We have some exciting new features that our readers are sure to enjoy!
Share on Twitter
When you publish a FanPost or FanShot, let your friends (or followers as they're called) know via Twitter. We've built an easy tool into the FanPost and FanShot editors that automatically creates a short URL back to your post and lets you send that to your Twitter stream along with a quick message. You can set this all up from your account settings screen, or right within the FanPost and FanShot editors. After all, a fanpost is basically a blog article by you! See more detailed instructions below.
1) LINK YOUR TWITTER ACCOUNT: Login to SB Nation, click your screen name in the network bar up at the top of the page, then click 'Edit Account'. From there click the 'Associate a Twitter stream with your account' link and follow the instructions to hook it up.
2) SHARE FANPOSTS + FANSHOTS ON TWITTER: Now when you click 'New FanPost' or 'New FanShot', you'll notice a checkbox at the bottom of the screen that you can click to reveal a text area to write your tweet. We take care of generating the short URL. All you have to do is click the 'Publish' button. BTW, if you skipped step 1 you can link your Twitter account directly from the FanPost and FanShot editors. And we make sure you won't lose your work in the process.
Redesigned FanPost Editor:
Do you remember what a fanpost is? let's have a little recap:
FanPosts are just like front page stories, except they're written by you, the TN reader. You can help keep the best FanPosts on the list longer by recommending them using the "Rec" link at the bottom of the post. Three recommendations puts a FanPost on the rec list.
FanPosts have to have a minimum of 150 words. If your FanPost has a paragraph that looks something like this:
words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words
... that's there just to bring it up to the minimum, then it's probably better off in the FanShot section.
Some examples of well-written and thought-out recent FanPosts on interesting topics are here and here. If I left yours out, that doesn't mean it wasn't good -- just wanted to give some quick examples.
If you something you want to post, and it's related to a recently discussed topic -- such as Chuck Amato being told goodbye, or Taiwan Easterling's surgery -- please take a look at the posts on those topics first. Your thoughts, in that case, might be better as a comment under one of those posts,unless you have some sort of new angle that hasn't been posted yet on that topic. Just saying "I'm glad SAmato is gone too" wouldn't be considered a "new angle".
What makes a good FanPost?
Make It Substantial. When I say "substantial", I don't mean it has to be a dissertation or manifesto. But if you see the dreaded 150 word warning, it's either time to put some more thought into your FanPost or start over. If your post contains something like this:
words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words
... then it's probably better as a FanShot. I will delete or consolidate Fanposts I find to be lacking in substance.
Make It Relevant. Your FanPost should relate to the Seminoles or college athletics in some way. If you want to talk about the Devil Rays or the Bucs, there are sites on SB*Nation for that. If you want to do nothing more than post a link to your site, you're probably a spammer, and should expect your FanPost to be swiftly removed. If all you want to do is post a link to a news story or other online article or page, try a FanShot.
I don't want to completely discourage Off-Topic FanPosting, particularly during the offseason. But if you're new and if you haven't made a FanPost before, your FanPost on tennis probably isn't going to be received very well. If you do make an Off-Topic post (meaning, specifically, that it is not related to Florida State in some way), please put OT: in front of your post. If your post is unworthy, I might delete it, depending of course on the level of unworthiness.
Off-topic conversations happen all the time at TN. In some threads, half the comments wind up being off-topic. Some other SB*Nation sites have a Daily Link Dump FanPost or some other form of daily off-topic conversation. I'm not against starting something like that on TN, but nobody has taken the lead.
Make It Timely. This is something I feel very strongly about. If the link you're posting is a day or two old, chances are it's been posted once or twice before either in the comments or FanShots (more later). Check to see if it's been posted before. Please use the search function (located at the upper right of the front page) to see if your topic has been covered in the last few days. If it has, your thoughts on that topic can and should be posted as a comment on the original post.
If you do have some breaking news, post away. Even though we try, there's no way I can be the first to hear/read/see every piece of breaking Florida State news. All of our authors have real jobs that do come before SBNation. That's where you can help. See above, though; if there's a major Florida State announcement or recruiting grab, and you think that you are absolutely, positively the first one to hear about it, please take a look at the post list first; someone else may have beat you to it.
Make It Coherent. You are much more likely to get someone to read your post if you follow some very simple rules:
● Use proper spelling. You're not sending a text message. There's no need 4 U 2 use "time saving" abbreviations which only lessen the value of your post. It's like writing a position paper in crayon.
● Use punctuation. You wouldn't stand up and attempt to give a speech in one breath, and you shouldn't try to make your FanPost one big sentence that never ends.
● Use multiple paragraphs. There is something about reading text on the internet that makes reading a large block of text unpleasant and occasionally difficult. The ENTER key can be your friend in comments. In posts, use the "P" button to make paragraphs; highlight the text you want in a paragraph and hit "P"; it will put the proper opening and closing tags there. Be aware that if you are copy pasting a post you have made on another site, it may not keep the same paragraph formatting when posted in a fanpost. Make sure to check this.
● Use proper formatting. You'd be amazed how much better your piece will be received if it's formatted properly. If I'm greeted by a wall of text in your FanPost, I'm probably not going to make it all the way through. Break it up. Make it more than one paragraph. Use the 'B' and 'I' buttons for bold and italic text, respectively.
The tech team at SB*Nation has built a powerful WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, which I can't tell you much about because I usually use the HTML editor (which is the default box you get if you're making a FanPost). However, if you know how to format using Microsoft Word, you can make a perfectly formatted FanPost here at TN.
Give it a Descriptive Headline -- "Question" may, in fact, be what you are posting, a question you want us to consider; but that doesn't exactly inform us what the topic is about. Your headline should be informative, above all else, with bonus points for creativity.
Poor Headline: Demonte McAllister (this is an actual FanPost headline from last month)
Good Headline: Demonte McAllister: A promising defensive line prospect.
Poor Headline: If you could have a pipeline (this is an actual FanPost headline from last week)
Good Headline: What state would you like FSU to develop a better recruiting base from?
Poor Headline: What Do You Guys Make of This? (this is an actual FanPost headline from last week)
Good Headline: Something more descriptive.
If you want to have a poll with your post -- click "Attach Poll". The options that come up are self-explanatory; just remember to save your poll when you're done. The "Attach Event" option allows you to tie your post to a specific game. Clicking the "Attach Event" button will bring up a box that lists the 'Noles past and future games -- click the drop-down box to select "completed", "upcoming" or "in progress". Clicking the Add button will make sure you post appears on the page for that specific game.
You can also use the Recommend feature on FanShots and FanPosts to put them in the Recommended lists, which moves them to the top of each section and keeps them there longer. It takes four recommendations for a FanPost and three for a FanShot to get them in the Rec lists. You can also recommend a comment -- this feature is sort of hidden, which is why a lot of people haven't used it yet; under each comment there's a link that says "Actions" -- click on that and you'll get the option to recommend a comment. Trei and the tech team say they're working on making this easier to use (more obvious) in the future. A comment takes 4 recs to get it "recommended" -- if this happens, the comment turns green and gets a big star next to it. Similarly, if you want to flag a comment as inappropriate, you can do that in the same way; it takes 4 flags to turn it red and put a little flag next to it.
When you are posting, just below the post box there is a link you can click, highlighted in yellow, that says "Show Editor Help". The Editor Help will appear to the right of the posting box and has a short tutorial on how to use the editing features available here. Once you've looked through this you can click the "X" at the top right of the editor help box to restore the other options. I would encourage everyone to use the team and player name boxes; adding these to your post will create links to teams and players you mention in your posts. You can do the same for events (meaning, in general, specific games -- click on "Attach Event" when you are making a post to see how it works) and also add tags (separated by commas if you have more than one).
We've made a few changes to the layout and features of the FanPost editor:
1) Bigger text area
- more space to explain why ranking systems can't be objective or your GM should be fired immediately
- this isn't a spelling bee, it's a sports blog network
3) Draggable "jump" bar
- we combined the intro and extended entry sections of a post and made it easy to decide where to split them. This is basically where you want to split your intro and
4) Sidebar inserts palette - tools to insert images, videos and quick, relevant, timely links in your post
5) Easy status + save - we made the auto-save message more obvious, combined it with the post status and made the whole thing a big button you can click to save as often as you want (without reloading the whole page). This way, you can come back to something you were working on.
6) Autotagger - adding player, team and game tags to your post helps everyone find your opinion on those subjects; we just made it super easy: write your post, click that 'run autotagger' button and we'll tag your post the most relevant players and teams + link them up as well. if you don't feel like clicking that button, we'll run that process for you when you publish.
A help box that explains all of this in more detail will open up the first time you try out the new FanPost editor. Now go fire it up and try it out!