Fan Posts and Fan Shots: Community Guidelines


FanPosts are just like front page stories, except they're written by members of The Copper & Blue and the SB Nation community. They expand upon ideas with supporting examples, or statistical data, or a link to a relevant article, or a "thinking question" for others to consider, etc. -- something beyond just the main idea itself. Post your own opinions, too. They explore a topic, idea, or question. You can help keep the best FanPosts on the list longer by recommending them using the "Rec" link at the bottom of the post. Three recommendations puts a FanPost on the rec list.

FanPosts must have a minimum of 75 words. If you cannot come up with the minimum words, then it's probably better off in the FanShot section. Don't just write filler to make the minimum.

Remember that your opinion may be better suited as a comment in another post. You don't want to write about the same subject someone else has, either in FanPosts or Main Articles; you won't get a lot of positive feedback from that. Creative people should make FanPosts. People with something quick to say about a topic already brought up should leave comments. People who have a photo, video, quote or news to share should use FanShots.

The guidelines for posting a FanPost are:

  • A FanPost must be at least 75 words long.
  • A FanPost must be relevant to The Copper & Blue -- Oilers commentary, divisional commentary, stats questions, stats analysis as well as historical looks and reminders.
  • A FanPost must be well-written and make sense. Non-sensical rants will be taken down immediately. Save them for the comments section or just let Ben handle them - he's a professional.
  • It is not permitted to use FanPosts, FanShots, comments or signatures for advertising. Anything posted in a FanPost, FanShot, comment or signature that contains commercial advertising is subject to deletion without notice.

When Should You Post a FanPost?

  • When you have something substantial to say: When we say "substantial", we don't mean it has to be a dissertation or manifesto.

Your post won't generate discussion or commentary, even from The Copper & Blue staff if your viewpoint isn't unique or well-written.

  • When you have something relevant to say: Your FanPost should relate to the Oilers, the draft, prospects, advanced stats or the Northwest Division in some way. If all you want to do is post a link to a news story or other online article or page, try a FanShot.
  • When you have something timely to say especially breaking news: If it's well-written, we'll feature it on the front page and distribute the story to our RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook and other outlets. 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 (more later). Check to see if it's been posted before. Please use the search function (located at the upper right of the front page) to see if your topic has been covered in the last few days. If it has, your thoughts on that topic can and should be posted as a comment on the original post.

    If you do have some breaking news, by all means, use the FanPost. Even though we try, there's no way we can be the first to hear/read/see breaking Edmonton Oilers news. All of our authors have real jobs that do come before SB*Nation, except Ben. That's where you can help. See above, though; if there's a major Edmonton Oilers announcement, if there is a team press conference during the day and you are able to analyze the news or summarize the press conference, use the FanPost feature and we will distribute that news. Our staff may add an article with our own take and analysis later, sending your FanPost back to the FanPost section, so don't feel badly when that happens. Doogie2K did an amazing job of covering and summarizing this year's World Junior Championships. He's the perfect example of community coverage.

Above all make your FanPost Coherent

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. The ENTER key can be your friend in comments. In posts, use the "P" button to make paragraphs; highlight the text you want in a paragraph and hit "P"; it will put the proper opening and closing tags there. Be aware that if you are copy pasting a post you have made on another site, it may not keep the same paragraph formatting when posted in a fanpost. Make sure to check this.
  • 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. Use the 'B' and 'I' buttons for bold and italic text, respectively.

The tech team at SB*Nation has built a powerful WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, which we use all the time, you may opt to use the HTML editor (which is the default box you get if you're making a FanPost). However, if you know how to format using Microsoft Word, you can make a perfectly formatted FanPost.

  • Start by opening Word.
  • Write your post completely in Word, making all your formatting adjustments there.
  • Highlight and Copy your work.
  • Click New FanPost
  • Click the "Paste From Word" icon (upper right icon in the WYSIWYG editor)
  • Paste your content into the dialog box.

If you don't have word, a great online Grammar and Spelling checker is

NEVER use profanity in a FanPost title - it will be removed immediately.

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.

Here are some Examples:

A Headline: What do you think?
A Better Headline: Should the Oilers fire Steve Tambellini?

A Headline: If you could have.
A Better Headline: Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall, who will Kevin Lowe draft?

A Headline: What Do You Guys Make of This?
A Better Headline: Pat Quinn's team is "between the devil and the deep blue sea."

In This FanPost