We're getting closer and closer to the regular season, which means more and more folks are coming to our corner of the Internet universe to discuss our beloved 49ers. I wanted to throw out a few things (links, thoughts, etc...) to help folks take greater advantage of the site. In the future, if you want to look at old Niners Nation 101 posts, head to the NN 101 section.
FanPosts and FanShots
I forgot to add this earlier, but as our community grows, this is an especially important bit of information. Back in March, shortly after our partnership with Yahoo! Sports, I put together a rundown of FanPosts and FanShots. I strongly encourage folks to read these over when you get a chance as I think it's useful for improving the quality of FanPosts. The basic idea to take away from it is that a FanPost is meant to cover a topic in somewhat detailed fashion and accordingly open the door for discussion. It can be about an issue already being discussed, but a new FanPost about an existing topic should take some new approach to the subject. An important point: FanPosts require 75 words, so if you have to add in 49ers 49ers 49ers 49ers to meet the limit, you should probably be posting your thoughts either as a FanShot, or a comment in an existing thread.
As the site has grown we've all grown more active in posting, whether it be front page stories or FanPosts. While some still slip by, folks are getting much better about putting together quality FanPosts that generate quality discussion. However, as I said, with more FanPosts and stories, older stuff drops off the front page rather quickly.
If you're looking for an older front story that you want to read or comment on, head over to our Story Archives. The tech folks have put together a solid archive of stories dating back to our first days. It can be rather amusing to compare things back then to now. Also interesting to see one of our first, and always vocal, members, howtheyscored, has been around since the very beginning.
Another location for archived material is our list of FanPosts. If you have not been there, you might not know that the Official Michael Crabtree Holdout FanPost has had continued discussion even after dropping off the front page. Comments usually close after 30 days for a story or FanPost, but when necessary I can open comments up for even longer.
Some more odds and ends after the jump...
There are times when I'm writing a post or a comment and I want to cite to something said way back in the past, be it a comment, FanPost or story. Rather than search story by story through the archives mentioned above, you can use our handy-dandy search function. On the front page, or any story/FanPost page, it's at the top right side of the screen. You can also view an independent link for it here.
If you do a search (for example, Nate Davis and 49ers), you'll come across a screen that shows you the stories that mention Nate Davis and 49ers. At this point there are 96 of them. You'll also be able to click and view FanPosts, FanShots and comments that involve this search query with the simple click of your mouse. If you want to see what other SB Nation blogs have to say about that search query, you'll notice two links at the top: 1) "National Football League" and 2) SB Nation Network. The NFL link is for SBN NFL blogs, while the SB Nation network covers every blog in our network.
There is also a button for "power search." If you do a power search you can do normal word searches, but you can also do a search based on a specific Niners Nation user. Convinced a certain user made a specific comment about some issue and want to call them out on it? Do the power search and you'll have all the evidence you need.
At the top of pretty much every page, you'll see links that mention "Schedule," "Roster," and "Stats." As SB Nation has expanded, they've gone to great lengths to improve the information available here. Why go to ESPN or some other site for your NFL information when you can get everything at Niners Nation? Ok, that's kind of a ridiculous comment because you don't want to box yourself in to a single site. However, while here, we should be able to provide you with top-notch information.
If you click on the "Schedule" link, it lists the 49ers schedule, along with some useful links. The individual team name takes you to the SB Nation team page (not the blog) where anything tagged with the team's name will appear. If you click on the star next to a team name, you'll be directed to the team-specific blog. On the far right side of the page you'll see "coverage." If you click on that, you'll see all stories that are tagged with the particular matchup in question. So, for example, for our regular season non-division games I've been doing the Know Thy Enemy series. Those would appear in the coverage section.
If you click on the coverage section for a game, at the top you'll see a mention of Pre-Game, In Game and Post-Game. For a completed game (such as the Cowboys game for example), you can view the full boxscore (improved stats on the way at some point) and read an AP recap of the game. The "in-game" section provides a real-time box score.
If you click on the "Roster" link, you can view the entire team roster. In that page you can click on an individual player to go to his SB Nation page. On that page, you'll get your basic bio info, but it also includes links to anything tagged with that player, transactions involving that player, and even a scouting report for some of the players. See Isaac Bruce's page as an example.
As the season moves along I'll run this kind of post every so often. The SB Nation sites are great and when you know of the various tools at your disposal, it only makes it better.