This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Content, Community and Participating

Business Week editor Robert Hof's 2005 quote about Web 2.0 nails it:
It's no longer all about idly surfing and passively reading, listening, or watching. It's about doing: sharing, socializing, collaborating, and, most of all, creating.

However there is one key activity above all: participating.

For Bridge, thanks to the online bridge sites, participation continues to grow.  

If you read Linda Lee's tour of bridge on the web (, you will be convinced that there is a lot of content about bridge to be found on the Internet, and the sites she discusses will lead you on to even more content elsewhere.

What we are missing is community.

We have a few silos of bridge communities - we have posters on various sites like (albeit with some flame wars), BBO forums, and Bridge Talk - however the number of fairly active posters and regular viewers on each site is relatively low.

Now some web 2.0 sites are strong on social networking - community - but weak in the other areas.  For example Facebook has a poverty of meaningful content, and active participation is fading on the site - profiles are more often than not placeholders than constantly updated news feeds. Other social networking sites, like Myspace, are attempting to add content, partly to provide revenue streams.

Bridge sites can learn from the social networking sites to improve the sense of community. Here are some recommendations:

- Real names ("private" playing "private" damages community building).  As marketing wiz Mitch Joel said today (live, see his blog six pixels of separation at Web 2.0 is "real people having real interactions" - in particular see his post on Trust Economies: - (Now if the player is Britney Spears and wants to play bridge, give them an alias - this is for the 99.9% of players not in witness or paparazzi protection programs)

- Pictures - of the player, or their pet, or something - lets visually connect with each other

- Real places - closest big city etc.

- More profile space - the more space, the more content and socializing 

- Friendly flags - allow people to rate others as friendly - if players get enough ratings, their profiles turn various colors to indicate they are super friendly to other players

- Do mini video interviews (4 minutes max) with leading players and teachers on the site with softball questions (what is the funniest thing that ever happen to you at a bridge tournament etc.) - allow players to view these videos at the same time as doing other activities

Bridge on the Net has content and participation - let's build our community up!


  • At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Becky Young said…

    Hello Glen,

    This post made my day...absolutely! I spend day in and day out thinking about this stuff. And sometimes the folks at MPP and Bridgeblogging and myself come up with one small piece of the pie that we can contribute to building a community. And certainly the throngs of bridge bloggers out there contribute to the pie as well. But you're sooo right, the bridge community is still way off. There's lots more to do.

    I'm at a slight advantage here since I am not a bridge player, web 2.0 doesn't have to compete for neurons, it gets to have them ALL!

    Drop me an email if you wish (and that goes for anyone else who is also excited about building a better, stronger bridge community) and we can put our heads together.

    ps. We better get on this sooner rather than later because I am slowly letting bridge into my life, and I fear it will take over before too long!


Post a Comment

<< Home