FanShots are quick posts, links, images or videos from around the internet -- it's not just for photos, as at least one person here mentioned to me; there are several different types of things you can put in a FanShot.
When Should You Post a FanShot?
- Whenever you find a link, a quote, a video, a photo, around the internet that you think your fellow DBD'ers will enjoy.
- When you don't have any commentary to add other than your link, video, photo or quote.
- When you can't meet the 75 word minimum for a FanPost
How Do You Post a FanShot?
1. Click "New FanShot" -- Seems simple, right? While logged in, visit any page ofDBD and click the handy "New FanShot" button. Enter the link or pic URL in the proper place.
2. Use the FanShot Bookmarklet -- Clicking and dragging the "Share on SB*Nation" button (which you can find here at the top of the FanShot section, right underneath the top ad bar; just click "FANSHOTS" on the front page to get there) to your bookmarks bar (the area under your address bar in your browser) will allow you to post to DBD quickly and easily while browsing the internet.
Once you have a "Share on SB*Nation" button in your browser, you have one-click posting of FanShots at your fingertips. Clicking the button will bring up a dialog box that looks like this:
Just select the type of FanShot you wish to post, apply the proper tags (more later) and hit publish (that "Front Page" check box is for me as the site admin, to put it on the front page if I choose -- you've seen the blue box posts on the front page; those are FanShots that I've posted).
FanPosts are just like front page stories, except they're written by you, the DBD reader. You can help keep the best FanPosts on the list longer by recommending them using the "Rec" link at the bottom of the post. Four recommendations puts a FanPost on the rec list.
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 Stars or hockey in some way. If you want to talk about the Cowboys or the Mavericks or the Rangers there are sites on SB*Nation for that. If you 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 Stars or hockey), please put OT: in front of your post.
Make It Timely. This is something I feel very strongly about. 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.
If you do have some breaking news, post away. Even though I try, there's no way I can be the first to hear/read/see every piece of breaking Cubs news. That's where you can help. See above, though; if there's a Cubs trade or signing and you think that you are absolutely, positively the first one to hear about it, please take a look at the post list first; someone else may have beat you to it.
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.
To the right of the text area in both FanPosts and FanShots you'll find the area for tagging your posts, as shown in the illustration above. 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 Defending Big D" box at the bottom of each post. It helps increase your post's exposure.
Tagging is simple. Just type the topics of your post into the area cleverly labeled "tags." Use commas to separate tags, as shown above. If you type a tag that's already been used at DBD, it'll begin to autocomplete.
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.