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Pondering FanPosts

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A discussion has started in the comments of the most recent FanPost regarding the very nature of FanPosts, and how unfortunate it is that their production has dwindled of late.

Those of you who were around a few summers ago remember when we got the first influx of Yahoo posters, and while some of them fit right in, a lot of them didn't understand our community and didn't try to understand our community. A lot of horrible, terrible, no-good FanPosts started popping up, and something had to be done. This is when zknower, duck, and I wrote the Community Guidelines.

If you've ever read the CGs, you know that the section on FanPosts is pretty detailed. The decision to try and flesh out exactly what a FanPost should be was taken very seriously as a response to the drivel that had begun showing itself in that section. I stand by what we did because at the time it was necessary.

Since then, however, the output of FanPosts has really dried up, something that I often think is very sad. This community is very smart and has a lot to say, and while a lot of good baseball discussion does happen in the daily open thread, it's mixed in with conversations about food and Star Wars and politics. That can be intimidating to new posters and an inconvenience to anyone who wants to talk baseball but doesn't have the luxury of following along for most of the day.

Upon looking over FanPosts of the past, it seems that our folly was in trying to give too much structure to what a FanPost should be (although our intentions were noble, I swear). But there is no right or wrong way to create a FanPost, as long as that FanPost isn't idiotic. There are fantastic analytic FPs, creative FPs, off-topic FPs, humorous FPs, FPs about memories, even FPs to introduce yourself or talk about how old you are.

So, a challenge to you all. I know you have good stuff to talk about, and I know you have valid opinions. So if you think of something baseball related that you want to talk about, create a FanPost.The only thing you need to ask yourself is, "Is this something that would be of value to the community?" If the answer is yes, go for it.

A second challenge, should you choose to accept, is to restrain yourself from the knee-jerk reaction of jumping all over somebody if they post something that isn't right in line with the general CC way of thinking. Disagree, by all means, but don't be a jerk about it. I would actually like it if we had people come here and feel welcome. And I've been as guilty of this as others in the past, so it's something I'm going to work on myself.