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How to use the FanPosts editor

A quick tutorial to get you going on writing FanPosts

CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve got some interesting/insightful/humorous/life-changing original thing to say about the Colorado Rockies and you want to share it with Purple Row. We love that! Here at SBNation the best way for you to share these thoughts is to write a FanPost.

FanPosts and FanShots are ways for members of Purple Row to contribute to the site beyond commenting on articles. FanPosts (community-generated articles) and FanShots (community-generated links, pictures, tweets, videos, etc.) are tools that the logged-in users can use to create content on their own. Russ Oates put together a quick tutorial on FanShots several years ago, so today we’re going to focus on FanPosts. We’ve also assembled a handy guide with which you will find everything you need to know to make your FanPost excellent.

But what if you’ve never written a FanPost? That’s where this guide comes to save the day.

How to make a FanPost

So let’s say you have an idea for a post. You’ve looked high and low on the site and you’ve determined “Nobody is talking about this!” You decide you should write one of those fancy FanPost’s everyone’s been talking about. What next?

First, you’ll need to find the FanPosts section, which is most easily found on the header at the top of the homepage (either on a desktop or on mobile). When you navigate there you’ll see something like this:

How to FanShot

Those are the active FanPosts, the ones getting the most RECS or comments. Click the “NEW FANPOST” button on the FanPost page (circled above) and you’ll see something like this pop up:

FanShot editor

This is your blank canvas. SBNation uses a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) editor, so it’s meant to be as simple as possible. There are some basic formatting options: bold (1), italics (2), strikethrough (3), indent (5), undo/redo (8), add links (10), and spell check (11). You can also make lists (6) or use an alternative text style (7), like a header. If you’re quoting someone at length (say, as a response to an article you saw written elsewhere) you can use the blockquote (4) feature, but, and this should go without saying, do not copy and paste someone else’s work into a FanPost. (If you just want to share an article, that is what FanShots do.)

If you’d like to work without the rest of the frame cluttering up your vision, toggle full screen (12). There’s also a “Show Editor Help” button (not pictured) you can turn on if I’ve just confused you. Also, though the editor saves automatically, make sure you save often using that orange button next to the “Title” box.

If you’d prefer to write your FanShot elsewhere and then copy and paste it into the FanPost editor, you can paste as plain text (8), or, if you’re using something like Microsoft Word, paste from there (9). When you click the buttons, a pop-up will appear (you may have to turn off your pop-up blocker) that will look like this:

FanShot copy/paste

This way, you don’t have to mess with the editor at all and can format as you see fit with an editor you like. This feature keeps all the formating you use, or at least a reasonable facsimile of it, making it even easier to post. If you have pictures, though, you’ll have to upload those separately (please be careful not to use pictures you don’t legally have the right to share). If you use charts or tables, I recommend taking a screenshot of them and uploading them as a photo. To do that, go over to the Media & Assets section to the left of the Body (where you write your FanPost). You can upload an image (13) or video (14). You’ll get a prompt that looks something like this:

FanShot image upload

You can put as much or as little info in here as you like, but pictures are more interesting if there is some sort of caption to explain the context. If your table or chart used data from a source like Baseball-Reference or FanGraphs, make sure you give them credit in the “CREDIT” or “CAPTION” box.

So you have your interesting idea all typed out and ready to go. You have a snappy title. What else do you need to do? As you scroll down you’ll see this:

Keep in mind everything on this page is optional. Adding a poll is a great idea to get feedback on whatever your main thesis was. Let’s say your FanPost was something along the lines of

"I think (player A) should be called up to replace (player B) because (insert at least 150 words of insightful commentary.) What do you all think?"

You can then insert a poll to ask the question directly:

"What do you all think calling up (player A) to replace (player B)?"

If the link for your FanPost is shared on Facebook or Twitter it will use the default headline. If you want to add some extra text to entice people to click on it (as seen here) you can add a short blurb in the “Facebook Description” and/or “Twitter Description” sections. If your Twitter account is linked with your account, you can check the box next to “Tweet on @[username]” and the FanPost will publish to Twitter as well.

Before you finish, make sure you proofread your post. A great way to do that is to use the preview feature. Click “Save Changes” and then “Preview” to see what your FanPost will look like when it is all said and done. Make sure you look for grammar and spelling mistakes, formatting issues, and avoid the dreaded WALLOFTEXT by inserting paragraph breaks. When it’s finally up to your standards, click “Publish.”

CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve written a FanPost and shared your interesting/insightful/humorous/life-changing original thing about the Colorado Rockies with Purple Row.

Like so many of our best ideas, this post was initially crafted by someone else. Shoutout to Chris Faulkner of Grizzly Bear Blues for the inspiration.