Well, it's that time of year again. The time when AP comes back to life and members start posting regularly again. On top of that, the Chiefs have had a killer offseason, so AP is crawling with "newbs" right now. I see a lot of new members that have great passion for the Kansas City Chiefs, which is awesome. Unfortunately, Arrowhead Pride is having some problems from that. Not pointing out any offenders here, but I think it's time we went over the difference between a FanPost and a FanShot.
I was trying to bite my tongue and not say anything... I swear. But in the last 20 hours we've had about a dozen FanPosts added, and about half of them are no more than a few sentences. Which brings me to my first point:
FanPosts are generally at least 2-3 paragraphs long, and generally are written in full by the poster (it's not all copy/paste). FanPosts really need to be reserved for serious bloggers that have something original, funny, insightful or informative to say. Sorry, but with all the traffic AP is getting, we really need to ask ourselves if what we're adding is really contributing to the quality of the site, or if it's just adding clutter. I for one rarely put up FanPosts because I view it as a lot of work. When I sit down to make a FanPost, I get serious about doing it. I fact check, proof read, and proof read again. When I'm competing for space with some of the other fine bloggers that AP offers, I want to make sure that I deserve to share space with them, NOT push their post into the oblivion that is the archives with a sub-par post.
Which brings me to my second point. The more FanPosts that are added, the faster a post is sent to the archive. If one of our contributors that has a reputation for putting up A+ posts gets his FanPost pushed into the archives within 24 hours because of a bunch of "clutter posts", what's his motivation to spend a couple of hours writing another quality post? In short... let's make it quality over quantity when you dedicate some of your work to the FanPost section. It's sad, but we lost some really talented contributors recently because of the changes that AP was going through. Too many new people were turning AP into a cluttered mess that lacked quality, and some posters just up and left. Let's try to keep that from happening again in the future.
Another thing to consider when putting up a FanPost is "Has it been said recently"? Have what you're posting been said already? Is there a post up about what you're writing about? I love the enthusiasm surrounding the Chiefs and their fans right now... but for God's sake, we really don't need 3 or 4 FanPosts up about how the Chiefs are going 12-4 because of X number of improvements. Yes, we all know the coaching got better. The players are improving. Eric Berry and Dexter McCluster are going to be awesome. The schedule is "easy". Bottom line is that if it's been said before, please don't say it again. If you really want to get your thoughts out there, then try yo find some way to make what you're saying original. Not only will you improve the quality of AP, but you'll also get more rec's and comments to your post if you can find ways to be unconventional.
Okay... I think we can move on to FanShots. Fanshots are basically shorter fanposts. One paragraph is usually about right for a FanShot. FanShots are also useful for posting links to stories, pictures and videos. True, you may not get many comments or rec's for putting up a fanshot... but look at your fanpost that should have been a fanshot. You're likely not getting much recognition for that either.
That about covers it. Not trying to be "that guy"... but I think someone had to do it. I really think this will help AP become an even more kick ass blog than it already is.