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TCR Guide: How to use FanPosts and FanShots

Are you interested in sharing your opinions on the Illini? The Champaign Room has a few tools available to let your voice be heard.

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Attention TCR community members--have you ever tried using FanPosts and FanShots? If not, you should. You're missing out on a great way to share your thoughts and opinions on the Illini.

FanPosts and FanShots have two very different purposes. FanShots are for sharing links, videos, photos, tweets, and other media. We use them all the time for quick updates.

If you want to write something longer, you should write a FanPost. FanPosts give you the chance to blog like we do and the best community-created content is sometimes promoted to front page for everyone to enjoy.

To start, just scroll down to this box on the right-hand side of our main page.

These tools are very easy to use, but here's a tutorial to get you started.

Join SB Nation/The Champaign Room

Step 1: In order to actually create FanPosts and FanShots you'll need to make yourself a SB Nation profile (it's free!). This is pretty self-explanatory as you just click where it says "sign up" on the upper right-hand corner of the site. Once signed up, your new account is like a personal blog because all the content you create will appear on your profile page; just click your username at the top of the page to access it.

Step 2: Now you need to become a member of The Champaign Room (which is also free!). To do this, scroll to the bottom of any article and locate the comments section. Click on "sign up" and accept the terms and conditions and you'll be good to go! It should look like this:

Congratulations! You're a member of The Champaign Room. Now you can participate in the comments section, write FanPosts, create FanShots, and more.

How to write FanPosts

To begin a new FanPost, click the "Write a FanPost" link that was pictured above. That will take you to the FanPost Editor--it's pretty much the same thing that members of the staff use when they write (there are a few small differences).

You can write your post in the "Body" section of this page. The FanPost editor has several tools that allow you to spruce up your post. Between the Body and Title sections are a few buttons that allow you to alter the format of your text (i.e. making words bold, adding bullet points, or attaching a link).

You can also add a poll to your post to find out your readers' opinion 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.

If you're still having some trouble figuring out how to use the editor, you can email us ( and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. We're here to help!

A few tips to make you more successful:

- Don't just copy/paste articles from elsewhere. They're owned by someone else so we'd obviously 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 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. 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 create FanShots:

To make a FanShot, go to the same box on the website's main page. This is what you'll see.

Just select the type of media you're planning to share, then paste your content into the correct boxes. If you want, provide a brief description and a catchy title. Click publish and you're done.

Use the below chart to determine which type of FanShot to use.


REMINDER: Although we encourage everyone to share their opinions, our only rule is no hate speak towards anyone. Does that mean you can't write about firing coaches? Of course not. If you're going to do that, just try and do it respectfully.

Hope that helps! We're looking forward to hearing from everyone.


Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room and Like us on Facebook. You can follow Jim Vainisi on Twitter at @JimVainisi.