The 2011 Boise State football season provides us all with the rare opportunity to waste inordinate amounts of time on the Internet discussing Bronco football. Hooray! That is my second-best life skill behind napping.
To Bronco-obsess to the best of your abilities, check out our guide to the finer points of OBNUG - posting, commenting, reading, and more. Whether you're an OBNUG vet, a long-time lurker, or a wide-eyed newcomer, there's something for you. Join me after the jump.
The wonderful world of FanPosts and FanShots
If you have ever dreamed of being a real life blogger - and let's face it, who hasn't had that dream? the one with the cash and music video ladies/men? - FanPosts are your key to glory. If you have a hilarious picture of David Augusto at a Wendy's - and let's fact it, who doesn't have one of those? - FanShots are your destiny.
FanPosts and FanShots are the icing on this OBNUG ice cream cake. They are you-driven, and they often beat me to the news and make me look like a fumbling idiot. I photoshop husky cats into Snuggies with Gene Wojciechowski, you break down the quarter-by-quarter statistics of visiting teams to prove there is no blue-uni advantage. You guys win.
For an overview of what to expect in the right sidebar of awesomeness and a refresher on how that all works, here are some guidelines:
When to FanPost - When you want to share an original thought, a crazy theory, a fun take, a Blizzard recipe, an excerpt from your Boise State poetry, an excerpt from your Dustin Lapray poetry, or a personal vendetta against the state of Iowa
When to FanShot - When you find a picture, link, video, quote, list, or comment to share - especially ones about Mark Schlereth's soap opera guest role
Keys to a successful FanPost
- Have a point
Keys to a successful FanShot
- Be relevant
- Be original, a.k.a. do your best not to double post
- Do link to Marty Tadman's personal e-mail
- Do not link to Bleacher Report's anything
How to FanPost - a photo essay
Let's say you wish to share your analysis of Kellen Moore's wedding registry. I think that would make an ideal FanPost, not creepy whatsoever. Here's how to start:
Step 1: Click on "FanPost" in the blue box at the top of the right sidebar.
Step 2: Begin typing or begin talking into your voice-recognition software or begin dictating to your intern. Make sure that you have at least 75 words to say, otherwise the post won't post and the SB Nation robots will make fun of you.
Step 3 When you're done typing, you can tag, Tweet, and promote your post via the links in and around the text editor. Click publish before you have second thoughts about that Iowa joke.
Step 4: Spend the rest of the day maniacally refreshing your browser to see if you have any new comments. Base your self-worth on this. Congratulations, you are now a writer.
How to FanShot - a photo essay
As luck would have it, you just stumbled upon the Etsy store of Gary Patterson and his pants boutique. You need to share this find with Bronco Nation. That work deadline can wait. Here's how you go about FanShotting.
Step 1: Click on "FanShot" in the blue box at the top of the right sidebar. Do not click on "FanPost" ... or the bikini Nestea girls.
Step 2: Choose "Link" from the list at the top. If you were to find a picture or a video, you can click on those words, too. I have no idea what "Chat" is for, but I guess you can use that if you want.
Step 3: Paste the URL of Patterson's Etsy store into the URL box. Type a title into the title box. Add a description where it says description. Blogging is real complicated, I know.
For those of you who enjoy sharing videos and also value your sanity, let me make your life a little easier. For video FanShots, copy and paste the old embed code from the YouTube page of your choosing. Make sure the code starts with
Step 4: Tag it, Tweet it, and share it on Facebook. Click Publish.
Step 5: Take the rest of the day off, my friend. You've earned it.
Fun fact: Fish cough. Also, I often promote FanPosts and FanShots to the main section of the site if they are well-written, timely, and make it look like I was actually paying attention to the news and what is relevant rather than not doing that. Get your FanSomething promoted, and you earn the respect and admiration of your peers as well as a freebie flame comment that I will look the other way for.
(Photo via Hyperbole and a Half)
Commenting best practices, or how to avoid sounding and looking like the Idaho Statesman
Reading the comments at OBNUG is like taking a bath in a delicious seltzer water of words and wit. Reading the comments at the Idaho Statesman and many other big-time sports websites is like descending into hell. OBNUG comments rock, and I would love to keep them that way. Here are some reminders on commenting like a rock star.
1. Recs and flags
If you see a comment that gives you the warm and fuzzies, give it a rec by clicking on "actions" below the comment and then "rec" in the actions list that appears. Three recs, and a comment turns green.
Fun fact: Lizards communicate by doing push-ups. Also, you can rec FanPosts and FanShots, too, and they get pinned to the top of their respective FanSomething section.
Flags are the opposite of recs. If you happen to find spam in the comments or an Idaho fan in the comments, give that comment a flag and it will go into the OBNUG moderator / banhammer bin. It's your way of helping us keep the comments free from evildoers. Consider yourselves deputized.
There are a couple ways to reply directly to a comment: 1) leave your reply anywhere and hope people figure it out, and 2) use the reply button to respond immediately below the comment. Here's how to do the latter:
Find a comment that elicits an emotional response from you.
OBNUG does not have many rules, so I hope you humor me on this one: Please don't swear. I don't want to have to delete your comment or send you a warning. And none of this asterisk business either. I know what an a**m**k** is. If you feel the need to drop a cuss bomb, use the remarkably effective BAD WORDS filler instead.
4. Grammar and spelling
Your argument will carry much more weight if you spell "Petersen" correctly. Typos and mistakes are understandable (believe me), but try not to make it a calling card.
Fun fact: President Theodore Roosevelt was blind in one eye. Also, using hotkeys helps you scroll through comments at the speed of Dallas Burroughs. Use Z to advance through unread comments one at a time. Use Shift+A to mark all comments as read. Use R to reply to the comment that is highlighted.
Lurkers, repent! The end is near!
For those of you who read the OBNUG website on a regular basis and have yet to become a member or leave a comment, consider the amazing benefits of OBNUG username ownership:
- Live comment counts
- FanShotting and FanPosting
- Custom profile, complete with avatar
- Regular ego boosts
- No SPAM mail ever
Glossary of terms
- OBNUGger - noun - a person who reads OBNUG. "I wrote in an OBNUGger for Ada County comptroller in this year's election." - me
- munson - verb - to error, often with typing. "Boy, I sure munsoned that Harris Poll ballot." - every Harris Poll voter at some point
- the jump - noun - the break in a post between what appears on the home page and what appears in the rest of a post. "Let's tell people they've won a million bucks then retract everything after the jump." - Publisher's Clearinghouse blog
- lurker - noun - a person who reads OBNUG but has yet to comment. "There was a lurker in my bushes. I thought it odd he was reading Countdown posts on his laptop." - police report
- rec - verb/noun - shorthand for 'recommend.' "Give that clever Idaho fan a rec!" - no one ever
- David Augusto - person - former KTVB sports anchor. "Hi, this is David Augusto. Is Dan Hawkins home?" - Dan Hawkins voicemail
- Marty Tadman - person - former Boise State safety and my personal hero. "Hi, this is Marty Tadman. Do you want to see Fast Five with me at the dollar theater?" - Marty Tadman in a dream I had last night
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I have a hot tip?
You can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will do our best to not take full credit for the scoop.
Are you affiliated with a church denomination?
No. This site's name is a take on the pledge of allegiance and has no affiliation with religion except for various shrines of players I have made over the years.
Are you guys on Twitter or Facebook or Google plus sign?
I want to guest blog. Do not suppress my creativity and desire to be heard!
If you have ever had a desire to contribute to OBNUG in a non-FanPost or non-FanShot sort of way, send us an e-mail and we'll see what we can work out. For those of you who have been around awhile, you may remember that I get burned out easily. My doctor and I would like to avoid that in the future if at all possible.
Is Mr. Fiskers your cat?
Mr. Fiskers is his own cat. He transcends pet ownership.
Can I get OBNUG on my cellular device?
You absolutely can. I recently upgraded to a phone with a color display, so I am not the person to tell you how any of that works. But I do know that SB Nation sites look decent on cell phones and that there are some new features in the works that will make them even better. Like color, maybe? I don't know.
Reader feedback section
That covers the OBNUG basics, so now I'll turn it over to you. What suggestions do you have for the coming year? Any content you want to see, fixes you want fixed, things you want to know? Share your feedback in the comments. Try out the comment features you have yet to try. Quit lurking and start loving. Go nuts. I'd love to hear what you have to say.