Users Guide to Fanposts

Fanposts and Fanshots are another part of what make SB Nation blogs unique from others you may see.   They allow you, the reader to contribute content giving you a more prominent voice than you probably could have anywhere else on the Net. 

Fanposts are just like front page stories, except they are written by you.  They differ from Fanshots in that they require 75 words or more and usually convey more of a complete thought or message.  If you have found an article and want to provide that link without leaving much commentary with it, then it would be better as a Fanshot.  If you would like to comment about the story as you post the link to it, or share some idea or opinion without benefit of a link, then a Fanpost is fine.  IE:  trade ideas, suggested lines, opinions on coaching, local hockey news, etc.

Several of the SBN sites have a lot of specific rules and regulations to follow when submitting a Fanpost, but we like to keep things easy going here if at all possible.  To help you formulate a good Fanpost and give you some tips, I'm going to copy and paste below some guidelines that other sites use.  These specific tips are from our friends at Defending Big D.

Again, as far as I am concerned here at Canes Country, these are guidelines, not hard and fast rules. 

After reading all of this, if you are trying to create a Fanpost or Fanshot and still are having problems or have any questions, do not hesitate to shoot me an email at canescountry@gmail.com.  Good luck!

What makes a good FanPost?

  • Make It Substantial. When I say "substantial", I don't mean it has to be a dissertation or manifesto. But if you see the dreaded 75 word warning, it's either time to put some more thought into your FanPost or start over. If your post contains something like this:
    words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words

    ... then it's probably better as a FanShot.

  • Make It Relevant. Your FanPost should relate to the Hurricanes or hockey in some way. If you are brand new and want to do nothing more than post a link to your site, you're probably a spammer, and should expect your FanPost to be swiftly removed. If all you want to do is post a link to a news story or other online article or page, try a FanShot.

    I don't want to completely discourage Off-Topic FanPosting, particularly during the offseason when many of us are thinking football or hockey. But if you're new and if you haven't made a FanPost before, your FanPost on tennis probably isn't going to be received very well. If you do make an Off-Topic post (meaning, specifically, that it is not related to the Hurricanes or hockey), please put OT: in front of your post.

     

  • Make It Timely.  If the link you're posting is a day or two old, chances are it's been posted once or twice before either in the comments or FanShots (more later). Check to see if it's been posted before. Please use the search function (located at the upper right of the front page) to see if your topic has been covered in the last few days. If it has, your thoughts on that topic can and should be posted as a comment on the original post.

  • Make It Coherent. You are much more likely to get someone to read your post if you follow some very simple rules:

    ● Use proper spelling. You're not sending a text message. There's no need 4 U 2 use "time saving" abbreviations which only lessen the value of your post. It's like writing a position paper in crayon.

    ● Use punctuation. You wouldn't stand up and attempt to give a speech in one breath, and you shouldn't try to make your FanPost one big sentence that never ends.

    ● Use multiple paragraphs. There is something about reading text on the internet that makes reading a large block of text unpleasant and occasionally difficult. The ENTER key can be your friend in comments. In posts, use the "P" button to make paragraphs; highlight the text you want in a paragraph and hit "P"; it will put the proper opening and closing tags there.

    ● Use proper formatting. You'd be amazed how much better your piece will be received if it's formatted properly. If I'm greeted by a wall of text in your FanPost, I'm probably not going to make it all the way through. Break it up. Make it more than one paragraph. Use the 'B' and 'I' buttons for bold and italic text, respectively.

The tech team at SB*Nation has built a powerful WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, which I can't tell you much about because I usually use the HTML editor (which is the default box you get if you're making a FanPost). However, if you know how to format using Microsoft Word, you can make a perfectly formatted FanPost here at DBD.

● Start by opening Word.
● Write your post completely in Word, making all your formatting adjustments there.
● Highlight and Copy your work.
● Click New FanPost
● Click the "Paste From Word" icon (upper right icon in the WYSIWYG editor)
● Paste your content into the dialog box.

Give it a Descriptive Headline -- "Question" may, in fact, be what you are posting, a question you want us to consider; but that doesn't exactly inform us what the topic is about. Your headline should be informative, above all else, with bonus points for creativity.

Examples: (From Bleed Cubbie Blue)

Poor Headline: Orlando Hudson (this is an actual FanPost headline from last weekend)
Good Headline: Should The Cubs Have Gone After Orlando Hudson?

Poor Headline: Nomar Garciaparra (this is an actual FanPost headline from yesterday)
Good Headline: Bringing Nomar Back: Pros & Cons

Poor Headline: What Do You Guys Make of This? (this is an actual FanPost headline from last week)
Good Headline: Brian Roberts And Jake Peavy: I Want 'Em. Do You?

Stylistically, I have chosen to have all my headlines begin each word with a capital letter. You don't have to do that, but if you do, you'll match the site style and -- well, it'd make me happier.

Tagging

Tagging is important because it helps your content show up in searches and in dynamically-rendered content areas, such as on a player page or in the new "More from Canes Country" box at the bottom of each post. It helps increase your post's exposure.

Tagging is simple.  Just click on the " run autotag and link" button at the foot of the story and that should do the trick.

Players and Teams have their own dedicated area, which will help link your posts to the proper Player and Team Pages. These fields also auto complete, just begin typing the player's name and it should fill in, as shown above; I typed "Mike Modano" and Modano's name appeared. When this happens, just click on the name and it'll stick with the post.

 

If you want to have a poll with your post -- click "Attach Poll". The options that come up are self-explanatory; just remember to save your poll when you're done. The "Attach Event" option allows you to tie your post to a specific game. Clicking the "Attach Event" button will bring up a box that lists the Cubs' past and future games -- click the drop-down box to select "completed", "upcoming" or "in progress". Clicking the Add button will make sure you post appears on the page for that specific game.

Finally, if your Twitter or Facebook account is linked to SBN and you click the boxes marked "Tweet on (blank)" and "Post on your Facebook wall", then once you publish your work, it should be tweeted on your account and put on your wall.  Pretty simple, right?

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