So, maybe you’ve been hanging around Bruins Nation for a while and you’ve got something you feel like saying, but it’s longer than a comment.
Well, one of the best features of the SB Nation platform is that we will give you the opportunity to have your say.
"Really?" you ask. Yes, really.
In my time as the managing editor here at BN, I’ve actually exchanged emails with Bruin fans who didn’t realize that they can register to write comments, much less have an article of their own published here on Bruins Nation.
But, SB Nation, in general, and Bruins Nation, in particular, strive to be the "voice of the fan" and one of the ways we do that is by giving you not one, but two built-in ways to contribute to the site. We call them Fan Posts and Fanshots.
Perhaps you have an opinion that disagrees with something that one of the BN writers has written. (Yes, dissenting views are not only welcome here at BN, but they are encouraged, contrary to popular belief.) Or, maybe you’ve an And, opinion about some news that no one has written about it. That’s probably best handled as a Fan Post.
Maybe, you just saw a tweet that you find hilariously funny or otherwise interesting. That would probably be a fanshot.
To encourage everyone to write more fanposts, I've recently started doing something new. Every time someone writes a new fan post, we are sending out a tweet about your fan post like this one that we sent out today about PauleyDog's excellent fan post about the first UCLA Football telecast and posting it to Facebook too!
NEW FANPOST: The First Telecast of a UCLA Football Game https://t.co/AuPcpBbeTi— Bruins Nation (@BruinNation) July 10, 2016
Of course, you can then retweet or share these with all your family and friends and show them that your fanpost can be read on BN!
Let’s look at how to create both fan posts and fanshots to Bruins Nation.
The first step before you can create either is to register if you aren't already a member.
To register, simply scroll down to the bottom of an article, fan post or fanshot and agree to the terms and join. Now, we do impose a two-day waiting period to discourage spammers from joining. But, after 48 hours, you should be able to start posting!
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 articles published by BN's writers. 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!
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.
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?"
- 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 me.
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.
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!!!