FANPOST HELP GUIDE

Many readers and members of blogs in the SB Nation network believe that FanPosts are the heart and soul of their communities. Here's a little tutorial to make sure you get the most out of them.

Headline

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Try to be specific and include the names of players, teams and subjects you're discussing. If you're reporting some news, tell everyone what happened in your headline—don't save it for the body of your FanPost. Headlines that are too cute and clever often result in fewer people reading your posts, but descriptive headlines will attract more readers and conversation.

Many people only read the first few words of a headline, so keep the important information at the start will make your post easier to scan. Also keep in mind that we use the first few words of your headline to make a friendly URL for your FanPost.

You can change your headline after you've published if you need to include new information. Just edit your FanPost, update the headline and click the Publish button.

Intro Paragraph and Entry Body

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FanPosts are for publishing substantial ideas, opinions and inquiries. All blogs require a minimum number of words in the range of 50 - 150. If you just want to share a quick link, photo, quote or video with the community without analysis or a lengthy reaction, create a FanShot.

We allow you to break your post up into two parts. You can quickly switch between the introduction and the body of your FanPost using the two tabs.

The intro field is intended for making the main point of your FanPost. The entry body is useful if you're writing a longer post or want to include a large number of images, stats or tables of information. The entry body will not be displayed on the page that lists all FanPosts, in search results, on your own profile blog.

When you make use of the entry body field, readers will see a 'Continue reading this post »' link. The full entry page of your FanPost will show both the intro paragraph and entry body.

WYSIWYG and HTML

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We offer two different views or modes for authoring your FanPosts - WYSIWYG and HTML. You can flip back and forth between these views.

WYSIWYG stands for What You See Is What You Get. This is the default view and is the easiest for those who haven't learned HTML yet. WYSIWYG works much like a any basic word processor. Highlight text and use the buttons to apply formatting. If you make some text bold, it will appear bold. If you blockquote a paragraph, you'll see the blockquote as it will look when published.Additionally, this view offers friendly features like the ability to undo and redo your changes.

Any HTML you paste into this view will be treated like any other pasted text, and won't be recognized by the browser as HTML.

Sometimes you just need to get under the hood when you're authoring a FanPost. For those cases we provide the HTML view. Even if you've authored a FanPost in WYSIWYG you can flip over and see the HTML it produced. If you need to paste in some HTML from another editor or source, you can do that in this mode. We still have a toolbar of buttons that help format your post the proper HTML tags. If you prefer the HTML view, make it your default on the Edit Settings screen.

NOTE: We no longer have a view that supports the special formatting tags used in the old system. To apply those styles to your posts, use the buttons on the toolbar in either view.

Draft and Published

Every FanPost has a status: it's either a Draft or it's Published. The status of your FanPost is always visible at the bottom left, under the authoring text area.

FanPosts with a status of 'Draft' are only visible to you on your Manage FanPosts list.

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FanPosts with a status of 'Published' are visible to everyone.

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When you first write a FanPost, it will have a status of Draft by default. If you want to finish a post later click the 'Save' button at the bottom of the screen to keep it in draft mode and come back later.

Once you're're ready to share your FanPost with the world, click the 'Publish' button. This will change the status of your FanPost to 'Published'.

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Preview

Click the blue 'Preview' button at the bottom of the screen to see how your FanPost will appear when published. The preview page will open in a new window.

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NOTE: Some browsers restrict pages from opening pop-up windows. Many browsers will ask your permission after your first attempt, but you may need to set your preferences to allow SBNation.com to open pop-up windows.

Auto-saving

It's probably happened to you before: you're writing a comment or a blog post on a web site and suddenly your browser crashes or you accidentally hit the back button and lose everything. We don't want anyone to lose their work, so we've set up an auto-save function—every minute we auto-save your FanPost in the background. Just below the text area where you write your FanPost, you'll see a little note that tells you the last time we auto-saved your FanPost. Auto-saving works in both WYSIWYG and HTML views.

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WYSIWYG toolbar

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When you're formatting your FanPost in WYSIWYG mode it's important to pay attention to where your cursor is located and what text you have selected.

You'll need to highlight text in order to apply and removing formatting. You can apply multiple styles at once. Highlight a chunk of text to see what formatting has been applied; you'll see icons lit up in the toolbar.

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New content is always inserted at the cursor location. And it's important to remember that if you have text selected and you insert a note or image, the text will be replaced by what you have inserted.

Paragraphs

Anytime you hit the RETURN key, we create a new paragraph for you. If you don't want to create a new paragraph just hold the SHIFT key at the same time you hit RETURN.

Bold, Italic, Strike-through

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Select the text you want to apply these styles to and click the corresponding button in the toolbar. Examples:

Bold
Italicize
Strike-through

If you want to remove the styling, select the formatted text and click the corresponding button in the toolbar.

Blockquote

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Blockquotes are perfect for visually calling out a quote from another source in your FanPost. Here is an example:

He was a pretty shy kid, and all of a sudden he's become nationally known. You can typically hide in the minor leagues for a couple of years, but he was pretty much known as soon as he hit A ball. - Billy Beane on Jeremy Brown

Select the portion of your FanPost that you want to include in the blockquote and click the blockquote (quotation marks) button. You can select multiple paragraphs and images to be included in a blockquote.

To remove FanPost content from a blockquote, select it and press the blockquote button to toggle the style off.

Bullet points and ordered lists

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There are two ways to make lists:

  1. Press the list buttons first. Choose the line where you want to create a list and then press either the bulleted list button or the ordered list button. This will create the first list item (bullet or number) and you can start typing. Hit return to create another list item. Hit return twice to finish making the list.
  2. Write your list out, one item per line. Then highlight all the lines and click either the bulleted list button or the ordered list button.

If you want to remove the list formatting, just highlight the whole list and click the appropriate list button to toggle the styling off.

Heading Formats

Headings can be very useful for breaking your FanPost up into different sections and giving each one a title with special formatting. We offer three different heading style sizes: 2, 3 and 4 where 2 is the largest and 4 is the smallest (Heading 1 is reserved for the headline of your FanPost). Examples:

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Write a title, select it and choose a heading size from the drop-down menu labeled 'Format'.

Links

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To add a link to a FanPost in WYSIWYG mode, first type out and highlight the text that you want to have serve as the linked text. Next, click the link button. This will pop-up a small window where you can either type or paste the URL to create the link. Additionally, you can select to have the link open in the same window or a new one.

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If you want to get rid of a link on some text, highlight the portion that is linked completely and click the unlink button.

Undo / Redo

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Your browser and operating system give you built-in Undo and Redo menu and keyboard shortcut options when you're writing text so that you can step back through any accidental additions or subtractions of writing. However, they don't allow you to undo or redo any formatting changes in our FanPost editor. If you want to undo or redo any styling you've done on your FanPost, just use the buttons on the toolbar. These buttons also work for undoing the insertion of images and notes and linking of text.

Inserting an image

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Place your cursor in text area where you want to insert an image. Click the image button on the toolbar. A blue window will open. Type or paste in a URL to an image in the field labeled 'URL'. Click the 'Import' button. You might see a progress bar as we import the image and resize it so that its width will fit in your FanPost. Then the window will close and your image will be displayed in the editor. The source of the image will be inserted along with the image, including a link back to the originating website.

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If you want to remove an image, just select it as you would text and hit the DELETE key on your keyboard.

Inserting a note

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Notes are automatically generated text snippets that include your SB Nation screen name plus date and time. These are helpful if you're adding an update to your FanPost or live-blogging an event and want to quickly add a timestamps for each new addition to your post. Example:

[Note by clockwerks, 02/25/08 11:41 AM EST ] This is an example note.

HTML Toolbar

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In HTML View, the formatting buttons insert HTML tags to help you style your FanPosts. There are two ways to use the style-related buttons:

  1. Click a button and the editor will insert both the opening and closing tags for you. It's then up to you to put your text inside those tags—you'll notice that the cursor already appears between them.
  2. Highlight some text, and then click a button. The editor will wrap your text with the opening and closing tags.

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This applies to Bold, Italic, Strikethrough, Blockquote and the three Heading buttons.

Paragraphs

Line breaks are not recognized as new paragraphs in HTML view. To create new paragraphs you must wrap your text in <p> tags.

Links

As with the formatting buttons, you can highlight text first, or just press the link button and add text afterwards. The button will open a small window in your browser where you can either type or paste in the URL for your link. Click 'OK' and link tags will be inserted into the editor.

Inserting an image

Place your cursor in text area where you want to insert an image. Click the image button on the toolbar. A blue window will open. In the field labeled 'URL', type or paste a URL to an image anywhere on the web and then press the 'Import' button.

You may see a progress bar while importing, as the system resizes your image to fit in your FanPost. Once imported, the window closes and an IMG tag will be inserted into the editor. The IMG tag will be wrapped in a link tag pointing back to the source of the image. Additionally, a source link back to the originating website will be included.

Inserting a note

Notes are automatically generated text snippets that include your SB Nation screen name plus the date and time. These are helpful if you're adding an update to your FanPost or live-blogging an event and want to quickly add a timestamps for each new addition to your post.

Polls

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You can attach one poll to your FanPost to get reader feedback on your point of view, or just to start a conversation in the comments. Both anonymous readers and members of the community can vote in polls. Polls will be displayed at the very end of your FanPost. If only the intro paragraph of your FanPost is being displayed, the poll will be visible below that.

To add a poll to your FanPost, click the green 'Attach Poll' button. A blue window will open with a form to create a new poll.

There is a maximum of 255 characters allowed for your poll question. To close voting in your poll after a certain period of time, you can set an end date and time. Press the calendar icon next to the Ends On field to select a date from the calendar and a time from the drop-down menu. To add the voting options click the green 'Add New Option' button. A field will appear where you can write the text of possible answer option. To remove an option, just click the 'delete' link next to the option you've created. Once you've created more than one option, click and drag the boxes icon next to any of the answer options to change the answer order.

Once you're satisfied with your poll, click the blue 'Save Poll' button. When you've successfully created and attached a poll, the question text of your poll will be displayed on the right side of the FanPost compose screen.

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Once you've attached a poll, edit it by clicking the pencil icon under the question text. You can quickly close the poll by clicking the 'Close Poll' link. Closing a poll doesn't delete the poll, it only prevents new votes from being cast.

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To remove a poll that you've attached to a FanPost, roll-over the question text of the poll and click the red 'x' icon. The browser will display a confirmation window to make sure you understand you're deleting the poll.

Related Items

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Some bloggers like to summarize the links or sources they've included in their posts by providing a set of related links to related items at the end of their FanPost. It's a clean way to make sure you call out important related blog posts or news stories for your readers

To add a related item, click the green 'Add Related Item' button. There are three fields to complete for a related item: one for the title of the piece you're linking to, one for the URL, and one for the name of the source where you found the item. Example:

  • Title: Jeremy Brown and Moneyball
  • URL: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/unfiltered/?p=761
  • Source: Baseball Prospectus Unfiltered

You can add as many related items as you like. To remove a related item, click the 'Remove' link next to the item you want to delete.

Tags, Events, Players and Teams

Tagging your post with relevant terms can be a useful means to organize and promote your contributions within your community and across SB Nation. We provide four ways to describe your FanPosts so that readers can easily find them and understand what topics you're covering. Each of these methods will help us publish your FanPosts in more relevant places on the blog in addition to the Recent or Recommended lists.

To make it easier to choose the relevant items, the Tags, Teams and Players forms include auto-completion that suggest standardized, commonly used items. Type 2-4 letters and a drop-down menu will appear under the text field where you typed. If you see what you're looking for, click the item in the menu and it will be added. If not, keep typing and the menu will update as you type, filtering the list with your input.

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Tags

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Tags are the general topics, categories, terms or phrases that help describe the subject matter of your FanPost. They can be community-specific terms or more well-known words. What's important is that they help your readers find your FanPost or quickly figure out what it's about. If you use common tags, your readers will be able to click the tag to find related community content.

To add a tag, just type in the field labeled Tags. Each new tag should be separated by a comma. Tags that have been previously used by yourself or other authors will pop up in the auto-complete menu.

To remove a tag, just delete the tag from the field.

Teams and Players

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SB Nation blogs now have special pages for teams and players. In addition to information and stats, these pages will display stories, FanPosts and FanShots where the author has associated the player or team with their content.

If you write a FanPost about the Yankees and you take the time to select New York Yankees as a related team, your FanPost will be displayed on the Yankees page along with team news, stats and upcoming games.

Here is an example of a team page: Boston Red Sox

Here is an example of a player page: Rich Harden

Additionally, these Team, Player and Event associations help SB Nation determine which FanPosts and FanShots with to display on the sidebar of front page blog posts. If you're writing a series of FanPosts on a particular team or player and you want everyone to see your writing on the subject, take the time to add related teams and players.

To add a team and player, first select the appropriate league that the player or team plays in. You can attach teams and players from any league, even if it's not the same sport as the blog you're writing your FanPost on. In the text field below the league, start typing the first few letters of the name of th team or player. An auto-complete menu will drop-down below the text field with options. Click on the team or player and it will be associated with your FanPost.

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To remove a team or player from association with your FanPost roll over the name and click the red 'x' icon.

Events

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Much like the special pages we have for players and teams, we have the same for events or games. And just as you can add your FanPost to player or team pages, it also works for events.

Here is an example of an event page: Oakland vs. Boston in Tokyo

To attach an event to your FanPost click the green 'Attach Event' button. A blue window will open that displays a team or sport schedule. By default we display the schedule associated with the team or the sport of the blog you're on. However, you can choose to view a different schedule by changing the drop-down menus at the top of the window. We also filter the schedule to display completed games by default. You can switch to events that are upcoming or even in-progress.

If you don't see the event or game you want to attach to your FanPost, click the big blue 'Next' arrow button at the bottom of the window to page through the schedule. Once you've found the event you want, click the 'add' link on the same row. The blue window will close and the title of the event will be displayed on the right side of your FanPost compose screen.

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To remove the attached event, roll-over the title of the event and click the red 'x' icon.

Editing

You can always edit a FanPost, regardless of Published or Draft status.

If you make changes to the intro paragraph or entry body of a published FanPost and you click 'Save', those changes will not be published. The status of the FanPost remains 'Published' because it's still visible to everyone, but your latest changes will not be visible until you click the 'Publish' button again.

Discard Edits

If you edit a published FanPost, change the intro paragraph or entry body, then decide you don't want to keep those changes you can click the 'Discard Edits' link below the authoring text area to delete those most recent updates. This will make sure they're never seen in your published FanPost. Be careful though - you can't undo this Discard of edits.

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Update the date and time

When editing a FanPost you may want to update the published timestamp to the current date and time. Check the box labeled 'Update modified date and time' just below the 'Publish' button at the bottom of the compose screen. Once you click the 'Publish' button, the date and time displayed on your FanPost will be changed.

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