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How to use FanShots and FanPosts

Have you got something to say about the Tigers? Bless You Boys has a couple of great tools available to let your voice be heard.

If you've never used FanPosts and FanShots here at Bless You Boys, or any SB Nation site for that matter, you should. You're missing out on a great way to share your opinions about the Tigers and drive discussion about the topics that you care most about. These tools are very easy to use, but here are a few tips to get you started.

You can find links to each right below the day's top stories on the front page of BYB.

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First, FanPosts and FanShots have two very different purposes. FanShots are for sharing a quick thought, or a link, video, photo, tweet, etc. A great example is Danny's recent FanShot in which he shared a tweet from Jason Beck regarding Cuban prospect Rusney Castillo.

If you've got something a little more substantial, a FanPost is your best bet. FanPosts give you the chance to blog like we do, and the best will usually be promoted to front page for everyone to enjoy. A great example is a recent rant from Kwisatz Haderach about Brad Ausmus' managerial decisions.

How to make a FanPost

Let's take look at what you'll see when you begin a new FanPost, we'll look at FanShots in a minute. First, click the "Write a FanPost" link on the front page, shown above, or just click right here.

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Just write your post in the "Body" section of this page, and don't forget to give your post a catchy headline that will grab people's attention. You do want them to read this, right? The FanPost editor has a bunch of different tools that allow you fancy-up your post. Just between the Body and Title sections are a few buttons that allow you to alter the format of your text, like making words bold, adding bullet points, or attaching a link to your text.

You can insert a picture (preferably your own, as we don't have rights to other's photos) with the tools located on the right-hand side of the Body section. Feel free to add a poll to your post to find out your readers' take on the subject; the "Attach poll" button is in green a few lines down from the Body section. If any of these tools confuse you, click "show editor help" — it's highlighted in yellow under the Body section.

A few tips to make you more successful:

- Don't just repost articles from elsewhere. Those copyrights are owned by someone else, so mods will have to delete them.

- Write your posts about topics we or another FanPost editor haven't covered — at least, haven't covered in the same way you would. We all have our own takes on the bullpen, and that's fine.

- If you want to comment on a post on another site, link to it, and quote a few lines. (On the menu bar, use the chain-link button). Then share your take. Again, don't just grab huge chunks of someone else's story.

- Your point will come across much better if your post is easily readable. Take a few minutes to go back and check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Readers want to see words, sentences, and paragraphs. What I mean by this, is no text-speak (b4 u say nething...), use punctuation to separate your thoughts, and use the return key to break apart the concepts. A little time spent editing will drastically improve the way the readers view your post, and increase the odds it gets promoted to the front page.

- Don't forget to preview your post before you publish it, to make sure that your formatting will come through correctly. Use the button right next to "Publish" at the bottom of the page, or find the tiny button at the top of the Body section.

How to make a FanShot

Again, click the link on the front page that's shown in the picture above, or just click right here.

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First select what type of media you're planning to share, be it a link to another site, a quote, a picture, or a list. Then, paste your content into the applicable box and, if desired, provide a brief description and a catchy title. Click publish and you're done. Easy peasy!

How else you can get involved

Read other people's FanPosts and FanShots. You can always find them on the right sidebar of the BYB front page.

If you like something, "rec" it. The posts with more recommendations filter to the top and it's a nice way to say "good job."

Comment on other people's posts. Check your own posts for comments and reply to them, if you have more to say. Driving discussion about your topic is half the fun.

In fact, just comment on anything and everything! We have a great community of commenters here and they always welcome a new "face." I know there are a lot of readers who choose to only observe the conversation — come on in! We won't bite.

We want you to get involved, don't just make us do all the talking. We try to be innings-eaters here at BYB, but we could always use a little relief help in the dog days. If you have any questions — maybe I explained something poorly — just ask.