A Few Words About Signing Up and Posting on BtB

As we're inching ever so closer to the season, I'm expecting more and more traffic here at Blogging the Bracket, especially as I also begin writing over at the main SBNation College Basketball page. I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome all of you new readers and invite you to be more than just mere spectators here, as SBNation is meant to be an interactive community.   Our tech team here has given us a lot of tools that make the SBN community the most fan-focused place in all of sports media.

In short, I would be posting elsewhere if I wasn't interested in actually talking college basketball with all of you. But conversation is a two way street, and in order to comment here, you have to sign up.  Signing up also allows you to post FanShots and FanPosts, which are two unique features of the SBN platform that you won't find on other sports sites.

Signing up is a pretty simple process, and you only have to do it once for all of SBNation.  After you sign up for the network the first time, you''ll only need to click a "Join Site" button to sign up for a new team/sport blog.  To sign up all you have to do is...

  1. Click the Sign Up button on the right-hand side of the SBNation bar at the top of the page or click the "Join Blogging the Bracket" button on the left-hand side of the screen.
  2. You'll have three options for signing up.  If you have a Yahoo ID or OpenID, you can use one of these to set up your account.  You can also create your own SBNation account.

See, that wasn't so bad.  At that point, you'll be ready to comment and post.  You need to be signed in to see if new comments have been posted to an article, FanPost, or FanShot.  I'll talk about these after the jump.


Comments should be relevant to the topic and clean.  Blogging the Bracket is meant to be a somewhat serious site, so profanity should only be used rarely.  Also, share your opinion, but do so in a friendly, civilized manner.  Before you post something, think about it.  If you wouldn't say it if you were speaking with the person in public, DON'T.

Ask questions, share opinions, and challenge things, just do so the right way.

FanShots and FanPosts

These are two ways that you can add your own content to Blogging the Bracket.  Since I don't believe in reinventing the wheel, I've borrowed the information for this section from Al Yellon's description of FanPosts and FanShots from his site, Bleed Cubbie Blue.  The examples in this post are baseball-related, but they're still great examples.

FanPosts are like the diaries used to be under the old BCB format. They're intended to be on a topic that hasn't been covered in, say, the last few days or a week, or something new to the site. If you're thinking about posting something about a topic you've read about on one of the mainstream sports sites -- please check the FanPost recent list on the right sidebar to see if your topic has been covered recently, or use the search function at the top of the right sidebar. If a FanPost gets hundreds of comments -- like this one about Kerry Wood did -- then it would be OK to start an overflow thread like we do for gameday threads, because at that point the post might start taking too long to load.

FanPosts have to have a minimum of 75 words. If your FanPost has a paragraph that looks something like this:

words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words words

... that's there just to bring it up to the minimum, then it's probably better off in the FanShot section.

Some examples of well-written and thought-out recent FanPosts on interesting topics are here, here, here, and here. If I left yours out, that doesn't mean it wasn't good -- just wanted to give some quick examples.

If you something you want to post, and it's related to a recently discussed topic -- such as Kerry Wood being told goodbye, or Ryan Dempster signing -- please take a look at the posts on those topics first. Your thoughts, in that case, might be better as a comment under one of those posts, unless you have some sort of new angle that hasn't been posted yet on that topic. Just saying "I'm going to miss Kerry too" wouldn't be considered a "new angle".

FanShots are for things that aren't long enough for a full FanPost, for example, if you find a link you think is interesting but don't have anything more to add. Good examples of FanShots that have links in them are this one and this one. Or, it could be a photo you find on the internet. Take a look at this one and this one. You can use it to embed and post YouTube (or other) videos. Here's one I posted last month.

You can also use the Recommend feature on FanShots and FanPosts to put them in the Recommended lists, which moves them to the top of each section and keeps them there longer. It takes four recommendations for a FanPost and three for a FanShot to get them in the Rec lists. You can also recommend a comment -- this feature is sort of hidden, which is why a lot of people haven't used it yet; under each comment there's a link that says "Actions" -- click on that and you'll get the option to recommend a comment. Trei and the tech team say they're working on making this easier to use (more obvious) in the future. A comment takes 4 recs to get it "recommended" -- if this happens, the comment turns green and gets a big star next to it. Similarly, if you want to flag a comment as inappropriate, you can do that in the same way; it takes 4 flags to turn it red and put a little flag next to it.

When you are posting, just below the post box there is a link you can click, highlighted in yellow, that says "Show Editor Help". The Editor Help will appear to the right of the posting box and has a short tutorial on how to use the editing features available here. Once you've looked through this you can click the "X" at the top right of the editor help box to restore the other options. I would encourage everyone to use the team and player name boxes; adding these to your post will create links to teams and players you mention in your posts. You can do the same for events (meaning, in general, specific games -- click on "Attach Event" when you are making a post to see how it works) and also add tags (separated by commas if you have more than one).


So, you can easily have the power to comment and post here on Blogging the Bracket (and all of the 200+ college and pro sites under the SBNation banner).  Feel free to post any questions in the comments, after you sign up, of course.

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