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Be Heard On Bruins Nation: How To Use FanPosts and FanShots

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Find out how you can get published and read on Bruins Nation!

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

So, you've been reading Bruins Nation every day for a while now. Or, maybe you just found the site after our new football uniforms were introduced a few days ago.

Maybe you comment on every article you read or, perhaps, you've never commented on one.

Hopefully, you've been coming back because we here at Bruins Nation do our best to offer the best coverage of the Bruins on the internet. And, while we scour the net for all the news related to UCLA athletics and other topics related to UCLA, there just aren't enough hours in the day for us to get to EVERYTHING with an all-volunteer (read: unpaid) team.

Yes, we do miss things sometimes. Or, maybe you have an opinion about a topic that may not have been considered.

Well, there are a couple of things which you could do. The first option is to sit there at your computer screen and get frustrated that an issue or an angle you think is important isn't being discussed. That's no fun. No one will ever consider your opinion that way.

You decide that what you have to say won't work in the comments because it will be too long or you want to include a bunch of links or pictures or other stuff. So, what is one to to do?

One of the features that has made SB Nation, in general, and Bruins Nation, in particular, grow has been the ability for any member to write a Fan Post to express an opinion. That's how SB Nation and Bruins Nation gives you a voice you just don't find on other sites! So, exactly what is a Fan Post?

Bruins Nation's Fan Posts

The fanpost section of the site is primarily meant for all members of BN. What it allows you to do is create an article that's nearly identical to the layout and function as the actual articles I publish on BN. You can insert links, pictures, videos, GIFs ... nearly anything that's got an HTML embed.

Here's an example of what you would be looking at if you click one of the many "New FanPost" buttons on various pages of BN:

Now, you can get fancy if you like or you can keep it simple to just text if you prefer. That's up to you.

Here are just some of the examples of what you can use FanPosts to do:

  • Start discussions with other Bruins Nation or SB Nation members. You can even create a poll that people can vote on.
  • Analyze statistical trends or break down the performance of a player.
  • React to Bruin news or news that affects a UCLA team.
  • See something on social media that you want to react to? You can embed tweets, Vines, Instagrams, and Facebook posts directly into the articles to start your talking point!
  • Maybe you're an artist and you want to show off something you created with a Bruins subject matter.
  • Do you want to write something humorous or goofy. Fantastic! Satire is very welcome at BN. We even have an article heading for satire.
  • Maybe you want to react to something that another writer has written. Bueno! Just remember to use FanPosts to create original material that is composed of your own thoughts!

Here are some tips on creating a good FanPost:

  • FanPosts are NOT for linking to articles, videos, or any material on the internet without a minimum of 150 words of commentary on the subject. If you just want to link a video and say "Hey guys, check out this awesome video" then head over to the FanShots section. Don't worry, there will be more on that later!
  • FanPosts are NOT for copying/pasting material from your own blog or publication (or from other people's blogs or publication -- that's plagiarism and will get you in trouble.) If you want to bring attention to your outside publication then, once again, you'll need to head over to FanShots.
  • FanPosts are NOT for asking one-line questions to the community. 
    WRONG: "What do you all think about (player A) guarding (player B)?" 
    RIGHT: "I think (player A) is going to dominate (player B) because (insert at least 150 words of insightful commentary.) What do you all think?"
  • And always follow the BN Community Guidelines.

Some of the benefits of posting well-written FanPosts:

  • Firstly, you get to exercise your responsibly used freedom of speech. Writing is good for the mind and good for the soul!
  • If your FanPost is something we think people will enjoy reading, we will bump it to the top of the cover of Bruins Nation! That's right, the fancy cover photo, headline, and usually we'll polish up a few other aspects for you, too.
  • FanPosts are how we find many of the writers for the BN Team! Almost everyone on the masthead started off writing FanPosts before being asked to join the BN Team. (BTW, we are ALWAYS looking for new writers for the BN Team. Email us if you're interested.)
  • Besides winning the affections of the BN community, we also promote our material on social media and feed it to the Google machine! People from all over the world could be reading your work.

Tips for writing FanPosts:

  • Be original. If I just published an article on reviewing our latests uniforms then you're not going to want to write about the same subject in a FanPost unless you're making an argument with a different angle. Maybe it's something that was missed. Maybe you disagree with what was written and have another opinion. (Yes, contrary to the myths dispelled by many, we welcome articles which don't agree with the editors as long as they adhere to the BN Community Guidelines.)
  • Use proper grammar and spelling to ensure no one is distracted from the point you're trying to make. We all make mistakes, but giving your FanPost a couple of proofreads will do wonders for presentation most of the time.
  • Use paragraphs. The quickest to get people to NOT read your FanPost is to present them with the dreaded WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT.
  • By all means, use humor in your FanPosts. Be as funny as you like, but just remember to follow the BN Community Guidelines.
  • When in doubt about something you want to post, email myself or gbruin.

I mentioned FanShots as a required alternative to some of the material you can post to BN. Let's delve into the use of them now.

Bruins Nation FanShots

This section is one of the most important sections of the site because it's how all of us can create "quick hits" to links and media all over the internet in just SECONDS. Then those quick hits can be enjoyed by all of Bruins Nation and easily accessed on BN.

Here are some of the things you can link BN to with FanShots:

  • URL links, obviously. That would be the URL of any page you want readers of BN to visit. That includes articles on the Bruins from anywhere on the web like ESPN, NBA.com, NFL.com or other Bruins blogs (as long as the article isn't behind a paywall).
  • Quotes. Maybe a player, coach, analyst or anyone relevant said something interesting about the Bruins and you just want to display what they said and your reaction to it. As long as you can find a clickable source for the quote, anything that someone says on record is fair game.
  • Images. If you can provide a URL for the image, the FanShot will automatically display the picture. Add in a caption or commentary to give us some context. This also includes GIFs!
  • Video. It will have to be a video with an embed code (anything on YouTube), but FanShooting videos is one of the best features on BN.
  • Other media that you can link with FanShots that will fall under one of the categories listed above: Tweets, Vines, Facebook posts, Instagram videos and photos.

Use FanShots to share interesting Bruin-related content with the rest of BN!

Here's what you'll be looking at when composing FanShots.

You'll notice the menu tab at the top for Link, Quote, Image, Video -- clicking on each will provide you the different forms. Make sure to include a good title that tells readers what's going on, and add in your own take in the description (not required, but encouraged.)

Tips for FanShots:

  • Make sure we haven't already linked to the material you're FanShooting!
  • Keep the material relevant.
  • Use the right FanShot for the right job:

We want you involved here at Bruins Nation!

Use these great tools to find your voice and make your presence known! And, Go Bruins!!!