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A user's guide to FanPosts

FanPosts are part of what make SB Nation blogs different from and better than other blogs you might read - they allow you to contribute content, giving each user a greater voice than s/he might have anywhere else on the 'Net. But just because you've got a voice doesn't mean you should yell and it doesn't mean you should speak just to hear yourself talk. Here are some helpful hints for newcomers and veterans alike.

FanPosts

FanPosts are just like front page stories, except they're written by you, the reader.

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.
  • Make It Relevant. Your FanPost should relate to the Leafs 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. Check to see if it's been posted before. 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.

    ● 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.

    ● 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.

  • 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.