We'll talk about Fanposts and Fanshots in a moment but first I wanted to remind everyone about the benefits of membership at Bluebird Banter. If you want to post or comment, you have to get a free membership. We have a membership system so that we can moderate the place. If you haven't already, you can get your membership here. If you are a member you can:
- Recommend and flag comments from other users;
- Keep track of read and unread comments on each post (This is huge, people);
- Post your own FanPosts and FanShots;
- Join other SB Nation blogs and participate there; and,
- Make friends.
Writing your own FanPosts
So, you've made a few comments, now you're ready to do your first FanPost, which is essentially a place on this site where you can have your own blog and write your own posts. You can start writing a FanPost in two places. The first place is from the Bluebird Banter home page. Click the "Write FanPost" on the right side of the home page. The second place is on the FanPost hub page, which is located here. On that page, you can start writing a FanPost by clicking this link in the upper right side of the page.
Got it? Good. Here are a few tips on writing good FanPosts:
- Make the topic interesting. Put some thought into what you're writing. We have a character minimum (75 words I think) which means that you can't just throw out one line (unless it's really long). It is better than starting your own blog, posting here gives you a built in readership that numbers in the dozens.
- Answer questions from commenters and follow up on what they say. Please, feel free to defend your opinions, (following the commenting guidelines).
- Utilize the formatting buttons above the text box. Use paragraphs. The quotes are for highlighting text and converting to a nice shaded background blockquote. The picture frame is for images, which are always nice.
- Never write a FanPost or comment in ALL CAPS or without formatting paragraphs. You may have just written a great post but if it's a huge block of text with no formatting, nobody is going to read it. Plus, ALL CAPS makes it look like you're shouting.
- Finally, once you're done writing a FanPost, you'll see Show Editor Help on the bottom left of the text box. Click that and up pops a great users guide that goes into much more depth than I am now.
Here are a few more tips about FanPosts:
- Browse the FanPosts already written to see if you are covering a topic that's already been posted about.Do your best not to duplicate topics in the FanPosts. Unless you have a unique angle on the subject, join in the current conversation on another post.
- Utilize the"Rec" feature which is on every front page post, FanPost and FanShot right above the begining of the comments. If you like what you're reading, hit the "Rec" button. Once that FanPost or FanShot goes over a certain number of recs (which we can change at any time) it moves in to the "Recommended" section.That way, the best posts don't get lost in the shuffle.
- Before you post, check over your writing for typos and other errors.
- Anytime you write for the public, you run the risk of being criticized. Trust me, it happens. You may think you have written the best piece ever, but some dope is going to criticize you. That is part of writing. If you can't handle it, don't write. I really mean this. I will say it again: if you can't handle criticism, don't write. This place is moderated, so no one here will say your piece was a "@#$##% piece of @$#%## not fit to wipe the #%##% of my dog you #$@$% idiot" or at least if someone does say something like that, it will be deleted. But, that doesn't mean we will stop them from saying anything bad about what you write. People around here can be pretty sarcastic at times. Roll with it.
- That doesn't mean you can't write something funny or something in satire, but if you are going to write something funny, be sure it really is funny. If folks don't understand that you are trying to be funny, it isn't their fault, it is your's.
- Don't blame the readers if they don't understand what you wrote. If there is one rule of writing that I believe in, it is that if the reader doesn't understand something it is the writers fault. We have pretty bright people reading this site. If you write something they don't get, you messed up, not them.
- Expect your opinions to be challenged. Don't get upset if they are, it means someone read it. Sometimes someone has a good idea but doesn't quite have it all in the post. Sometimes folks will ask questions to get the complete thought. .
- Never copy someone else's writing and post it as a FanPost. Put up a link, then the other site gets visits and they will be happy.
- Don't feel bad if you don't get comments. Sometime a post is a complete idea that doesn't leave much to comment on. It happens on the front page too, I'll spend a long time on a post and it will get no comments, then the next one will be a quick idea or question and it will get lots of comments. If a thought is complete, it is hard to comment beyond 'good post'.
- Your audience here is people that know a fair bit about baseball. If what you write sounds like something that a drunk would say on Jays Talk, maybe it isn't best to put it here. If your fanpost is "the Jays Should Trade for Ryan Zimmerman" expect to be challenged. If you want to suggest a trade idea, remember that there has to be something in it for the other team.
FanShots are links, quotes, video, or pictures. They are meant to be shorter than FanPosts, consumed quickly and you can start posting them from the home page and the FanShots hub page, just like FanPosts.
One of the coolest parts about FanShots is that you can post them quickly via a bookmarklet SB Nation has built. If you don't have the fancy bookmarklet installed, it's really easy. Click here and drag the link to your bookmark section.
Then, let's say you found a cool Blue Jays YouTube video. You go to the YouTube page of the video you want, click the bookmark link you just made in your browser and a window will pop up.
You'll see that the bookmarklet automatically grabs the code for the YouTube Video and allows you to send it to Bluebird Banter, in the upper right hand corner. It does the same for pictures.
If you want to do a quote FanShot, simply highlight the text you want on the page you want it from, and click the bookmarklet. It will automatically fill in the link information and you can send it on to Bluebird Banter. Same
Here are few more points about FanShots:
- Use FanShots for breaking news and make sure you quote the most relevant section of the article you're linking.
- If you have a thought that doesn't meet the 75 word minimum of a FanPost, put it in a FanShot.
- Click here right now and take two seconds to drag the FanShot bookmarklet to your browser's favorties (It's in the upper right of the page). Once you do that, you'll begin using the feature a lot more.
In all, please use the FanPosts and FanShots, I love reading them, but do them with an understanding of who your audience is. If you are new to the site, take a while to see what works and what doesn't before you write your first FanPost. the people here are great, but that doesn't mean they won't criticize your post. If you don't feel you can handle gentle criticism, maybe don't post.