Just after the Cardplayer Lifestyle poker blog was created, way back in late 2009, the next thing on the checklist was to open a Twitter account and publish a Facebook page. Ever since then, in addition to honing my craft as a poker writer, I’ve constantly been working on improving my “social media game”.
At its core, poker is a relatively social endeavor and members of the greater poker community tend to be quite socially active online. I realized rather quickly that one great way to potentially get my articles seen by more people in my target audience and have my voice heard was to be as active as possible, do lots of networking, and forge real, solid relationships with members of the poker community.
Among the reasons I decided to start blogging about poker in the first place was that I was already a very engaged fan of the game, consuming every form of poker media I could lay eyes on. Though I’m not a professional player and though working on this poker blog, the Top Pair Home Game Poker Podcast, and my Poker Notes Live app remains a part-time pursuit, to a large extent I still very much live and breathe the game.
When I read, see, or listen to something cool that’s poker-related, my instinctive reaction is to want to share it with other people, whether they’re poker fans or not. I want them to experience what I’ve just experienced as a result of being exposed to the great poker content. Thus, it goes without saying that I use my social media accounts as a vehicle not only to promote my own poker content, but also to share first-rate poker content that I consume, which is produced by other poker media outlets.
Believing this course of action to be the correct one, I wanted to write up a list of reasons why poker fans, players, and members of the greater poker community also ought to be sharing great poker content. Plainly speaking, I just think that the poker community is too passive on this issue and needs to step up, shift gears, and respond better.
Without further ado, please have a look at my list of 7 reasons why you need to share great poker content.
1. To Keep Poker Media in Business
At the end of the day, poker websites need to be trafficked in order to remain in the game. Sharing good content from poker media outlets helps keep them in business. So long as they’re “keeping up their end of the bargain” and working hard to provide excellent poker content, it behooves us as poker media consumers to proactively support them.
2. To Keep Poker Writers Motivated
It means a lot to poker writers and content creators when you share their work. As one myself, I can attest that doing so keeps me going and ensures that I remain motivated. I’m positive that no poker writer will ever tell you that they’re “in this business for the money”.
We do what we do because we love the game of poker and we love playing our little roles in it. But even that can only take one so far. We need to know that you’re there and that you care. As the saying goes, sharing is caring. After all, if the proverbial tree falls in a forest and nobody is listening…
Moreover, even better than sharing, why not tag us? Engage with us. Let us know you liked our articles. Let us know you hated them. Either way, just take a minute to let us know! If you think that the poker article you’re reading now is complete, utter trash, tell me about it. Even if the impression left upon you is negative, we still value knowing that “someone out there” is reading the compositions we worked hard on crafting. Good writers thrive on that kind of stuff.
3. Because Nolan Dalla Said So
Pretty much universally acknowledged as the Dean of Poker Writing, what Nolan Dalla says usually ought to be adhered to. When it comes to poker media, he tends to know what he is talking about. Apropos this article’s topic, Nolan offered the following nugget at the recent Global Poker Conference preceding the American Poker Awards:
— Nolan Dalla (@nolandalla) April 12, 2015
Well, you heard the man; get to it!
4. Why Stop at “Liking” or “Favoriting”?
When a poker writer notices that you’ve “Favorited” or “Liked” their work, it’s nice; but why stop there? The fact of the matter is that if you enjoyed the poker content enough to click the little Twitter star, +1 (OK, I admit, nobody in poker REALLY uses Google+), or thumbs up sign on Facebook, don’t you think that other fans would too? Share the love and spread the smiles.
The poker article I’m sharing in this Tweet is an important one. I’d love to see it RTd please, not “just” Favorited. http://t.co/i5JNJ29ZfC
— Robbie Strazynski (@cardplayerlife) April 21, 2015
5. Because You Like and Care about Poker
These days, poker players and media members alike talk a lot about “growing the game”. If you see a poker article you like, spread the word. Expose your friends who may not have an appreciation for poker to the joys of the game. Whether it’s a great tournament recap you liked reading or an awesome feature article about a poker success story; if you like it, share it.
Further to this point, now is the perfect time to give a big shout out to Kevin Mathers, affectionately known to the poker community as “KevMath”. Kevin’s eagerness to help grow the game of poker, as evidenced by his frequent sharing of great poker articles via Twitter and on the 2+2 forums, is actually a topic I explored a bit when interviewing him last year here at the poker blog. Kudos to you sir for setting a great example!
6. Because Competing Poker Media Outlets Shouldn’t Be Sworn Enemies
Yup, I went there. This one is directed squarely at all the “big boys” in the industry. Y’all need to learn how to play nice together. If poker writer A reads a great piece by poker writer B who just so happens to work for a different poker media outlet and shares it, would it really harm anyone? What’s the downside of informing poker fans that there’s some great poker content out there on a different site that ought to be read or consumed?
Perhaps my opinion on this will be construed as naïve or too idealistic, but if everyone in poker media does a 180 and adopts this attitude, won’t we all end up helping each other out? It doesn’t matter who produces it – it could be a big online poker room operator, a poker news site, a popular mainstream publication, or even a lone individual poker fan – great poker content ought to be shared! At the end of the day, all poker media outlets pretty much cater to the same target audience of poker fans.
Lay down your swords and stop fighting with each other over smaller pieces of a shrinking pie. A rising tide lifts all boats. Here’s my direct message to poker media members: if you like each other’s content, share it. The industry as a whole would be a lot better off if there were more active appreciation and trust among you in addition to the natural competitiveness.
If you need some further inspiration on this point, just look to the aforementioned Kevin Mathers. Everyone knows that he works for BLUFF, but from what I’ve noticed as a follower of his is that he’s always happy to share pretty much everyone’s content if it’s warranted (i.e., of high enough quality). If anything, the poker community’s appreciation for Kevin is only enhanced by his willingness to lend a helping hand to everyone, not just his employers.
7. Because Everyone Needs to Be Just a Bit Less Self-Centered
Unquestionably, more than ever, we live in the age of “me, me, me”. For all intents and purposes, the word “selfie” appears to have essentially replaced the word “picture” in the dictionary. Everyone wants to see his/her name in lights. People want to matter, promote themselves, and be famous. It’s understandable, as to a large extent this is a natural inclination inherent to the human condition.
Pretty much by definition, the game of poker would seem to exacerbate those selfish tendencies as the ultimate goal of the game is the individual’s achievement of financial gain. Maybe we’ve all gone just a bit too far though? Perhaps it’s time for the natural self-centeredness of poker players to be ratcheted down a couple notches?
Last year I had the privilege of interviewing Phil Ivey. While poker content of that nature is pretty much universally considered to be “inherently shareable”, I nonetheless made efforts to try and get the word out further, to make sure no one would miss it. I informed a well-known professional player that I had published the Ivey interview and asked if they’d consider sharing it via their social channels. The person reacted to my request as though I had fallen off the moon, something to the effect of: “Why on earth would I do that?!”
If you’re the subject of media coverage, it’s pretty much expected that you’d let people know about it. But why not expand the circle of people you care about (and share about) just a bit to the greater poker community? So many interesting, well-written stories get published about amateur players who experience poker success on a grand scale for the first time. With increasing frequency, poker players are getting exposure in the mainstream media, too. No matter how you slice it, it’s usually great poker content.
In sum, what you share doesn’t always have to be about you. Take a step back “away from the tables”, tap into your inner poker fan, and just appreciate the great stories about and interviews with other poker players (both amateurs and professionals). Then, do your part to ensure that other poker fans can appreciate them too.
I’m well aware that some of the 7 reasons to share great poker content that I’ve mentioned above may have touched a nerve or two for some of you reading this. If so, then I consider my mission accomplished. That’s precisely the goal and the potential “power” of poker content.
A colorful poker infographic might pique your interest.
A controversial poker op-ed might get you riled up.
A moving, award-winning poker article might even trigger tears. If and when such things happen, be sure to channel those feelings that the poker content producer has managed to elicit in you and take action.