I read a Mashable article last year and author and writer, Greg Ferenstein asks, “How can we establish trust when our online identities are often little more than an avatar and few lines of text?” Great question.
On-line poker players have been feeling the same pain as Social Media since 2002. The big poker boom, where anyone and everyone wanted to be the next Mike Moneymaker. Back then, social media presence was non-existent and playing online with a credit card seemed pretty scary. The players were just as frightening. You had no idea how they bet, who they were or how to handle them “heads up.” It was lonely. My friends back then, didn’t have the patience or the bank roll.
For years, I didn’t trust other players. It was normal and expected. Most of them were “short stackers” that looked for the opportunity to get all their chips in “one” big hand, go all in, double up and immediately leave the table. Online poker was supposed to be anonymous and aggressive. Right? There was no social aspect, so it wasn’t a lot of fun either.
But online poker today, seems to be a “twitter-like” world now, where players can find each other and follow themselves from table to table. Once poker sites have started allowing poker players to ditch animated avatars and launched a capability to load a real profile pic, it has changed cash games and Hold Em Tournaments forever. Now, all my fears have gone away. Social Media has helped big time and when I am curious to see how poker is changing, I turn to social media and when I want to see how social media is changing, I turn to poker.
My dark beginnings as a poker player are buried. Online poker players want to socialize, organize groups and share interests. My dumb, old school poker tells finally have new answers. Players can create a personal profile, which indicates every player level, amount of chips, total games participated, number of won games, and network they belong to.
I create my own tournaments for friends or favorite players and now, I finally know who I am playing with. Cheers to Social Poker!
Does my new found transparency apply the same way with Social Media ? How do you qualify online trust? What is the end goal for you, when building trust? When engaging others to “play”…what do you want to know about them?