This has to be said, so bear with me.
As most of you are undoubtedly are aware by now, staff and I have been somewhat critical on certain facets of recent Fanposts, most notably as it relates to the use of basic grammar and spelling. As I've explained before, there is a reason for this. Besides making your post more readable and thus more credible, our site has distribution partnerships with cbssports.com, yahoo! sports, si.com, usatoday.com, and the National Football Post. Readers from those sites routinely visit our site and read not just our staff articles, but also the Fanposts and Fanshots. Having a slew of posts that are illegible and difficult to read reflects badly on both the site and the individual writers of those posts.
We're not asking for alot here to make things better. Basic 4th grade English. No text syntax, such as "lol's, 4, u, cuz" etc. Use complete sentences. Use periods. Put in the occasional paragraph break. Use the spellchecker at the end of the post. You'll be amazed how much better the response will be to your post if you make it as readable as possible. Trust me.
Regarding content, I don't care about whether you want to blindly praise the Bucs, blindly rip the Bucs, or offer commentary somewhere in between. This is a haven for people to discuss their opinions without fear of a nasty rebuke for their takes. Of course, a passionate, heated discussion may ensue from time to time, and we can all disagree strongly as long as we're being respectful of each other. For the most part, people have fortunately stayed away from the personal attacks recently, on which I've made my point be known. I expect that type of respectful behavior to continue around here.
However, what I have no flexibility on are Fanposts where entire material from an article is cut and pasted from another site and passed off as your own Fanpost. Don't do this. Ever. I will remove it immediately and, from now on, I will warn the poster. Posting the link at the end of the post does not cure anything either. Besides being illegal, it shows you, the poster, has no original thought to offer as a conversational bit. This has happened too much here lately, and I'm getting tired of having to remove posts. Quit doing it.
If you want to use a paragraph from another piece in support of your own, use the quote link and paste the paragraph in (with a link and credit to the original article, of course). That is perfectly fine and is an effective tool to add an additional perspective in your piece.
Bottom line: I'm not trying to discourage Fanposts at all. I mean that sincerely. I want them. They are great for the site. Having good posts from readers generates discussion and gives alternate perspectives to those of the staff members. What I am trying to do is get folks that want to post to take the time to first write their piece from their own perspective and then go the extra mile to make sure it's readable and legible for your audience. If we find a piece to be quality, we'll put it on our front page and promote it to our distribution partners for appearance on the sites listed above. Trust me, we've done it before and I'm sure we'll do it again.
Step your game up and let's see those Fanposts. Go Bucs.