MHR Tech Tips - "Tags" and "Recommended" Defined

A quick word on MHR Tech help and tips before we get to using the "Tags" and "Recommend" features...

There are a lot of features at MHR that a member can use to make his or her fanposts look better. There are also tools to help make your work easier to use by others. Many of these are "easy" to figure out, and many feautures are explained by clicking for help on the right side of the page when you are putting your fanpost together (by clicking on the question mark).

But I'm an older guy who didn't grow up around computers, and I understand the frustration that can come from not understanding computers. In fact, I'm the only editor at MHR that doesn't have an impressive background in computer technology. No fear my friends. If I can learn it, we all can learn it.

If you ever need help, here are some tips:

1. You can comment under someone's story or fanpost to ask for help. Almost every MHR member is friendly, helpful, and patient. You won't find a lot of the negative remarks on MHR that you find on some sports sites and blogs. The advantage to this is that you likely get more answers and get them pretty quickly. The disadvantage is that you might be "thread jacking", which means you are using someone's post to discuss an issue other than what the author of the post wanted to discuss. In the case of a member asking for help, there is no "foul" involved. (See Etiquette rule number 5,604).

2. You can e-mail an editor. Go to the bottom of the main page where you see the MHR "coaching" staff, and click the little envelope icon to contact an editor or contributor. You can also try going to the right on the main page and finding the list of MHR staff. Click on one of the editors or contributors. You will get info on the staff member (including an e-mail address if applicable). The reply may be within minutes, or less than 24 hours in most cases. Sometimes a staff member is out of town, so be patient. The advantage to this method is that you will get individualized help, and if the problem is more complex the staff member may be able to use some tools not available in a comments section (instant message, phone, e-mailing a pictorial help, etc).

3. Wait for an "MHR Tech Tips" article to appear on the front page and put a question in the comments section. These will be coming out on a regular basis, and all questions dealing with help are welcomed and encouraged (not limited to the subject in the title). If you have a question, this is a terrific place to ask it! The MHR staff will read the comments sections in an MHR Tech Tips story that still appears on the front page carefully to find members needing help. That's what the staff is here for. Of course, our many wonderful members will be there to help out too (right gang?)

Now simply click below on the blue writting that says, "Continue reading this post" so that you can learn about "Tags" and "Recommend".

You made it! Good job.

TAGS

When you go to write a fanpost (which is an article that you wrote and appears on the right hand side of the main page), you will get a page where you write your article. On the right hand side of this page are a lot of features (and we'll get to them in future articles).

One feature is called tags. It is a very important feature if you want to get recognized for your hard work. Please use it. Whenever you use the tags feature you allow people and other sites to more easily find your work. We'll get to how to use it, but let's discuss how it help you and others.

Let's say that I am looking for any articles that mention the NFL Draft in 2008. If your article has anything to do with the 2008 Draft and you tagged your article with the words "NFL Draft 2008", people are more likely to find it. They can find it by clicking on a prenamed tag in another article and finding your story this way. It may also assist the search engine.

How important can this be? Members of MHR have had articles appear (as well as get referenced) in major internet sites like Sports Illustrated and ESPN, etc. This was before the MHR 2.0 upgrades. With the current tag system a major sports publication looking for certain articles or researching certain topics may more easily find your work and and give a link to what you've put up.

More likely though, members of MHR (as well as our sister sites around the SportsBlogNation) can more easily find articles relating to a particular tag.

How do you use this feature? I'm glad I asked! Simply go to the right side of the page (where you are writting an article, such as a "fanpost"), and look for the word "TAGS". In the box next to the word "TAGS" simply type in the word (such as "tech") or phrase (such as "NFL 2008 draft"). If you have more than one tag, seperate the tags with a comma.

As soon as you start typing, the SBN Super Computer (or more likely the software programs SBN uses) starts looking for tags that are close to the one you are using that already exist. If the tag the computer suggests is the same or close to the same as what you were going to put in, go ahead and click on it. It will now appear as your tag.

BONUS FEATURE IN TAGGING -

Another type of tag is the "events" tag. If your article is about a specific game, click on "events". There you will get a choice of games that have been played. You can also add games to be played in the future. You can also go into other sports (though remember, we're a football site and a Broncos' site at that). You can also use a game that is in progress. This let's people find your work too.

Let's say a Packers fan wants to read about an upcoming game against Denver. He can get into the SBN family of sites, and look up an upcoming "Packers versus Broncos" game. He can read the articles put up by our friends over at the Packer's site, as well as ours. These articles might be game preps, live game threads, or post mortems.

In a similar vein, you can tag your article with the "TEAMS" feature, and "PLAYERS" feature. You can add as many items as were covered in your article.

Look at the bottom of the article you are reading now. You will see the tags I listed for people looking for "recommended", "tips", "help", "tech", and "MHR Tech Tips".

Again, this is a help for people looking for the kind of information you have included in your article. Please use it whenever you can.

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"RECOMMENDED"

This is another very important feature.

Go to the bottom of any fanpost and you will see a bunch of tags (like we discussed), but you will also find (in green) the word "rec" and an icon that looks like a page with an up arrow.

By clicking this you "recommend" that the post you just read will get promoted to a higher panel! Instead of being in the "fanpost" section, the article bumps up to the "recommended" posts panel, where it will stay for a much longer time. The time an article stays in the recommended panel is based on several variables, including the number of recommends the post has, how many other posts are in the recommended panel, and the time it has been there.

This is a wonderful way to give someone credit for a job well done. It can also be a hint to the editors that someone's work might deserve a second look for another promotion, the prized "Front Page". Even if a post doesn't get enough recs to promote to the "recommended" panel, the recs are a great pat on the back.

Rarely you will read a post and recommend it, only to discover that you feel the post had some misleading or hateful information hidden in it. Perhaps the author of the post became abusive towards commentators. Take it down a notch by "unrecommending" the post you just recommended. Remember, the "unrecommend" is a negative tool, and very rarely (if ever) justified.

You can look at the list of posts in the right panel of the main page and see how many recs a post has received. Don't worry if your own work doesn't have a lot of recs. Patience and practice will get one of your posts a promotion to the recommended circle someday, and perhaps the front page.

Stories that appear on the front page don't need a recommend (though you can). They have already reached the Nirvana stage. Editors and Contributors can post here, and any fanpost (recommended or not) can be promoted by an editor. However, a recommend is still nice "icing on the cake" for the author.

Some blog sites list who the recommenders are. MHR does not currently do this. If you want to give a personal shout out, you can can recommend the post by clicking the "rec" button, then in the comments section you just put the term "recommended" in the title or body of your comment. This is custom on some sites. Some people will leave a "rec" and no comment, or leave a rec but not mention it in any comments that they do make. It's your site, do it your way.

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As always, please put any questions, comments, complaints, praises, advice, or pleas for help below. The "management" and the members are here to help.

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