Since we have a little down time between games, I think now would be a good time to explain in greater detail all the powerful features we have at our fingertips at SB Nation. I realize this might be a review for the readers of the defunct MTSM, but for the longtime DBB readers unfamiliar with SB Nation's platform, this should be very useful.
This is the blog within the blog, where you can write your own blogs and, potentially, get them posted on the front page. These are as readily available to the public eye as anything else on DBB, so make sure they are well thought out, edited thoroughly, and, I'd say, at least 200 words (not counting "I'm trying to meet the minimum word limit" fluff). Use your best judgment for the word limit. New FanPosts can be created (with the FanShots) in that box on the upper right side of the site. You'll see a list of all FanPosts along the right side of the site. Seriously, it's not hard to find.
Some key guidelines about FanPosts that you should know:
- Don't spam or pimp your own blog (especially if you do not comment here regularly), but that should go without saying. If you are simply trying to point people to another link's work, then please promote it in a FanShot (see below)
- If someone has already written a FanPost on a particular subject, do not duplicate it. We currently have 4-5 separate T-Mac trade FanPosts, when the last 3-4 should have simply been comments within the first one. Sometimes it will happen by accident, that's OK, but think of it this way: Matt, Kevin, Mike or I will never have two posts about, say, trading Richard Hamilton unless it's a planned argument/counter-argument post. If you think you have something better than the initial FanPost, post it in the comments and we'll notice it. Too many comments are spread out and getting lost in the shuffle with all these T-Mac threads.
- If you like a particular FanPost, you can let everyone know by clicking the "Rec" link at the end of the post. It's usually the third link between Print and Flag, and it has a star next to it. Three Recs will get the FanPost promoted to the top of the section and it will be given extra attention for a front page posting. This helps your lazy editors and readers, directing attention to the preferable posts.
- As is the case with any thread, the discussion within should pertain to the content of the FanPost. I'll have more on this later.
FanShots are different from FanPosts in that these are quick posts, usually used for quotes, links, pictures, or videos. I didn't want to single anyone out, but this is a great example of what should have been a FanShot -- a link to a story with a quick recap so people know what they are going to read.
Same idea here with the "Rec" link; click it if you like it and feel it's worthy of being atop the FanShots section and possibly, on the front page of the blog. You'll notice the FanShots publish as bluish boxes.
For both FanPosts and FanShots you can have anything you post immediately linked to your Twitter account (if that's your thing). You can get your Twitter linked to your username in your profile settings.
We are going to come up with some guidelines (elaborating on the current "don't be stupid"), so that we can have something in place to fall back on if things ever get out of hand (although I'm hoping that won't be a problem). For the most part, I think we're capable of being mature and realizing that this is a basketball community where we talk about basketball and treat everyone's opinion with respect. With the guidelines to come, we're not trying to be fastidious dictators; we just want to make sure potential newcomers who could add value to the community are not being scared away because they see certain individuals calling each other effing douches and making nonstop ad hominem remarks.
HAVING SAID THAT, here are a few general tips about commenting:
- You'll notice that you can have the comments refresh automatically, so you'll never have to manually hit refresh again. When a new comment is posted, the person's user ID pops up in the lower right hand corner and you can click on that to go directly to it or hit Z.
- Hitting 'Z' will also help you sift through all the unread comments and mark them as read, so you'll never have to read them again if you don't want to.
- If you have something to say to someone else's comment, reply directly. There is a "Reply" link there for a reason. This indents your response, creates an easy to read thread within the thread, and makes rummaging through the comments much easier for everyone (and will be particularly helpful when there are a lot of comments). If you don't use it, there's a chance someone will never see your reply.
- Similar to clicking "Rec" on FanPosts/FanShots, you can "Rec" a comment and it will tint it GREEN! (which is the default color, I think). The "Rec" is a little harder to find, but you'll see it staring you in the eye if you click the "Actions" link to the right of "Reply." Three Recs will change the comment's color and will obviously give the great comments their due attention. (Note: This is the new way of saying "+1" but you're welcome to say that, also (to draw extra attention to it), but it's not really necessary anymore).
- Try to stick to the discussion. Game threads will obviously be a little more loose, but if there is a post about trading for T-Mac, nobody should be talking about Gilbert Arenas' Wild Wild West showdown with his teammate or what you had for dinner the night before (unless you can make a reasonable argument that Arenas' guns and chicken alfredo will help bring T-Mac to Detroit). You get the idea.
- If you're not near the computer, you can still be apart of the community at any time by commenting from your mobile phone, assuming you have the internet on it. It's pretty easy and you can access all the same commenting features.
- For format guidelines you can click the "Show Formatting Guide" link to the right of "POST." That will help you learn how to italicize, bold, quote, make lists, etc.
There's a chance that I'm missing some stuff, so if I am, then add it in the comments. I'm hoping this will help clear up some things for any of you who had questions about the cool features here at SB Nation. The tech team is always trying to improve the platform, too, so if you have any suggestions on enhancing what is already in place, leave your thoughts in the comments. (Note: We're currently working on the color scheme and sidebars with the tech team).