FanShots and FanPosts are articles and short links provided by any of the users in the community. Got some awesome link to a story or pic that you want to share? Great, punch up a fanshot. Have something longer like a blog entry about how awesome Shane Doan is and how you plan on cloning him? Awesome. Type up a fanpost. But how do these FanShots and FanPosts work? Here's the breakdown:
First we'll tackle FanShots. FanShots aren't meant to be huge articles. Fanshots are for when you find a picture, video or quote from around the Internet that you want to share. To create a fanshot, click the "Create New Fanshot" link on the upper left portion of the main page, or you can also find this link on the right where all the most recent fanshots are posted. Here's a look at where you can find them:
Once you click on the "+ New FanShot" button you get taken to a screen that looks like this:
Once there you have a few different options for whatever it is you're trying to post. This should be fairly easy and intuitive. The "Link" tab is used when you simply want to link to a story from another site. "Quote" Is similar to a "Link" except that the text is more featured for an excerpt from the story and then you can provide a smaller link at the bottom. "Image" should be fairly self-explanatory as should "Video". Please note though that SBNation will not host your content. If you have pictures or videos of your own you want to use, then you must have them on a hosting site such as flickr or youtube to post them. If it's something from around the web then the image link or the Youtube url should work. The "List" Option is a simple 1 through 5 list of... whatever. It's not something that gets used a whole lot. Finally is the "Chat" FanShot. This is used to hold open discussions on, well, whatever. Hopefully we get to the point where we need new ones each day as people just want to talk to each other. There's the basics of FanShots for you.
FanPosts are something quite a bit different. This is what you use when you have something more extended to write. These are almost exactly like the blog posts that appear on the front page. In fact, if it's something I see that's really great, I or another editor can move your post to the front page.
FanPosts should always be more than 75 words long and not filled with extra Blah blah blahs or anything to get it to the limit. If it's less than that you may want to consider how to turn it into a FanShot. They should also be of something original and not just re-covering something that was written on the main page, or doing things like recapping or previewing games which will always be done by one of the blog authors. One way to think of FanPosts is that they're blog entries for people that may not have their own blog. For example. You may not have a site somewhere else but you're really dying to write up a Shane Doan retrospective on his time here in the Valley. That's a perfect topic to go there. You can use them frequently, or just use them once. It's all up to you!
To make a FanPost go either to the box near the top of the page (where the fanshots were) or on the side, at the bottom of the FanPosts list.
Once you click on the "+ New FanPost" link, you'll be taken to a screen like this one...
Now, there's a whole big guide on all things FanPost in the editor itself. However I want to point out a few important things. First, make sure your titles are catchy, but also relevant. It shouldn't be a mystery what you're writing about or people won't click on it. If your piece gets promoted to the front page, it needs to have Something spelled out well if it's a major news story. For example, "Yotes Win Game on Mules Game Winner" is alright, but "Coyotes Win Game on Mueller's Game Winner" is better because it has words people will search for.
Second, make sure to run the autotagger. If you submit the story it should make you anyways, but make sure players, teams and events you're mentioning or talking about are tagged so people can find related stories both from your article and to your article from others around the network.
Lastly, use the "Preview" button a lot! It shows you exactly what your story will look like when it's done. That way you can pick out any formatting errors before you post. You can always go back and fix it after, but it's easier and less frustrating to just take care of it before hand.
That's it! I hope this helps you understand how to use the FanShot and FanPost features a little bit better. Post as many as you want when ever you want. I look forward to seeing some great stuff!
As always if you have other questions, check out the help menus on SBNation, or email me at OdinMercer@gmail.com