So, you courageous noob... you have chosen to better yourself and be counseled by peers of higher experience before you decide to embark upon that impossible trek to FN greatness alone and unguided. I ain't gonna lie to you when I say that there's a helluva lot of obstacles in your way before you can truly call yourself a vet. You must brave through the jungles of injustice during frustrating TDs and survive the plague of writer's block when a group demands your blogging services at an impossible deadline. Sometimes, all this pressure can build up into a great mass of stress inside your eager newbie heart that it causes you to forfeit TDs and quit writing all together. But, my protégés (not you, Dudeman), fear not. I am here to lend y'all some advice and I pray that you're not so stupid as to ignore and not heed them.
All right, let's get started!
1) Abstain from Ad Hominem. Such degrading displays of personal, not to mention childish, insults will not be tolerated within the community. If you want respect, you must show respect. Light banter between rival fans (i.e. Redskins vs. Cowboys) is acceptable but try not to get too into it. You might find your comments reported while you nurse a slap on your potty fingers from the Mods.
2) Make your ideas known on FanNation by commenting on TDs, blogs, and group-affiliated threads such as message boards and locker talk. You may be of the lowly status of a worker bee now, but if you continuously provide us with glimpses of your intelligent mind, people will start to notice you. Your comments will also provide TDers some ammo to tear each other's throats with and to improve upon their TDs. Bloggers will also find your critique of their blogs helpful, as well as something to blog about next time. Groups will embrace your comments with open arms if it benefits the group altogether.
3) Don't pee on yourself when TDs get intense. Seriously. TDing is what makes FanNation a unique site for sports and many FNers tend to get very petulant and prickly when it comes to a tough TD. I'm pretty sure that you'll (if not already) be swept along with the TD hype soon. The excitement of research, pwning an opponent, and actually winning the damn thing... yeah, I know. I feel a thrilled tingle in my stomach just thinking about it. But the point is, just be relaxed and enjoy an intellectual debate between you and your opponent. And it's always nice if you tell ‘em "good luck" or something during the TD. If it was a good TD and you truly enjoyed TDing with them, then say so. That earns you much needed popularity points.
4) Be sure to check your grammar (it's -ar, not -er) and spelling errors on your blogs. I know y'all are probably thinking that your grammar and spelling is so dandy that you don't need help from Mr. Spell Check. And yet when you prowl the blogs, you may be surprised with the slew of people on this site actually don't regard the rules of the English language. Maybe it's just because they're lazy. Some have typing problems. But most don't really understand how bad it looks when a blog does not have proper grammar and spelling. It's like torture to the eyes. I think this is the first step to earning blogging respect.
5) Research, research, and more research! I cannot stress this enough. Researching for TDs properly is the bulk of your arguments. There are TDs out there that get ridiculed and even reported simply for their lack of content. If you want to be regarded as a master TDer, you must provide information and facts to back your main argument. The more, the better.
6) Use your regular voice when you write blogs. Some people think that writing blogs is just like writing a scientific essay about the structure of maggots to be turned in to a mean old Bio teacher. Don't even think that for one minute! Blogging is all about writing YOUR thoughts and what YOU think about what's happening in the world around YOU, whether it's about sports, politics, or the superfluous and highly overrated need for cute little yellow rubber duckies. Voice is what makes your blogs readable. If you write with a robotic voice of a manual-writing loser, then I'm afraid that your blogs won't be as widely read. Try a little humor now and then, too.
7) Do not start TDs. I found that it's easier to win TDs when you take ‘em, not make ‘em. Unless you've got a real grounded argument, most likely your opponent will win. This is because you provide them with two things they don't provide you prior to your TD. You give them what the TD is about as well as its layout and they have the advantage of thinking of a better argument than the one that you've thought up. Just be patient and wait for a good one to pop up, and then take it!
9) #8 reminds me... when you advertise your blogs, embed the link already. There's a button that says SHARE IT at the bottom left hand corner of your blog. Click on that and send the link of your blog (already embedded for easy access) to the group (or friend) of your choice. This will help the circulation of your blog and increase your popularity, which is crucial if you want to acquire a base.
10) FanMail me if you've got questions, anytime! I'm usually available and if you've got a question or comment about anything regarding this site, TDs, blogging, or certain... um, people that scare you, then I'll be more than tickled to help you in any way possible.
So there you have it! I may be a dud, but I know my stuff every now and then. I'm glad that you found this site and that you're trying to make it a good experience through this mentoring program. I'm sure that you'll find FanNation a lot of fun. I know I do. :)