CougCenter 101: FanPosts and FanShots

This is the second in a series of posts about the basics of SB Nation and CougCenter. You'll find helpful tips about interacting using the SBN interface and some guidelines to follow as we work our way through the series. If you're new, read this over and join us! If you've been around, consider this a refresher course.

Monday: Posting Basics
Tuesday: Style Guide

So you know how to post comments on CougCenter now. You've completed half the battle, but there's still more to learn. One of the nice things about SBN is the ability to create user generated content. This is a fancy way of saying you too can write articles for the blog and share news with the world.

FanPosts and FanShots let you be the writer. If you have something interesting to say or an interesting link/video/picture, SBN allows you to do so quickly and easily, all with a few clicks of a button.

After the jump, let's get our learn on.

One of the most commonly mistaken things on SBN is the differences between FanPosts and FanShots. To put it in simple terms, FanPosts are for your own content and FanShots are for someone else's.

If you've got something you want to write out, or some analysis you'd like to provide, use a FanPost. By default these are required to be 75 words. Take some time, put your thoughts together, and make it worthwhile. If it's great, we'll gladly put it on the front page for everyone to see.

If you find an interesting link, picture, or video, share it in the FanShots. The FanShots allow you to add a quick bit of analysis so add a quick sentence about why it's important. Again, if it's something we haven't seen we'll throw it on the front page.

Now that the difference between the two is established, let's start with how to create a FanPost.

Fanpostgui_medium

This is your basic FanPost editor. You'll notice the visual view looks much like the commenting interface. When creating a FanPost, write a catchy headline to attract attention. Jot your thoughts down in an organized manner -- following the community guidelines -- in the body. Links can be inserted in the same way as in a comment, as can pictures and videos using the right sidebar.

When you're finished, scroll down to see this.

Fanpostfinaltags_medium

Before posting, SBN requires you to run auto-tag and link. Click the button and it does it for you. Did you write about a team or player that didn't show up automatically? Enter their name in either the team or player box and it will link it for you. Want to add a poll? Click attach poll and it will walk you through making one.

Finally, if you have a twitter or facebook account, the interface allows you to post your story directly to each. Simply check the box, type up something that describes your post, and it'll be sent when the article is done.

Before hitting post, always preview you work. Make sure it looks and reads how you want it. With that, you're ready to post. Congratulations, you've created your own work on CougCenter.

For the Fanshots, it's much more simple. When you click the add FanShot button, this screen comes up. The different tabs are used for the different types of FanShots. Click the tab of the type you'd like to share. We'll start with images.

Fanshotgui_medium

To post a picture, simply paste the link in the URL box and add a description in the box below.

Fslink_medium

To create a FanShot using a link, write a catchy title in the first box, paste your link in the next, then give a description in the body. Please always leave a description of the link. People are more apt to take your link seriously if you tell them why it's interesting.

To post a video, click the video tab.

Fsvideo_medium

In order to post a video, you'll need the embed code. On Youtube, this means right clicking the video and clicking copy embed html. Paste that code into the box, add a description below, and you're ready to go.

With all FanShots and FanPosts, make sure you preview your work before posting. Sometimes things go wrong, so giving it a test fire always helps.

With that, you've passed the SBN advanced course. We love user contributions so don't hesitate to use the FanPosts and FanShots. Go out there and create us some content.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

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