As there have been many new faces (er, posters) to the Rink, there has been an influx of those who wish to generate discussion via the FanPost mechanism that the kind folks at SBN have provided.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with wanting to generate discussion on topics that come to mind; however FanPosts should be given careful thought and consideration in their use. Or to put it another way, a FanShot should be the your way of saying "Hey, I've got this that the Rink might want to talk about," and FanPosts should say "Hey, I've got this that the Rink might want to talk about, and here's why I think it's important."
With that in mind, here are some helpful hints in FanPost construction, republished in part from a helpful guide located within the Community Guidelines which can be found along the left hand side of the Main Page:
What makes a good FanPost?
Make It Substantial. When we say "substantial", we don't mean it has to be a dissertation or manifesto. But if you see the dreaded 75 word warning, it's either time to put some more thought into your FanPost or start over. If your post contains something like this:
words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words
... then it's probably better as a FanShot. On a related note, just because the "extended entry" option exists, don't feel as if you have to use it - it's easily deleted.
Make It Relevant. Your FanPost should relate to the Capitals or hockey. If you want to do nothing more than post a link to your site, you're probably a spammer, and should expect your FanPost to be swiftly removed. If all you want to do is post a link to a news story or other online article or page, try a FanShot.
Make It Timely. This is something that is very important. If the link you're posting is a day or two old, chances are it's been posted once or twice before either in the comments or FanShots (more later). Check to see if it's been posted before. Please use the search function (located at the upper right of the front page) to see if your topic has been covered in the last few days. If it has, your thoughts on that topic can and should be posted as a comment on the original post.
Make It Smart. The best FanPosts expand upon a central idea with supporting examples, or statistical data, or a link to a relevant article, or a "thinking question" for others to consider, etc. Don’t just post a large quote from an article and say "What do you think?" Post your own opinion, too.
Make It Readable. You are much more likely to get someone to read your post if you follow some very simple rules:
● Use proper spelling. You're not sending a text message. There's no need 4 U 2 use "time saving" abbreviations which only lessen the value of your post. It's like writing a position paper in crayon.
● Use punctuation. You wouldn't stand up and attempt to give a speech in one breath, and you shouldn't try to make your FanPost one big sentence that never ends.
● Use multiple paragraphs. There is something about reading text on the internet that makes reading a large block of text unpleasant and occasionally difficult. The ENTER key can be your friend in comments. In posts, use the "P" button to make paragraphs; highlight the text you want in a paragraph and hit "P"; it will put the proper opening and closing tags there.
● Use proper formatting. You'd be amazed how much better your piece will be received if it's formatted properly. If I'm greeted by a wall of text in your FanPost, I'm probably not going to make it all the way through. Break it up. Make it more than one paragraph. Use the 'B' and 'I' buttons for bold and italic text, respectively. (Note: The tech team at SB Nation has built a powerful WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor. If you know how to format using Microsoft Word, you can make a perfectly formatted FanPost here at Japers' Rink: Start by opening Word. Write your post completely in Word, making all your formatting adjustments there. Highlight and Copy your work. Click New FanPost Click the "Paste From Word" icon (upper right icon in the WYSIWYG editor) Paste your content into the dialog box.)
Give it a Descriptive Headline -- "Question" may, in fact, be what you are posting, a question you want us to consider; but that doesn't exactly inform us what the topic is about. Your headline should be informative, above all else, with bonus points for creativity.
I hope this helps all those who are curious in creating more content for the Rink. Your contributions are both welcomed and encouraged, and FanPosts are a good challenge to your mind to create the best possible content you can about the team and sport you love, not to mention challenge those who you want to read it.