With the new SBN/Yahoo! deal poised to bring in more traffic to our beloved Dolphins Blog, I've put together a quick How-To guide to make using the site easier for all the new members coming in.
Welcome New Members! Current members, if I leave something out, please let me know so I can add it in.
HOME PAGE LAYOUT
On the home page, there's a million different things you can do. Along the left sidebar, there's links to the Generic SBN Welcome Guide, to create a new FanPost or FanShot (we'll get to that later), and to Edit Settings. Further down, there's links to a Mock Draft Database, a comprehensive list of '09 Free Agents, and the entire Dolphins Roster.
Along the right sidebar, you'll find the FanPosts, a Featured Poll, and the FanShots, followed by the Dolphins Schedule, some links, and a Dolphins News Feed.
Down the middle, affectionately known as The Frontpage, is where all of Matty's articles go, as well as any fanposts deemed Frontpage worthy.
FANPOSTS AND FANSHOTS
This is where your voice can be heard. FanPosts are articles from the blog members, and FanShots are quick-hitting quotes, videos, pictures, or links that don't constitute an entire post. FanPosts have a 75-word minimum, so if you don't have 75 words of info, it's probably better off as a FanShot.
You can open a new FanPost from the link at the top of the left sidebar, or under the rest of the FanPosts on the right sidebar. The same goes for the FanShots.
You'll see a little box at the top of the FanPosts and FanShots on the sidebar, that's for "rec'd" posts. If you like the post you're reading, and you think it deserves special notice, you can recommend - or 'rec' - it. if a post gets 4 rec’s, it’ll get moved up to the "recommended post” area. You can find the rec button just above the little green bar (explained below). Rec'ing a post is known around here as "Goo'ing it" or hitting it with the "Goo Cannon." It makes more sense below.
Pretty self-explanatory, but there's alot of shortcuts and things you can do besides just typing and posting. There's a green bar right below the body of the post separating it from the comments, and just below that green bar is a box for "Auto-Refresh." Make sure that box is checked. Trust me. It's awesome.
Right below that is a list of all the Post Shortcuts that help you navigate through the comments. Without these, it's almost impossible to keep up with a live thread or busy conversation. Here's the full rundown in case you can't find it
Press C to tab through new comments, Shift-C to tab backwards, X to mark a comment as read, and Shift-A to mark all read.
Z will simultaneously mark and tab forward, and R will reply to the comment that has focus.
Also, if you want to reply to a specific comment without using the shortcut, you can just click "reply" in that specific comment window. It's the best way to keep the conversation organized and make sure people know who and to what you're responding to.
You can also rec comments just the same as a fanpost or fanshot. Right next to the reply button, is 'actions.' Click that, and 2 more buttons come up. Flag and Rec. If a comment receives enough 'rec's' it'll get a big star and glow green so it gets noticed. The glowing green comment is how we came up with the Goo Cannon, so if somebody says they goo'ed your post or comment, it's a compliment.
You can customize your Phinsider Experience by clicking "Edit Settings" on top of the left sidebar. There's a whole bunch of things you can do in there.
The first thing you'll see in the Settings tab is the timezone. Yeah. Next is Blog Preferences, and this is where you'll have to do some changes. The best thing to do is switch the "number of fanposts displayed" to 20, because you miss a lot of good content if you keep it at 10. This place works fast. Have the live comment updating set to yes, and the default comment format set to expanded, and you're good to go.
Next, go to the Edit Profile tab. This is where you can create your 'sig' (signature, shows up at the bottom of every one of your comments), and your avatar. It's all pretty self-explanatory once you get there, so have fun. The My Dashboard tab is just a quick reference to all your recent fanposts and fanshots, for each and every SBN blog you're a member of.
If you have any questions about something I may have left out, feel free to ask. And once again, Welcome!