Writing FanPosts and FanShots

Matt Stamey-US PRESSWIRE

A quick guide to participate on the site.

One of the distinguishing features of our site is the ability to write your own articles and quick thoughts in the form of FanPosts and FanShots. It's a great way to interact with everyone and get your own ideas and analysis of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers out there for discussion. So, I thought I'd post a little guide with information needed to get started. Here it is!

Most of the content here was cribbed from Arrowhead Pride, because their guide was quite excellent.

Making an account

Before we get to that, let me remind everyone about some of the basics of creating an account and posting on Bucs Nation. If you're ready to start posting, you have to create a free user account. Do that here if you haven't already. The benefits of creating an account with Bucs Nation (and subsequently SB Nation) are pretty awesome. You can:

  • Comment, of course;
  • 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,
  • Win friends and influence people.

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 BucsNation.com home page. Create a free account with us first and then 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 (300 I think) which means that you can't just throw out one line (unless it's really long). You'll be rewarded with a good stream of comments if you make the effort to proofread and fill it with good info.
  • Do not post entire articles from other sites. A link, which is always necessary to any article mention, and a snippet of the article is the max you can do. We can get in trouble for reposting entire pieces.
  • Always link to an article or source you mention. Like I said above. It's part etiquette and part requirement.
  • Entertain questions from commenters and follow up on what they say. Defend your new turf with vigor but while still following our commenting guidelines. Quick version: Don't insult anyone.
  • 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.
  • Try harder than "Here are 8 one liners about what I think about the Bucs" without any thought or analysis behind them. You'll generate more conversation and it will benefit everyone. How else are we supposed to kill time at work?
  • Use 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. You'll be taken more seriously if you have good formatting and clean copy.

FanShots

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. You can see what I'm taking about in this screenshot.

Then, let's say you found a cool Bucs 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 Bucs Nation, 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 Bucs Nation.

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.

And that's it! Chime in with your thoughts on the 2012 stats and anything else in regard to FanPosts and FanShots. I'll be in the comments answering questions.

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