FanPosts and FanShots are part of what make SB Nation blogs different from and better than other blogs you might read - they allow you to contribute content, giving each user a greater voice than she/he might have anywhere else on the 'Net.
There's no doubt that this platform has a lot of toys that we don't use nearly enough. The FanShot function is probably the least used aspect of the site even though it can be one of the best tools. This helpful guide given to us by our friends on the network will hopefully answer the age old questions of what FanShots are for, how to make good ones, and why there are different kinds.
What Are FanShots For?
FanShots are quick posts, links, images or videos.
When Should You Post a FanShot?
- Whenever you find a link, a quote, a video or a photo that you think your fellow Canes Country members will enjoy.
- When you don't have any commentary to add other to the link, video, photo or quote.
- When you can't meet the 75-word minimum for a FanPost.
FanShots are a great way of sharing anything interesting Canes, NHL, or hockey related. If you find a great MSM article (or even a particularly bad one that you think could spur on good discussion), a good quotation, a YouTube video, a good image, or anything that you stumble across on your trip around the net that you think your fellow fans would appreciate, post it here. One caveat: if it's breaking news, please check that it hasn't already been posted.
These differ from FanPosts because they are much less involved. If you are writing a FanPost with a link and filler just to hit the 75 word minimum, then you probably should be posting it as a FanShot. Same if it's one picture. Anything where you are just adding a paragraph or two of explanation probably means that it should be a FanShot.
In the interest of maximizing the exposure of your FanShot here are some tips to get the most out of your efforts:
Write a good headline. Include key words like names and teams, and be as specific as possible. Most people click on FanShots from the sidebar, meaning the only thing readers will see initially is your headline. If they don't like the headline, they won't click on the link.
Include an intriguing image. Make sure the text and detail are large enough to make out -- be aware that the SBN software might shrink it to the correct size. Make sure the point of the image is quickly apparent -- don't make readers struggle to understand what they are looking at. Also, try to make sure it's something interesting. You want others to feel motivated enough to click through the link or leave a comment. Also, leave a link to the full-sized image just in case.
Entice readers with significant information. This could be a long quote, data tables, or your own thoughts. Give us something interesting that can be used as a discussion starter, not just an executive summary.
- Tag the FanShot properly. There is a specific spot for team names, one for player names, and one for other tags.
How To Make A FanShot
You can access previous Fanshots from the top menu or along the right sidebar. On the right, a list of the 15 most recent Fanshots are shown. To start fresh, you may begin at the box on the top right, near the "Welcome Guide" section.
Click on "New FanShot" to start and check out your options:
'Link' is probably self-explanatory but this might be the most common one you'll use
"Quoting" is great if you want to highlight a specific excerpt from an article or a specific quotation.
You can add the link in the second part.
One important thing to remember about "imaging" is that you can't show a blogspot image. Don't know why but they don't work. Otherwise, if you have a picture to share just make sure to include a link to the full-size version
This is where you grab the embedding code from YouTube videos or CanesTV. Instead of posting a link, you can click on share on CanesTV or NHL.com clips and get the video up.
Have a list and want to start a discussion? This is the place. Top 5 fanbases? Top 5 Canes defensemen of all-time? Throw them in there.
I have not found out what the "Chat" function is all about. Maybe someone wants to try it out?
If you have a Twitter account and it is linked to your SBN account, you can just click the button located near the lower part of the screen and your Fanshot will automatically be "Tweeted" when you publish. The same goes for your Facebook account. If you click that button, your story will be put on your FB wall.
Hopefully, this guide will help you to create more Fanshots and make them better. In the end that benefits all of us. As always, if you have questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Thanks to Pension Plan Puppets for the use of their graphics and for some boilerplate).