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How to use FanShots and FanPosts

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As we head into the hot stove season, you might have ideas about the Pirates -- offseason strategies, trade proposals, and so on -- that you want to share with the Bucs Dugout community. You might also be the first to notice a new rumor or a fun Pirates-related video or picture. Here's how to share those things.

On the main page of the site, there's a box in the right sidebar that looks like this.

You want to either click "write a FanPost" or "create a FanShot." Let's deal with FanShots first. You can use FanShots to quickly share bits of content from around the web -- links (please don't use FanShots to hype your own work, however), videos (which you can embed), photos, and so on. FanPosts, on the other hand, are essentially like blog posts. You should pick this option if you'd like to share commentary of your own. FanPosts are an especially cool option if you're an aspiring writer, because you can get your thoughts in front of a decent-sized audience immediately. Sometimes if one is especially good and relevant (and it's the sort of thing I can fact-check, and so on), I'll promote it to the front page.

Let's say we want to make a FanShot. We click "create a FanShot," and we end up here.

First we choose the appropriate medium (link, quote, image, video or list), and away we go. Most of what happens now is pretty straightforward. If you want to share a quote, be sure to limit the length of the quote to about 100 words, and include a link to the original source. If you want to share a video, include the Embed code, which you can usually find on the video's YouTube page.

FanPosts, on the other hand, are essentially like blog posts. You should pick this option if you'd like to share commentary of your own. FanPosts are an especially cool option if you're an aspiring writer, because you can get your thoughts in front of a decent-sized audience immediately. Sometimes if one is especially good and relevant (and it's the sort of thing I can fact-check, and it doesn't too similar to anything else currently on the site), I'll promote it to the front page, like I did with JonDodd's postearlier this week

Here's how to write a FanPost. First, click "write FanPost." You'll reach a screen where you can enter the body of your post. Make sure to pick a catchy (but relevant) headline that others will want to click. You can attach a poll if you like -- that option is about an inch below the box where you entered the body of your post.

Here are some general guidelines for writing FanPosts.

-P- Remember, FanPosts should contain at least a paragraph or so of your own text. If you don't have that much of your own to add, consider using a FanShot instead.

-P- Don't copy-paste articles from elsewhere, and don't use photos you found somewhere else. If you do, we'll have to take your FanPost down. It is, of course, okay to quote a few lines of text from elsewhere, as long as it's clear where you got it. If you're quoting something, you can place it in a blockquote by highlighting it and then clicking the symbol above the editing box that looks like a quotation mark.

-P- If you've written the text elsewhere and are copy-pasting it into SB Nation's editor, or if your post contains anything other than just text, try the preview function near the bottom of the page to make sure your FanPost looks the way you want it to before you publish it.

If you have any questions about FanPosts or FanShots, let me know, and if needed, I'll update this post with further instructions.