4/26/11 - Since we're in the midst of the draft and have some new folk around here, it seems like a good time to bump this to the front page. As always, if you have any questions feel free to e-mail one of the mods or post it directly in the comment thread of this post.
Hello new members of Field Gulls. If you haven't noticed yet, our gracious SBN hosts have a rather unique system in place to facilitate commenting. It's a powerful interface, but can be fairly confusing at first. Don't you fret, I'll step you through the basics.
Field Gulls Front Page
Let's start out with content. As you've no doubt seen, featured stories, articles, breaking news, and other content are located in the center of the Field Gulls home page:
Clicking on the black headline will take you to a page where you can read the entire article and will also lead you to the comment section (which we'll cover in a moment). Remember, if you ever want to get back to the front page of Field Gulls, all you have to do is click the FG logo at the top-left of the page.
Readers at Field Gulls can also submit content for others to read and comment on. Over on the right-hand side of the page you'll see two sections called "Fanposts" and "Fanshots." Simply click on the hyperlinked title to read the content.
Rule of thumb: Fanposts are geared towards longer discussions/questions while fanshots are for brief quotes or Seahawks and general football links and pictures. Don't fret over this too much, we're not big sticklers on this particular SBN feature.
You may have also noticed that the SBN system keeps tabs of the number of comments in a thread as well as the new comments you haven't read yet. To go straight to the comment section to check up on the latest discussion, just click on the new comments hyperlink below the fanpost/fanshot title and poster username.
Navigating Comment Threads
The stories and articles are only half the content here at Field Gulls and other SBN blogs. As a member of this community, you can participate in the discussion by taking part in the comment threads.
SBN uses a nested comment system to help facilitate discussion amongst regular users. In the screenshot above you'll see that each new reply is indented from the previous comment, signaling a continuation in the discussion. You'll also notice that some of the comments are white, while others are highlighted in yellow. The comments in white are comments that you've already marked as having read, while the comments in yellow are new comments.
To navigate through the comment section, you can use the following keystrokes:
Keystroke - Command
C - Cycle forward through comments
Shift+C - Cycle backwards through comments
X - Mark comment as read
Z - Cycle forward and mark previous comment as read
Shift+A - Mark all comments as read
Another nice perk with SBN's commenting system? No need to manually refresh the page! New comments will be displayed automatically in the thread you are viewing. A pop-up box at the bottom-right of the page will inform you when new comments arrive.
Ready to take the plunge and post a comment here at Field Gulls? If so, let's get familiar with the comment box.
At the bottom of each comment section is a comment box that you can use to start a discussion of your own.
The textbox at the top is the Subject Line. Use of the subject line is encouraged here at Field Gulls because it helps promote good comment flow and helps the moderators do their jobs. The comment line also allows for large comments to be collapsed (which can make it easier to follow a discussion). It doesn't have to be much, just make sure you have one.
The textbox below the Subject Line is the main body of your comment. Write out the rest of your comment here. As a courtesy to your fellow Field Gulls friends, attempt to use proper grammar and spelling. We don't demand perfection, but we do appreciate the effort. Anything you can do to help make the comments as a whole easier to read is swell.
Below the textboxes are two buttons, preview and post. Hit the preview button to take one last look at your comment. Keep in mind that you can't go back and edit your comments once they are posted, so be sure to take advantage of the preview function. Satisfied with what you see? Hit post and your comment will appear at the bottom of the comment section.
Now, this isn't the only place where you can see the comment box. Remember the nested comment threads we talked about? Here's how you get there.
Let's say you've found a neat comment and you've got some insight you want to add. At the bottom of the comment, you'll see this:
The second hyperlink from the right is the "reply" function. Click this button and it will open a comment box right below the comment you are replying to. Simply follow the guidelines we talked about above, preview your comment, and hit post. Your reply will appear nested under the comment you were responding to.
One more feature at the bottom of each comment you may find useful is the "up" hyperlink. Click this and it will take you to the previous level of the nested subthread.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask myself, Danny, Scruffy, Benne, or any of the other mods.
Enjoy your time here at Field Gulls!