EDITOR'S NOTE: Many thanks to SB Nation's Detroit Tigers site Bless You Boys. This post is adapted from theirs on the same topic.
If you've never used FanPosts and FanShots here at BCB, or any SB Nation site for that matter, you should. You're missing out on a great way to share your opinions about the Cubs and drive discussion about the topics that you care most about. Many times, a long comment made to another post might work very well as a FanPost, and get more attention instead of being buried in the comments.
These tools are very easy to use, but here are a few tips to get you started. You can find links to each right below the day's top stories on the front page of BCB:
First, FanPosts and FanShots have two very different purposes. FanShots are for sharing a quick thought, or a link, video, photo, tweet, etc. Here's a great example of a recent FanShot.
If you've got something a little more substantial, a FanPost is your best bet. FanPosts give you the chance to write something similar to the front-page articles at BCB and call attention to your writing or research. Here is a good example of a well-researched and written FanPost, even though things turned out a bit differently in the real world!
How to make a FanPost
Let's take a look at what you'll see when you begin a new FanPost. First, click the "Write a FanPost" link on the front page, shown above, or just click right here.
Write your post in the "Body" section of this page, and don't forget to give your post a catchy headline that will grab people's attention. You do want them to read it, right? The FanPost editor has a bunch of different tools that allow you to fancy-up your post. Just between the Body and Title sections are a few buttons that allow you to alter the format of your text, like making words bold, adding bullet points, or attaching a link to your text.
You can insert a picture (preferably your own, as we don't have rights to others' photos) with the tools located on the right-hand side of the Body section. Feel free to add a poll to your post to find out your readers' take on the subject; the "Attach poll" button is in green a few lines down from the Body section. There are also places below that where you can tweet out your creation.
A few tips to help make you more successful:
- Please don't repost entire articles from elsewhere. Those copyrights are owned by someone else; any posts like that will be deleted. You can link to other articles, quote a small amount of their content (a couple of paragraphs), then add your own analysis or commentary.
- Write your posts about topics that haven't been covered on the front page.
- If you want to comment on a post on another site, link to it, and quote a few lines. (On the menu bar, use the chain-link button to post the link in your FanPost.) Then share your take. The real point is to post your own thoughts, not just regurgitate chunks of someone else's story.
- Your point will come across much better if your post is easily readable. Take a few minutes to go back and check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Readers want to see words, sentences, and paragraphs. What I mean by this: don't use text-speak (b4 u say nething...), use punctuation to separate your thoughts, and use the return key to break apart the concepts. A little time spent editing will drastically improve the way the readers view your post, and increase the odds it gets read and commented on.
- Don't forget to preview your post before you publish it, to make sure that your formatting will come through correctly. Use the "Preview" button right next to "Publish" at the bottom of the page.
How to make a FanShot
Again, click the link on the front page that's shown in the picture above, or just click right here.
First, select what type of media you're planning to share. You'll see there are four types of FanShot posts you can make: a link to another site, a quote, a picture, or a video embed. Then, paste your content into the applicable box and, if desired, provide a brief description and a catchy title. Click publish and you're done.
How else you can get involved
Read other people's FanPosts and FanShots. You can always find them on the right sidebar of the BCB front page.
If you like something, "rec" it. The posts with more recommendations filter to the top and it's a nice way to say "good job."
Comment on other people's posts. Check your own posts for comments and reply to them, if you have more to say. Driving discussion about your topic is half the fun.
In fact, just comment on anything and everything! While there are a lot of BCB readers who choose to only observe the conversation — come on in and create your own content. Please remember the BCB Community Guidelines when you do.
We want you to get involved, don't just make us do all the talking. We try to be innings-eaters here at BCB, but we could always use a little relief help in the dog days. If you have any questions — maybe I explained something poorly — just ask.