Comments Are Like Frequent Player Points

Blog Comments & Poker Chips - That's all I'm afterUnless you play poker, and poker online, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. Let me explain. If you play poker online for real money, and you win, along with winning money, you accumulate what are called “Frequent Player Points” or FPP’s. The term Frequent Player Points is unique to the poker site PokerStars.com but the same concept applies to all poker sites wherever you play. -> The more you win the more FPP’s you earn. And when you lose, well you just don’t earn anything, and you usually get pissed off.

Not Easy to Come By

So how are they alike? First of all, FPP’s aren’t all that easy to come by. Just to give you an idea: winning a $10 buy in, 180 person sit-n-go tournament wins you a cash prize of $594, but you’re only awarded 5 FPP’s. While a $10 buy in isn’t exactly high limit, it still takes some skill to play in a tourney thats 180 people deep, and you certainly aren’t going to win on luck. Also, even with a sit-n-go, which tends to move pretty fast, it’s still going to take 2 or 3 hours to win the thing. Even just to break even you have to place in the top 18, which still requires a fair amount of skill and time. Fortunately at a $10 buy in, the $594 first prize makes it worth playing, but you certainly aren’t playing for the FPP’s.

Much like blogging and comments. Anyone who has a blog knows that getting lots of comments isn’t something that comes easily. And you certainly aren’t going to “win” comments on luck. Comments are something that come by building your skills, understanding how to write compelling and relevant content, and with lots of practice.

They Only Retain Value When You Have Lots

Well here’s the thing, FPP’s don’t really mean all that much. Well, not at first anyway.. They have some monetary value but its very small. In fact here is a breakdown of the monetary value that they assign to FPP’s. On the low end it works out to about $1 for every 100 FPP’s you accumulate, and the exchange rate gets better the more you have. Someone like me, who only has in the ballpark of 1,500 FPP’s can’t do much with them. I’ve used some to buy into other tournaments, but mostly they just sit there until I can start accumulating a significant amount. (Read: TURN PRO) However, if you’re a baller like my friend Bobby, you can actually start doing something with your FPP’s. Bobby has somewhere close to a million FPP’s, if not over a million at this point, which means not only could he trade them in for some serious cash, but it makes him one of the top ranked players online. As you can imagine, being one of the top ranked players online does great things for your reputation and your career as a poker player.

Again, similar to blogging and blog comments. Comments on a blog are a dime a dozen when when you have very few. Anyone can start a blog and get a few comments here and there.. No one thinks anything of it. But as you start to build out your content and readership, people start to leave more and more comments. And much like FPP’s, when you have a crapload of comments – it means something, and in a way they’re a form of currency. Lot’s of comments usually denotes good & authoritative content, which increases reputation – etc etc.

So How do You Get More?

Well, sticking to the analogy, when you play poker, you play to win. Cash. And the FPP’s just come naturally. The same with blogging, you don’t write a blog post to get comments. Bloggers blog for all sorts of reasons, getting comments isn’t one of them. It’s not why you do it, but how you do it that will bring more comments/readership/links/etc.

Now I just need to make sure this post gets a few comments right?

IMSB Tools Wrap Up

Well since Lisa Barone and Susan Esparza both decided to take a break from liveblogging at IM Spring Break, I thought I’d fire up wordpress and do a wrap up post about the tips and tools to use from the hottest conference to hit internet marketing.

Twellow

A yellow pages style twitter directory to help you find people to follow:

Twellow

We Follow

A user powered twitter directory created by Kevin Rose of Digg.

We Follow

Tubemogul

Upload and distribute video to multiple sites at once!

Tubemogul

Big Boards

Find active forums and message boards by category:

Big Boards

di66.net

Digg stats, news and views, for finding front page digg story lists:

di66.net

Quarkbase

For competitor analysis:

Quarkbase

Feedblitz

A paid alternative to feedburner:

Feedblitz

Duplicate Content Checker

Pretty self explanatory, check it out:

Duplicate Content Checker

Seed Keywords

Another resource for keyword research:

Seed Keywords

A New Link Building Tool?

On the link building panel, Wil Reynolds talked about how he uses delicious as a link building and keyword research tool. Wil says its a great resource to find out how people are tagging alternative keywords for terms, what sites people are saving as potential link opportunities, and to see what trends through rss from delicious. Great ideas.

Delicious

NoFollow Free

A nofollow plugin for wordpress.

NoFollow Free

All in all, an awesome conference from the IM Broadcast team, great info, awesome food, a definite must attend!

Community Blog-Reading?

Here’s a good idea, Chuck Westbrook suggests starting a sort-of, community blog-reading circle, to help all of the bloggers with great content, but no readers.

I think it’s a great idea.. Here’s his post:

How You Can Help End the Problem of Blogs With Great Content and No Readers

by CHUCK on OCTOBER 23, 2008
There is a simple way to discover under-appreciated blogs and help them reach the audience they deserve. In fact, with no special effort and in one fell swoop, you can now find these sites and reward the creator in a powerful way.
Here are the problems:

Great Content but No Audience

There are a ton of brilliant blogs that are being read by almost no one. Some authors give up for lack of readers. Others continue to produce clever, insightful pieces that remain hopelessly buried and forever unappreciated.
An Audience Hunting for Great Content to Read
If the blogs with the best content always rose to the top, readers wouldn’t have any trouble finding them. But that doesn’t happen, so instead, it takes either luck or a lot of work to discover good new blogs.
Seems like it’d be easy to fix; they want to be connected to one another. Right now, though, there’s not a great way to make that happen. Unless…

**THE BIG IDEA**: Ending the Tragedy of Under-Appreciated Blogs

This is a problem we can do something about without too much trouble. Here’s what I’m thinking.

Gather some nice bloggers who believe in helping good content rise. The more the merrier. This becomes our group for the project.
A good, lesser-known blog is chosen. Everyone in the group will read that blog for two weeks.
At the end of the two weeks, the group moves to another blog to read.
With scores of bloggers focused on a particular blog, the author should see many nice things happen over those two weeks, especially if the blog really is a hidden gem. This includes discussions, traffic, constructive criticism, encouragement, and connecting to some of the bloggers in the group. That author then joins the group and we move along and do it again.

Crazy Big Potential

Picture what success might look like. What if we get hundreds of bloggers playing along? What if bloggers like Seth or Dooce or other iconic bloggers join in?

Imagine how it would feel to have those numbers and those people looking at your blog after it’s been frustratingly quiet for months. It would be tremendous. That blogger would be permanently bolstered, and it would all be because of the strength of their content, and anything that allows bloggers that focus fully on content to succeed is great for the medium.

It Begins Here

How well this takes off will hinge on how well I’ve explained the idea and whether you decide to play along. Participating is so easy and the benefit to bloggers and readers could be tremendous–you really can’t lose.

All you’d have to do is:

Comment below to express your interest in participating.
Be willing to add only one new blog’s worth of reading to your life. This will be a different blog every two weeks.
With so little required and such great possibilities, why not try? Instead of analyzing and getting everything right up front, let’s just take the first few steps and see where that takes us.

Again, there’s no risk here. There’s no angle. It’s just a promising idea.

Let’s Get Started

Just comment below, and I’ll email you with further instructions. Maybe we’ll make a banner to give out, set up a special blog, and set up an RSS feed that will change the channel every two weeks. We can get sophisticated later. Let’s just get started now.

Oh, and send others in this direction too. I’m not going to load this with links. If the idea is good, help me spread it. That’s the spirit of this whole project anyway.

We’ll try to get a bit of momentum gathered while the final details are set up, and then I’ll reach out again.

****Bonus****

Instead of commenting below to express interest, post a link to this post on your blog. This will help things spread, and then we’ll choose one of the people who do this to be the first blog the group reads for two weeks.

Just make sure it shows up under the trackbacks (which appear right above the comments section) OR link to your post in the comments section.

****Sooner is Better****
I mentioned that we’ll probably get a little banner for those who participate in the group. Well, your banner will have the number corresponding to the order in which you replied proving that you signed on before it was cool. Move fast, so you can show your friends that you MADE it cool.