Two days ago, we went over The Field Guide to Commenting; today, we're off to FanPosts and FanShots.
When SBNation introduced the concept of diaries, way back in yesteryear, it came as a seminal moment in history, an achievement akin to man's discovery of fire or, I know this may sound crazy but hear me out, the invention of the battery-powered battery charger. It left us in awe and without the faculties of speech or touch. In essence, it elevated the average reader from a state of profound quiescence, metamorphosing the community member from a mere receptacle, yearning to be filled with sports knowledge, into a living, breathing creator- nay, manufacturer- of hypotheses and intimations. It was great.
Diaries gradually evolved into their modern states of existence- FanPosts and FanShots. After the jump, a look at the ins and outs contained therein. (Also contained: readable English).
WHICH DO I CHOOSE?
Pretty straightforward: if you're posting a news story, a funny image, or a quote without too much analysis, go with the FanShot. SBNation provides options for Links, Quotes, Images, Videos, Lists, and Chats when you create a FanShot (though nobody really knows what that last one even means). The attribution to the original source is built into the FanShotting process. If you have know idea what any of these words mean, go ahead, mess around with the tool, and ask any further questions in the comments. If there's a topic you want to write a little bit more about (more than 2-3 paragraphs), go with the FanPost.
FanShotting is especially useful for quickly breaking news. I'm not always around a computer, but there's decent odds that somebody in the community is, when something breaks. Check first to see if there's a post on the main page or if somebody's already FanShotted a story. If not, full steam ahead. In recent months, Grayson and tlsk1066, among others, have done a great job with news. If it's a big enough story, you'll certainly see your name/post promoted to the main page.
Feel free to be liberal with FanShot use. While FanPosts obviously take longer to write/need fresh subject material, there's FanShot-worthy material floating around the internet, every day.
FanPosts are for extended, more drawn out ideas. LocoSaint's last FanPost is an awesome example. He analyzes, in-depth, a specific topic, examines its future implications, all in a great, readable style. FanPosts are for original ideas; don't repost an entire news story from elsewhere (that's what FanShots are for). If you do borrow ideas from, somewhere else, definitely refer readers to the original source.
We mentioned the importance of keeping comments readable. The same goes, times ten, for FanPosts. It's tough for a reader to wade through a wall of text that lacks punctuation, capitalization, etc. The more readable your post is, the more likely your ideas are to hit home (duh). Tossing in a picture or two in a longer FanPost can never hurt, either.
FanPosts that are well-written, insightful, and that explore ideas that haven't been written about on the main page are liable to be promoted. For a more detailed how-to guide, check out this post from SBNation.
CHECK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU REC YOURSELF
Actually, you can't recommend yourself, so that's moot. But the main points about recs (from the comments post) still stand. You can recommend a FanPost or a FanShot that you like; the rec button is located at the bottom of a post. FanPosts that accumulate a certain amount of recs will rise to the top of the right hand sidebar (where LocoSaint's FanPost currently resides).
SOME FANPOST DO'S AND DONT'S
- DO state your own opinion. It's great to begin discussion about stories, reports, etc, from other sites. But oftentimes, we'll be talking about those in the comment sections of stories, anyway. This is an opportunity to talk about your ideas, as opposed to whatever else is already out there.
- DON'T go overboard on trade proposals. Yes, it's fun to run things through the Trade Machine. But keep in mind that trades (especially fun, interesting ones) are relatively rare in the NBA. There are certainly other, more productive topics of discussion on any given day.
- DO stretch the boundaries of conversation. At the Hive is a Hornets site. The front page posts almost always deal with Hornets related news. But we're all fans of basketball and the NBA in general, so feel free to take your FanPost topics in different directions. For example, if someone were to write a brief outlook of the future of Danny Granger and the Indiana Pacers, that would be infinitely more fun to read than an unlikely-to-happen Danny Granger trade proposal. Creativity, as always, is key.
- DON'T rehash old ideas. Let's say you have an idea for a post. Let's also say that the front page post for that day is very similar to your idea. Consider leaving your thoughts as a comment or response to the original post, rather than setting up an entirely new thread. This hasn't been a problem on At the Hive, but you'll notice FanPosts on some SBN sites that really should've been in the comment section of another post. Concentrating discussion to a single place will only increase quality.
- DO link to other sites. Blogging is collaboration far more than it's competition. HornetsHype, Hornets247, and HornetsReport often put out very good content. I link to them all the time in regular posts; don't hold back on linking to other good sites. We may not be talked about much in national media, but the Hornets are very well represented in the blog department.
- DON'T feel bad if your first FanPost or two isn't rec'd or commented on as much as you'd like. Writing is a skill that can take some to time to develop; just stay at it. I write stories all the time that I think are terrible and that I'll go back and revise multiple times. By the same token, don't be too hard on a poster that's clearly sincere or genuine but that breaks a couple of these rules.