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How to use FanPosts and FanShots

The FanPost and FanShot sections exist for you, Purple Row readers, to share your valuable opinions on the team

One of the things that separates Purple Row and SB Nation from other sports sites is the emphasis on the community. It’s in our tagline: “Comprehensive, everyday major and minor league coverage by, and for, Colorado Rockies fans.” That’s why we have several tools for the community (i.e. you, the fans) to contribute.

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.

What is a FanPost?

The whole purpose of FanPosts is for anyone who wants to contribute to the conversation on the site in a more lengthy way. They are perfect for community members to provide research, analysis, and opinions that they haven’t seen elsewhere on the site. In other words, if you’re looking around saying “Nobody is talking about this!” then you should consider writing a FanPost.

It should come as no surprise, but many of our current writers (including yours truly) got their start at Purple Row writing FanPosts. If it’s your goal to someday write for Purple Row—or somewhere else, for that matter—FanPosts are a great way to get started.

How to start a FanPost

You can find our FanShot section 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. One easy way to participate in the site is to read the FanPosts that go up and offer a REC to the ones you like. The REC button is at the bottom of the article and looks like this:

FanShot rec

But let’s say you have an idea, even just the start of an idea, and you want to share it with the community. Click the “NEW FANPOST” button on the FanPost page and get started! If you’ve never written a FanPost, or need some help navigating the editor, check out this handy guide.

Do’s and Don’t’s of writing a FanPost

There are all kinds of reasons to write up a FanPost. Here are some, most of which are shamelessly lifted from Grizzly Bear Blues:

  • DO be original. If we’ve written about the subject here, or if another FanPost writer has, make sure you’re offering a different take rather than just rehashing their points again.
  • DO NOT write a novel. Shoot for about 500 words, with a 150 word minimum. It doesn’t have to be too terribly long, but sometimes it’s good to remember that brevity is the soul of wit.
  • DO start a discussion with other Purple Row readers (polls work great here).
  • DO NOT ask a one line question. Offer your point of view ("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?"), then ask the question with a poll. ("What do you all think calling up (player A) to replace (player B)?")
  • DO offer your opinion on some Rockies or MLB news.
  • DO NOT link to the news without offering some commentary, use the FanShot feature instead.
  • DO extend a thought posted as a comment on a thread. If it’s more than 75-words or so, you may as well write up a FanPost so people who aren’t in the thread can see your thoughts.
  • DO NOT copy/paste material from another blog or publication (that’s plagerism, folks!), even if it’s your own material. If you’d like people to see your Rockies-related work, use the FanShot feature instead.
  • DO analyze statistical trends, draft results, trade values, or player performance.
  • DO NOT try to sell something. If you’d like to give away tickets or advertise for a Rockies-related charity, we’ll make an exception.
  • DO react to something you saw on social media.
  • DO NOT simply share what you saw on social media, (again) use the FanShot feature instead.
  • DO write some not-serious stuff. Want to compare the current Rockies season to your favorite TV show? Or build a Pokemon team from the Colorado Rockies? This is right up our alley.
  • DO NOT forget to proofread. That means good spelling and grammar, and breaking up your thoughts with paragraph breaks. If you give your post a couple of proofreads it will go a long way in helping people interact with your ideas. Also, use the PREVIEW button to make sure the formatting came through the way you wanted.
  • DO respond to our FanPost Friday prompts!
  • DO NOT violate SBNation’s Community Guidelines.
  • DO have fun with it! Writing is good for your brain so enjoy the process. Show us your personality, make jokes, be funny. Even if you’re writing about something serious doesn’t mean it should be stressful.

We want to hear your ideas! Leave your feedback in the comments — or, better yet, in a FanPost!

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.