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CougCenter 101: Style Guide

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

SBNation offers a great interface for posting, allowing commenters to do many more advanced things than a normal interactive blog format does, all with the click of a button. After covering the basics of posting, it's time to move on to a few more advanced techniques. Here we'll cover links, pictures, and a general style guide to adhere to when commenting.

Today you're gonna learn how to look cool while commenting. Take these tricks home, show them to your friends, and be the coolest kid in school.

After the jump, more pictures and a walk-through covering the aforementioned items.

Before we get to the fancy stuff, an reminder of the commenting style we expect is in order. Yes, you all are beautiful and unique snowflakes with your own style, but we do expect you to follow some simple rules. Write in english, making sure that your thoughts are organized and legible for everyone to read. In addition, please use proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation in your comments. We understand mistakes get made -- and that's perfectly fine -- but put your best effort forward when commenting. It makes it much easier for everyone to digest and makes it more likely your thoughts are taken seriously.

Please do not use chatspeak here at CougCenter. LOL, ROFL, ROFLMAO, etc are OK on AOL, but we'd rather stay away from that neck of the woods. There's ways to convey that a comment or article made entertained you without using chatspeak (rec button!).

Mistakes do happen, but please don't pile on to those that make them. If you see something that doesn't conform to these guidelines, simply use the flag button and let us know about it. We can't be everywhere at once, so any help from all of you is greatly appreciated.

Now that the housekeeping is in order, on to the fun stuff. Want to post an image? Here's a simple guide.


In the basic comment GUI, there's a little box with a tree in it. That's your quick and easy way to post a picture. Clicking it gives you this:


Still intuitive. Paste the the link to the image you want to share in this box. To copy the link from a picture on the web, right click it and click the copy image url button. Clicking OK leaves you with a comment that looks like this.


Two things about what you see here. The first is that you'll generally need to make one more modification before you post. See the circled text within the comment body? That's the link to the picture in html. The height=300 after the " to end the image url is something you need to add. A picture is usually rather large and we want to keep image heights under 300 pixels. Add a height=300 to the html code before you post. Anything lower than 300 is also fine.

Finally, before you post always hit the preview button. If the image doesn't show up, try again. If it's too big, modify the height. Previewing you work is the best thing you can do since there is no edit or delete button.

Now that we've mastered images, learning how to link is the next step. In that same comment box, you'll find this button.


When linking something, don't just paste a link into the comment body. Doing so leads to truncated links and jumbled messes in the comments. Instead, type something out (it can be as simple as 'Link'), highlight it, then click the link button circled above. That will bring up this box.


Just like posting a picture, paste the link URL in the box. Also, make sure you check the box next to "Open in New Window?". This automatically opens the link in a new tab. Many of us open links in a new tab by default, but checking the box allows users to continue commenting while also browsing your link in another tab. Increase productivity by 100%!

With linking comes blockquoting, an easy way to take a snippet of an article. Say you find a quick paragraph in a story somewhere about WSU. Copy the text, paste it in the comment box, and follow these instructions.


Highlight your text and click the quotations button. It's as simple as that. When blockquoting, never paste an entire article and quote it. Just use a small snippet of relevant or attention catching information. Additionally, whenever blockquoting be sure to include a link to the full article. It attributes the work to the source and allows readers to read the whole text if they choose.

Congratulations, you've passed the advanced commenting course. A well timed picture or humorous link is always appreciated. As with everything else on this site, make sure you conform to community guidelines. Don't post pictures or links that aren't appropriate for work. Go forth, baby birds, and try out your newfound skills.