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Some Tips For Posting FanShots

We love FanShots around here.  Whether you're posting a FanShot to get the BtB community to discuss an article you found interesting or you're posting a FanShot to give publicity to your own work, here are some tips to maximize your efforts:

  1. Write a killer headline.  Include key words like names and teams, and be as specific as possible.  Most people click on FanShots from the sidebar (even though the FanShots page is way more helpful) meaning the only thing readers will see initially is your headline.  If they don't like the headline, they won't click on the link.  Unless, of course, you...
  2. Include an intriguing image.  Make sure the text and detail are large enough to make out -- be aware that the SBN software might shrink it to the correct size.  Make sure the point of the image is quickly apparent -- don't make me struggle to understand what I'm looking at.  Most importantly, make sure I see something interesting.  I need to be motivated enough to click through through the link or leave a comment.
  3. Entice readers with significant information.  This could be a long quote, data tables, or your own thoughts.  Give us something interesting that can be used as a discussion starter, not just an executive summary.

Your headline or image is the gateway to the rest of the FanShot.  The rest of the FanShot is the gateway to readers clicking the link and leaving comments.

How about some examples..


Not Good: "Declining Into Obivion"

The spelling mistake is obvious and an immediate killer, but I also have no clue what I'm getting myself into.  Even if this was the headline of the original article, I'm not at the original article.  You'll often need to repackage headlines for BtB.

Good: "Derek Jeter's Declining Power Numbers Trigger Lineup Change"

I know who the article's about, what it's about, and why it was written.  I'll at least click through to the full FanShot.


Not Good:


I can't read the text at this size, the title doesn't make sense in isolation, and the graphics don't tell me anything other than someone's comparing a linear model to a slightly non-linear model.




The text is a little small, but it's not even necessary.  After noticing that the Indians are a strong favorite to win the division, I find myself wondering who's making that claim...  Boom, I'm hooked.  Notice there's also a link to the source of the image, which might be an entire article.

FanShot Body

Not Good:

More cool stuff by Tom Tango.

Sure, just name-dropping Tom Tango might be enough for some people, but you're making me click through in order to find out anything about the article.  Some days, I'm not willing to put forth that much effort.  You just lost me.


Dan Szymborski gives us a great new tool for modifying a player's pre-season ZiPS projection based on his current performance. I think he is just using Bayesian inference, so the numbers won't take into account specific changes in approach/velocity/injuries or anything else that isn't necessarily captured by the numbers.  However, it is still a great thing to have.

Dan also offers a spreadsheet that you can download here, which allows you to input your favorite player's current stats and their name to get their updated projection for the rest of the season.

For example, thanks to his .250 wOBA so far this year, BJ Upton -- BtB's favorite player -- is now projected to have only a .354 wOBA for the rest of the season, as compared to his .367 pre-season projection.

I now know what Dan did, how he did it, where I can do it myself, and, perhaps most importantly, I'm given some specifics.  There's enough information that I could start a conversation in the comments without even clicking through to the Fangraphs link.  But I still will, because I'm interested.  You might think that giving away the punch line will result in fewer click-throughs, but the exact opposite actually happens.

Do you have any other tips to throw out there?  Anything else about a FanShot that makes you more likely to check it out or start leaving comments?