To the lurkers:
First of all, I empathize with you. I lurked here for months before I finally made an account, and even then I had just a handful of comments, mostly due to the fact that this website used to be very unfriendly to mobile devices. But signing up for an account is a breeze. You can click here and choose your method of registration.
Once registered, you'll finally be able to let me know how much you hate my articles, recommend other readers' posts and comments, and keep track of the comments you have and haven't read (which is really convenient).
Best of all, when you're registered you can use Battle Red Blog as your own personal blog. How? Read on.
Write your own FanPosts!
FanPosts give you the power to create professional-looking articles with the added benefit of a built-in readership. Use it to introduce yourself to the community, give us your predictions on the Texans, share a BBQ recipe, show off your sweet mullet, or perhaps post pictures of your outlandish tailgating setup.
Click here to check out the FanPost hub. You'll see all the active posts listed and where to make your own, and once you're ready to make one, be sure to follow a few basic guidelines (adapted from Arrowhead Pride):
- Make the topic interesting. Put some thought into what you're writing. We have a character minimum (300, I think) which means that you can't just throw out one line (unless it's really long). You'll be rewarded with a good stream of comments if you make the effort to proofread and fill it with good info.
- Do not post entire articles from other sites. A link, which is always necessary to any article mention, and a snippet of the article is the max you can do. We can get in trouble for reposting entire pieces. Always link to an article or source you mention. It's part etiquette and part requirement.
- Entertain questions from commenters and follow up on what they say. Defend your new turf with vigor while still following our commenting guidelines. Quick version: Don't insult anyone.
- Utilize the formatting buttons above the text box. Use paragraphs. The quotes are for highlighting text and converting to a nice shaded background blockquote. The picture frame is for images, which are always nice.
- Proofread your posts! You're more likely to get a response if your post is well-written and free of errors.
Also, if you like what you're reading (and you're logged in), use the "Rec "button featured at the bottom of an article, FanPost and FanShot. It'll showcase FanPosts in the "Recommended" section of the front page and, as a writer, it feels good seeing that Rec counter go up.
When to use FanShots...
FanShots are like mini-versions of FanPosts. They allow you to quickly share a video, tweet, or article from somewhere around the web without having to satisfy the 75 word minimum of a FanPost. News is always being made on Twitter… share it! I'm a big fan of YouTube highlights and compilations, so if you find a good one… share it! If you see someone in the national media accidentally talking about the Texans… you get it.
Check out the FanShots hub here.
There's also a pretty interesting feature that uses your browser to make using FanShots even easier. Once again I'll reference this Arrowhead Pride article to explain it.
How to Get Your Name on the Front Page
The most well-written, funny, or interesting FanPosts will be featured up top in the cover on the Front Page next to the works of internet superstars such as Bayless Parsley. We'd like to feature a deserving FanPost at least once a week.
When breaking news (or any news, really) happens, we, the Staff, are not always around to immediately throw up a post. If news breaks on Twitter, ESPN, or wherever, feel free to share the news via a FanShot while we scramble to find a computer.
Right now most breaking news is posted by readers in the Comments section of the most current article (which is certainly fine), but try a FanShot, too. If it's big news, we'll give you props and upgrade it to the front page.
And that's it. If you have any questions or need post ideas feel free to ask away in the comments (or click on my name and email me). We're looking forward to hearing from you.