatically by using the title words, but the author is always free to edit it. 5
  5. Unfortunately, there are no options of sharing the blog with the social media and bookmarking sites which is really strange. 0
  6. Every user's blog can be subscribed to via RSS. No matter which template is chosen, the RSS button is always easy to spot. 5
  7. Blog is indexed by the search engines even though the users need to login in order to read their favorite blogs. Because of the use of Wordpress the URI can be changed easily, so it is absolutely SEO friendly. Additional widgets, such as RSS and HTML box allows link exchange or adding reciprocal directory badges, so the link building features are also OK. 5
  8. Views statistics are not available, but there is a possibility to add any external traffic analysis program. 5
  9.  Every blog post has separate comment and visibility options. It is very strange, but it seems that there is a forced 2 hour publishing delay for the new blogs. 4
  10. Categories can be added by the author as well as tags. 5

The total evaluation is 5+5+5+5+0+5+5+5+4+5=44/10=4.4. Personal verdict: blogging IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in PokerVibez. The social network is not as active as some of the others as it is still rather new, but the blogging features and tools are absolutely great and useful. As a social network it has its own poker league, groups, event calendar and one especially nice feature – Duel.

FlopTurnRiver – approx 3.8 average points

I could have evaluated one more blog engine – FlopTurnRiver, but there is a strict requirement to have at least 500 posts in the forum in order to start a blog there. Well, I am not going to spam their forum or spend half a year posting in the forum just to analyze their blogging options. From the fact that they use the Wordpress platform I assume that the blogging features should be similar to PokerVibez and PokerKnave.

Poker 2.0 Blog has already analyzed 20 blogging services in various communities and poker social networks. There are some more, but they are not very well developed and some have already been neglected. We hope that the next year we will be able to select at least 5 more poker blogging engines and analyze them using the same criteria.