Hey everyone. As this site was in its baby stages, we were much more lax about who posted what in FanPosts and FanShots. But now that participation and volume has reached a critical mass, it will be a tremendous help if everyone reads and follows these guidelines to maintain a little more order.
The editors here don't ever want to be in the position of deleting others' contributions, but we reserve that right if random and content-weak stuff starts to push good stuff off the page. (Think about your best essays or topic-starters; You don't want them to be bumped by "OMG can u beleeve this link?!!?"-type posts, do you?)
So consider this a guide on how to use FanPosts and FanShots -- and when to use each.
FanShots are quick posts, links, images or videos from around the Internet.
When Should You Post a FanShot?
- When you have a breaking news link that's particularly relevant to share. (i.e. roster moves, callups, injuries)
- Whenever you find a link, a quote, a video, a photo, around the internet that you think fellow Lighthouse Hockey people will enjoy.
- When you don't have any commentary to add other than your link, video, photo or quote.
- When your idea for a FanPost isn't substantial enough to meet the 75-word minimum. NOTE: Please don't just fill a FanPost with random thoughts simply to meet the minimum. If your theory or thought or poll doesn't naturally go that length, you probably need to be posting a FanShot.
How Do You Post a FanShot?
Option 1. Click "New FanShot" -- Seems simple, right? While logged in, visit any page of LHH and click the handy "New FanShot" button. Enter the link or pic URL in the proper place.
Option 2. Or use the FanShot Bookmarklet -- Clicking and dragging the "Share on SBNation" button (which you can find here at the top of the FanShot section, right underneath the top ad bar; just click "FANSHOTS" on the front page to get there) to your bookmarks bar (the area under your address bar in your browser) will allow you to post to LHH quickly and easily while browsing the internet.
Once you have a "Share on SBNation" button in your browser, you have one-click posting of FanShots at your fingertips. Clicking the button will bring up a dialog box that looks like this:
Just select the type of FanShot you wish to post (Ask yourself: Am I posting a link? A quote? An image? A video? A top 5 list?), fill in the relevant topical tags (more on that below) and hit publish (that "Front Page" check box is for site admin only, to put it on the front page's center column if necessary -- you've seen the blue box posts on the front page; those are FanShots that I've posted).
FanPosts are just like front page stories, except they're written by you, the LHH 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. A few recs put a FanPost on the rec list and keeps it visible for a longer term (while also creating room for more than 10 FanPosts on the page at once). Essentially, if you write a really good FanPost, it will be visible for far longer than anything LHH editors write in the center column.
What makes a good FanPost?
- Make It Substantial. When we say "substantial", we don't mean it has to be a dissertation or manifesto. But if you see the dreaded 75 word warning, it's either time to put some more thought into your FanPost or start over. If your post contains something like this:
ok i need 75 words so now i'm gonna tlk about my puppy. he keeps chewing on my shoe. u know what I mean? okay that's 75 kthxbai
... then it's probably better as a FanShot. And you can leave off the random junk. Currently you need at least 150 words in your FanPost for it to be publishable. We prefer if you try to get to the 300-500 word range. Exceptions can be made, such as this excellent post by AfroSupreme. If you have any questions, feel free to email Dom or one of the mods at the bottom of this page.
Make It Relevant. Your FanPost should relate to the Islanders or hockey in some way. If you want to talk about other sports there are sites on SBNation 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 terminated with extreme prejudice. If all you want to do is post a link to a news story or other online article or page, try a FanShot. The more people follow this routine, the more people will check FanShots and read/comment on those.
We don't want to completely discourage off-topic stuff, particularly during the offseason. But if you're new here and if you haven't made a FanPost before, please check the lay of the land first. Check if your topic has been covered recently; you owe your fellow LHHers that much.
Make It Timely. This applies to both FanPosts and FanShots: If the topic or 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. So please check to see if it's been posted before. You can use the search function (located at the upper right of the front page) or just click on the FanPosts/FanShots button 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.
I'm not going to be a total narc on this, but just know that if you're posting a duplicate link or thread there is the chance it will be deleted. That is not a personal affront to you -- rather, it's just a way of trying to keep things organized here.
If you do have some breaking news, post away. Even though we try, there's no way we can be the first to hear/read/see every piece of breaking Flyers news. That's where you can help. If you are the first to break something, your post might be promoted to the front page. See above, though; if there's an Islanders trade or signing 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, please. 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. I know for some of our regulars that is part of their style or "charm," and although I'm an editor by trade I'm not going to be a serious narc about that. But a little bit of PROOFREADING and concern for your fellow reader goes a long way.
● 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 or one big paragraph that never ends. I reserve the right to edit your FanPost for punctuation and flow like that, to make it kinder to everyone -- if I do that, I'm actually doing you a favor by making your post better. But I might not do that, I might ignore it, and if it's particularly crayon-like, I might even remove it. Fair warning.
● Use multiple paragraphs. There is something about reading text on the internet that makes reading a large block of text unpleasant and frankly 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.
● Use helpful 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. Use subheads even.
Get Everyone to Read It: How to Make Better FanPost Headlines
First off, NEVER use profanity in a FanPost title - it will be removed immediately, and you will be flogged publicly and sent to bed without dinner.
Besides, there are better ways to get readers' attention, such as:
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.
Here are some Examples:
A Bad Headline: "What do you think?"
A Better Headline: Is Okposo's injury really that significant?
A Weak Headline: "Article"
A Better Headline: National columnist rates Islanders 29th; here's why he's wrong
The tech team at SB Nation has built a powerful WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. If you know how to format using Microsoft Word, you can make a perfectly formatted FanPost here at LHH.
● Start by opening Word.
● Write your post completely in Word, making all your formatting adjustments there.
● Highlight and Copy your work.
● Click New FanPost
● Click the "Paste From Word" icon (upper right icon in the WYSIWYG editor)
● Paste your content into the dialog box.
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.
(The above image is stolen from Broadstreet Hockey because I was too lazy to work up our own example after writing all this up, even if by "writing all this up" I mean "stole a lot of this from BSH.")
To the right of the text area in both FanPosts and FanShots you'll find the area for tagging your posts, as shown in the illustration above. Tagging is important because it helps your content show up in searches and in dynamically-rendered content areas elsewhere on this site, such as on a player page or in the "More from Lighthouse Hockey" box at the bottom of each post. It helps increase your post's exposure and -- better yet -- when someone writes about a similar topic months or even years later, your old post may come up again. So: The better you tag, the more people read your work.
Tagging is simple. Just type the topics of your post into the area cleverly labeled "tags." Use commas to separate tags, as shown above. If you type a tag that's already been used around SBN, it'll begin to auto-complete.
Players and Teams have their own dedicated area, which will help link your posts to the proper Player and Team Pages. These fields also auto complete, just begin typing the player's name and it should fill in, as shown above; I typed "Simon Gagne" and his name appeared. When this happens, just click on the name and it'll stick with the post.
Polls are an easy way to encourage engagement with your post. 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 Flyers' 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.
As you've probably noticed, poll options can be serious or frivolous. Just think about your reader when you make them.