Poker And Mefi

12 Oct 2005

An interesting sequence of events this morning…

I had just started my morning sisyphean struggle to empty my ‘daily’ folder in Bloglines. Boing Boing, Lifehacker, Slashdot, Tao of Poker, A List Apart, etc., etc. Metafilter had a post titled “Viral Blogger poker tournament”. Hmmm. I click through and see this:

Viral Blogger Poker Tournament On a recent CardPlayer article and WWdN post, there is mention of an interesting poker tournament that works off of viral blog marketing. While blogs and poker have had a rocky past when bloggers fought back against search spammers, this appears to be a "opt-in" marketing angle that is being embraced by the poker blogsphere as well as a number of mainstream blogs. Is this a case of beneficial or underhanded marketing? And will other sites try this in the future?

posted by hostile7 at 1:27 AM PST (5 comments total) [!]

Hey hostile.

The link to your website (tightpoker) in your profile needs to be fixed.

From your site: “In the meantime, I will pimp out some more right now”

Countdown commences…

posted by srboisvert at 3:35 AM PST on October 21 [!]

Is this a case of beneficial or underhanded marketing?


two… one…

posted by three blind mice at 3:43 AM PST on October 21 [!]

At least it won’t take you long to win the $5 necessary to register “hostile8”.

See you later!

posted by NinjaPirate at 4:54 AM PST on October 21 [!]

Seriously, I don’t trust poker sites any more than I trust porn sites to market responsibly. So many comment spams, so many referrral spams. I can no longer stand it. Thank god b2evol has a blacklist function, and I can catch most of this stuff before it happens.

posted by thanotopsis at 5:41 AM PST on October 21 [!]

And will other sites try this in the future?

Probably, and hopefully with the same result. Delete-o!

posted by fixedgear at 6:13 AM PST on October 21 [!]

Alas, I was too slow in putting together a serious response to the article and the comments that followed. when I tried to post, I got this:

This post was deleted for the following reason: spammers get banned.

It was an ill-fated attempt on hostile7’s part. Even if his intentions were pure, this post was getting deleted and he was getting banned. Anyway, I didn’t want to just delete my carefully crafted comment, so here it is:

[First off, full disclosure: I’m a software engineer for a company that licenses its software to a top 10 online poker that completes with Pokerstars. I am playing in the tournament in question. This means that I have posted the required ad on my blog.]

Like a lot of other industries, online poker is filled with companies that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and ethical concerns. And yes, the SEO race is ultra-competitive. There are those that will comment spam, referral spam, and email spam anyone and everyone in an attempt to get to the top of Google and other search engines. If one were to take the time to actually look into the success of these sites, one would find that these are not, for the most part, the big, successful companies in online poker.

This is even true within the poker blogging community. There are blogs that everyone knows for their content and in-depth analysis of the game or retellings of hilarious home game hijinks. A banner ad or two on these sites is tolerated and is the norm. Then there are the ‘banner ad farms’ that steal and republish rss feeds rather than put the effort into providing their own content. Those don’t last long.

Pokerstars, the site running this tourney, is one of the bigger, successful online poker sites. And they have gotten there, in part, by being good net citizens and “getting” the poker blogging community. you think wil wheaton is going to be affiliated with a bunch of spammers? you think the poker blogging community would support a site that comment spams their blogs?

Its easy and somewhat understandable for those outside the poker and poker blogging communities to make blanket statements. I don’t buy viagra or cialis (ahem), so it would be easy for me to think that all online pharmacies are scumbags that spam me every chance they get. yet this is almost certainly not true. Do you see why?

The little inside Sklansky joke at the end was for Bill Rini.

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Franklin Henderson