Thursday, February 10, 2005

"The ability to quote is a serviceable substitute for wit."
W. Somerset Maugham

Whew, what a shitty week. I'm still forced to 'sleep' in a recliner - so lack of sleep is taking its toll. The funeral was as awful as I anticipated. And I haven't been playing any poker. All this adds up to one cranky Iggy.

Thanks for all the emails & support. I truly appreciate it.

But let's move on, shall we? I feel the urge to navel-gaze a bit. I'll prolly try to write an uber-post tonite to amend for this drivel.

Anna says Bonus Code IGGY on Party Poker Rocks!
Anna says Bonus Code IGGY Rules!

I happily read several thoughtful poker blogger posts this week, responding to Pauly & BG's essays on blogging and the ever burgeoning scene. The founding Fathers, as it is, and the New Kids on the Block. There's simply too many posts to link up, but suffice to say, everyone understood where Pauly and BG were coming from, and for that I'm thankful. Myself, and everyone, is excited to see such an explosion in poker blogs. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all. And hell, we need new blood to take up the slack for when we eventually suffer burnout and quit.

Burnout is very real.

After 18 months here, this blogging thing is a high-wire act. It's so easy to do or say something wrong, but so very difficult to be interesting and prolific. Hell, I'm embarrassed by the amount of work I've put into this here blog. I'm now over 400,000 words. That doesn't take into account the voracious amount of reading I do to provide (hopefully) valuable content. Hell, go click around in my archives if you think I'm bullshitting - I'm a verbose hard-working mofo. My long-time readers understand. If I deleted my blog tomorrow, the most gratifying thing I'd walk away with is the respect of my peers, helping to build a prodigious community with incredibly intelligent people, and last and least, the fact I've been deemed the BlogFather.

As Pauly said after the Vegas get-together: It's all about the people.

You have to believe me when I tell you the trip was extraordinary...

not because of the poker...
not because of the partying...
not because of the poker pros...
not because of Vegas...

the trip was amazing but because of the people involved.

I count myself very lucky to be a part of this.

Anyway, as BG (internet celebrity boy genius) says, it's awfully weird to read about yourself from outsiders perspectives. But I've grown used to it.

Mitigating point:
I was happily playing with bloggers last week when I surfed to Maudie's blog and saw a link to an unknown (rare, for me) poker blogger on LJ. I then read a post about the old blogs versus the new blogs that BG called, "Terrific, if a bit over the top."

Damnit, Junction Joe, I was all set to send you thousands of visitors. But alas, he deleted his blog. I'm not sure why he freaked and deleted it, but I did manage to save one paragraph.

There is a Leader among the Elders. They have various names for him, and he rejoices in mis-direction. The BlogFather is Iggy. He is the director, in many cases the producer, the crowd and the cheerleader, of the group. The highly individualistic personalities of the Elders orbit this individual. He is the glue. Where he points, the group will probably go. But understand, each member of the group suggests, points, occasionally takes independent action and has their own life. Therefore, Leader, is an applied term, but real in usage. Iggy once wrote that he would honor all the blogs by linking them to his site. Another elder wrote he was available to assist writers. Another, to give advice on poker. Others, said this is good in their blogs.

I tilted upon reading this and left the table for the evening. Look, I'm used to being quoted and linked and even analyzed....hell, I've several of my very own stalkers - it's the price you pay for writing something popular - I've grown to reluctantly accept that. And unlike Pauly's stalkers, mine are not cute Canadian girls offering up late night phone sex.

But I'm not a leader. And none of the strong personalities orbit me or this blog. That's just silly. I like to think that we are all protective of each other. That's very different from what Joe implied.

Someone told me (correctly, I think) that it's far more likely that Pauly is the glue and I am the Patron Saint. Fair enough, but what does that make Otis, then? The Pope of the bloggers?

Per Joe's post, part of me enjoys the ego stroking but the other half recoils in horror. I'm not sure if I can even explain why. Lack of confidence is certainly one big reason. Admiration for my peers is right up there - there are far better writers than I populating this little corner of the BlogoSphere, so for me, it's embarrassing.

I shouldn't be navel-gazing like this.
I'm still wacked out on Vicoden, so I have a legit excuse.

Allow me to summarize in this way - blogging is still very much a solitary pursuit. Most of us feel like we write in a vacuum, without assent or acknowledgement. I feel like that 99% of the time.

Also, I saw this insightful comment from the aforementioned Junction Joe that I agree with wholeheartedly:

Ever thought how the Bloggers have somehow manufactured their own success?

And while I agree with this, I think it's easy to forget that success is often being at the right place at the right time.

Anyway, forgive the above. I wish I could get a full-time gig blogging about poker. In fact, I found an interesting article about getting paid to blog that I'll post below. For now, this blog is brought to you by Bonus Fucking Code IGGY on Party Poker. You are brain dead if you aren't playing there.

BTW, I kept meaning to link up the famous essay by Tony Pierce, who literally wrote the book on How to Blog.
how to blog by tony pierce

Here's that column about blogging going mainstream. Damnit, someone hire me.
Pfft, as if that will ever happen.

Would You Buy a Car from this Blogger?

As blog readership rises, some smart marketers are wisely dipping their toes into the blog marketing waters. However, they’re overlooking perhaps one of the most attractive and untapped opportunities -- signing bloggers to product endorsement deals.

In 2004 the blogosphere established itself as a major influence on public opinion. According to a study released earlier this month by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a full 27 percent of all online users now read blogs, a 58 percent increase from early last year.

With interest in blogs rising, some bloggers are rapidly becoming celebrities. They’re popping up in the press, attracting flocks of followers and, in some cases, even a roster of advertisers. And why not? They deserve it. After all, these "A-listers" can easily sway the opinions of thousands.

Unfortunately, minus a few exceptions, most marketers are still playing very safe when it comes to blog advertising. They’re taking a big media approach to the new wild, wooly micro media world. This includes buying ads on blog advertising networks operated by BURST!, BlogAds, Pheedo and Google AdSense, or sponsoring entire blogs outright as Audi did with the Jalopnik auto blog.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these methods, they fail to capitalize on the blogosphere’s greatest value -- their influence. Blogs are very different animals than mainstream sites. They are written by passionate individuals you can reach out and touch, not by professionals. Bloggers share a deep sense of connection with their readers that marketers would die to tap into. They’re like rock stars. This is why you should treat bloggers like celebrities who can have tremendous power to inspire and lead others, rather than treating blogs as just another place to advertise.

Consider this. Mention the name Michael Jordan and what product immediately comes to mind? Naturally, it’s Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers. For years millions purchased Air Jordans simply because they wanted to "be like Mike." On a smaller level and at a far lower cost, you can sign bloggers to different types of endorsement deals. Here are five ideas worth considering:

Hire a Blogger to Write a Custom-Published Blog: Many bloggers feel a higher holy calling to maintain their integrity by not outwardly endorsing products on their blogs. Nevertheless, they still might be interested in making a buck on the side. Consider enlisting a well-known blogger to write a blog for you either about your product/service or perhaps a broader subject that’s related to it. For example, if you sell enterprise antivirus software, you could hire an IT blogger to track this issue on a separate custom-published blog.

Put a Blogger in Your Ad Campaign: If there’s a blogger you feel will be instantly recognizable to your target audience, consider getting in touch with him or her to see if they would be interested in appearing in your online/offline advertising campaign. Like celebrities, they can carry instant cache.

Get Bloggers Using Your Product: Sports marketers have been doing this for years. They identify a personality who they feel resonates with their audience and then pay him or her a nice hunk of change to use their product on the field or court. You could easily do the same thing with a blogger.

Build PR Campaigns Around Customer Evangelists: If you have a valuable product or service offering, there’s a high likelihood that there are some vocal yokels talking about your product in the blogosphere. Find these individuals, learn how they’re using your widget and build a case history PR campaign around them. If you are successful in generating media coverage, you can go for a two-bagger by encouraging the blogger to spread the word.

Hire a Blogger to Work for You: If there’s a particular blogger you have your eye on who has truly achieved superstar status, hire him or her to work for you. Microsoft’s "investment" in Robert Scoble, who was hired 19 months ago because of his Scobelizer blog, has already paid off ten-fold through positive PR and online word-of-mouth. You get extra credit if you hire a blogger who was recently fired from another company for blogging.

Now that blogging has gone mainstream, savvy companies would be wise to endorse bloggers. It’s cost effective and, if it’s done right, can offer a high return. I even bet that new firms will soon emerge to negotiate endorsement deals for bloggers, much like CAA does for celebrities. Now is the time to get in the ground floor while the fees are still low.

All Content Copyright Iggy 2003-2007
Information on this site is intended for news and entertainment purposes only.

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