Making More of the Wilderness: FanPosts Wanted

OK, OK. Anything posted by these guys might be removed without even reading it, but we really do want to hear from you, the Wilderness.

We all know why you come here. You have good taste, you want the best Wild site on the web, and you just want to be around the cool kids. Or, you just want a reminder that it is Valentine's Day and you forgot to buy flowers. All of this is fine, and you are always welcome here. Just don't try and sit at our table. You're not that cool, and you make us look bad. 

What we would like to do is offer a reminder of some of the other aspects of Hockey Wilderness that (in my opinion) are going criminally under used. With the final result being you getting to sit at the cool kid table, we offer a series of posts highlighting some of the other ways you can be involved, should you so choose.

Today, we look at the all powerful Fan Post and the equally useful Fan Shot. This is your chance to be heard, to tell your fellow fan what your point of view is, to share an great link you found, a funny picture or video, etc. It is also your chance to show them all how much cooler than them you are.

Make the jump for a little bit on how a FanPost works. (It's really simple. JS, used to do it...)

The following is a reposted message, originally posted on Feb 25, 2009, with some timely edits.

Other sources on how to make a great Fan Post from our hockey brethren:

Pension Plan Puppets          Five for Howling                The Copper and Blue

Thanks to our friends at Bleed Cubbie Blue for an outstanding template on posting at SB Nation.

First, for new members of Hockey Wilderness, take a look at the basic SB*Nation Welcome Guide. After that, read below for a more in-depth guide and specific expectations for Hockey Wilderness.

Hockey Wilderness is NOT a message board. It isn't one man's blog. It isn't a talk radio call-in show. It's called "Your Minnesota Wild Blog Community" for a reason.

Sure, Hockey Wilderness is a blog with a couple of main authors, but unlike some blogs that talk at you, we offer FanPosts and FanShots where you can drive the conversation.

FanShots

FanShots are quick posts, links, images or videos from around the internet - it's not just for photos. There are several different types of things you can put in a FanShot.

When Should You Post a FanShot?

  • Whenever you find a link, a quote, a video, a photo, around the internet that you think your fellow Hockey Wilderness readers will enjoy.
  • When you don't have any commentary or analysis to add other than your link, video, photo or quote.
  • When you can't meet the 75 word minimum for a FanPost

How Do You Post a FanShot?

1. Click "New FanShot" -- Seems simple, right? While logged in, visit any page of Hockey Wilderness and click the handy "New FanShot" button. Enter the link or pic URL in the proper place.

2. Use the FanShot Bookmarklet -- Clicking and dragging the "Share on SB*Nation" 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 Hockey Wilderness (and all your SB Nation blogs) quickly and easily while browsing the internet.

Once you have a "Share on SB*Nation" 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:

Fanshots_medium

Just select the type of FanShot you wish to post, apply the proper tags (more later) and hit publish (that "Front Page" check box is for me as the site admin, to put it on the front page if I choose -- you've seen the blue box posts on the front page; those are FanShots that I've posted).

FanPosts

FanPosts are just like front page stories, except they're written by you, the Hockey Wilderness 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. Four recommendations puts a FanPost on the rec list.

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 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:
    words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words

    ... then it's probably better as a FanShot.

  • Make It Relevant. Your FanPost should relate to the Wild or hockey in some way. If you want to talk about the Gophers or the Vikings or the Twins 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.

    We don't want to completely discourage Off-Topic FanPosting, particularly during the offseason when many of us aren't thinking hockey. 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 the Wild or hockey), please put OT: in front of your post.

    Editor's note: If you have a link to a story on your site, and it is Wild themed, please email it to Bryan using the email button below. We will include it in the Wilderness Walk that is posted every morning.

  • 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 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 I try, there's no way I can be the first to hear/read/see every piece of breaking Wild news. That's where you can help. See above, though; if there's a Wild 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 beaten 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.

    ● 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. However, if you know how to format using Microsoft Word, you can make a perfectly formatted FanPost here at BCB.

● 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.

Examples:

Poor Headline: Martin Skoula
Good Headline: Should the Wild re-sign Martin Skoula?

Poor Headline: Last night's game
Good Headline: Why the Wild lost to the Kings again

Poor Headline: Playoff Chase
Good Headline: The Wild and the Stanley Cup playoff run

Tagging

Tagging_medium

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, such as on a player page or in the new "More from Hockey Wilderness" box at the bottom of each post. It helps increase your post's exposure.

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 at Hockey Wilderness, it'll begin to autocomplete.

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 "niklas back" and Niklas Backstrom's name appeared. When this happens, just click on the name and it'll stick with the 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 Wild's 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.

Editor's Note: Please avail yourselves of the FanPost and FanShot options. While we like to think we do a fairly good job of bringing you the goods, we are not perfect (Bryan being a clear exception). We want to hear from you. Honestly, truthfully, we want to hear from you. We value the opinions of every one of our readers, even if we may disagree with them. 

If you ever need help with a FanPost or FanShot, send us an email. We are around, and we can help you make your FanPost the best it can be. Also note that if the commentariat attacks you in anyway (other than disagreeing with you) they will be dealt with swiftly and harshly. We are not asking you to stick your neck out and get kicked. We've got your back.

Don't be shy. Speak up!

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