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How can I use FanPosts and FanShots to become an S-tier Rift Herald user?

Be the reader you were destined to become.

Riot Games

So you've been reading our coverage of League of Legends here at The Rift Herald. You're familiar with our coverage, pop in for a few comments every now and then, maybe even tweet at some of the staff on Twitter. Or maybe you're a lurker, still consuming all the League goodness we post, but doing so behind the anonymity of your screen.

You obviously come here to read our material because you love League. But then one day something goes down on the Rift. After going through everything that TRH has to say on the issue, you realize that WE'RE MISSING SOMETHING!!

Hey, it happens. I do not know everything, especially when it comes to League. And sometimes the staff and I simply just don't have time to get all angles covered.

So you sit and stare at your computer, tablet, or phone. You're fuming with well-conceived ideas that are thought through. You don't want to start a discussion in the comment thread because what you have to say requires more text, and pictures, and links, and charts, and you want it to look nice so that your argument comes off well.

I present to you:

TRH FanPosts

This section of the site is primarily meant for you, the readers of TRH. What it allows you to do is create an article that's nearly identical to the layout and function as the actual articles published on TRH. You can insert links, pictures, videos, GIFs ... nearly anything that's got an HTML embed.

Here's an example of what you'll be looking at:

(Ignore the Sports Info stuff on the right, this example is from our excellent Memphis Grizzlies blog Grizzly Bear Blues)

But you don't have to get fancy to use FanPosts. They can be as simple as a few paragraphs with some of your ideas and thoughts.

Here are just some of the examples of what you can use FanPosts to do:

  • Start discussions with other TRH or SB Nation members. You can even create a poll that people can vote on.
  • Analyze statistical trends or break down the performance of a player
  • React to League news or other esports news that affects League
  • Analyze trades, or even create your own hypothetical trades for discussion!
  • See something on social media that you want to react to? You can embed tweets, Vines, Instagrams, and Facebook posts directly into the articles to start your talking point!
  • Maybe you're an artist and you want to show off something you created with League subject matter. Yes!
  • Do you want to write something humorous or goofy like comparing the NA LCS to the WWE? EXCELLENT. Just remember:

Use FanPosts to create original material that is composed of your own thoughts!

The world is your oyster as long as you follow some guidelines:

  • FanPosts are NOT for linking to articles, videos, or any material on the internet without a minimum of 150 words of commentary on the subject. If you just want to link a video and say "Hey guys, check out this awesome video" then head over to the FanShots section. Don't worry, there will be more on that later!
  • FanPosts are NOT for copying/pasting material from your own blog or publication (or from other people's blogs or publication -- that's plagiarism and will get you in trouble.) If you want to bring attention to your outside publication then, once again, you'll need to head over to FanShots.
  • FanPosts are NOT for asking one-line questions to the community. 
    WRONG: "What do you all think about (player A) going up against (player B)?"
    RIGHT: "I think (player A) is going to dominate (player B) because (insert at least 150 words of insightful commentary.) What do you all think?"
  • FanPosts are NOT for advertising something you're selling. That goes for merchandise, access, tickets, employment... whatever.

Some of the benefits of posting well composed FanPosts:

  • Firstly, you get to exercise your responsibly used freedom of speech. Writing is good for the mind and good for the soul!
  • If your FanPost is something I think people will enjoy reading, I will pull it from the FanPost section and publish it live on the cover of The Rift Herald! That'll include a fancy cover photo, and quite possibly a touched-up headline and copy, if necessary!
  • FanPosts are a good place to get noticed as a candidate for the TRH staff!
  • I also promote FanPost material on social media and feed it to Google! People from all over the world could be reading your work.

Tips for writing FanPosts:

  • Be original. If I just published an article comparing the statistical performance of North American junglers, then you're not going to want to write about the same subject in a FanPost unless you're making an argument against the content of the TRH article.
  • Use proper grammar and spelling to ensure no one is distracted from the point you're trying to make. We all make mistakes, but giving your FanPost a couple of proofreads will do wonders for presentation most of the time.
  • Use paragraph breaks for large blocks of text. The quickest to get people to NOT read your FanPost is to present them with the dreaded WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT WALL OF TEXT.
  • By all means, use humor in your FanPosts. Be as funny as you like, but just remember to follow the TRH community guidelines.
  • When in doubt about something you want to post, email me! Pete dot Volk at SBNation dot com.

I mentioned FanShots as a required alternative to some of the material you can post to TRH. Let's delve into the use of them now.

TRH FanShots

This section is one of the most important of the site because it's how you and I can create "quick hits" to links and media all over the internet in just SECONDS. Then those quick hits can be enjoyed by all League fans and easily accessed on TRH.

Here are some of the things you can link TRH to with FanShots:

  • URL links, obviously. That would be the URL of any page you want readers of TRH to visit. That includes articles on League from anywhere on the web like LoLesports, Reddit, theScore ... wherever!
  • Quotes. Maybe a player, coach, analyst or anyone relevant said something interesting about League and you just want to display what they said and your reaction to it. As long as you can find a clickable source for the quote, anything that someone says on record is fair game.
  • Images. If you can provide a URL for the image, the FanShot will automatically display the picture. Add in a caption or commentary to give us some context. This also includes GIFs!
  • Video. It will have to be a video with an embed code (anything on YouTube), but FanShooting videos is one of the best features on TRH.
  • Other media that you can link with FanShots that will fall under one of the categories listed above: Tweets, Vines, Facebook posts, Instagram videos and photos

Use FanShots to share interesting League-related content with the rest of TRH!

Here's what you'll be looking at when composing FanShots.

You'll notice the menu tab at the top for Link, Quote, Image, Video -- clicking on each will provide you the different forms. Make sure to include a good title that tells readers what's going on, and add in your own take in the description (not required, but encouraged.)

Tips for FanShots:

  • Keep the material relevant.
  • Use the right FanShot for the right job:

We want you involved here at TRH!

Use these great tools to find your voice and make your presence known!

Much of this is from the excellent FanPosts/FanShots guide at GrizzlyBearBlues.