The 2014 regular season is upon us, and the Miami Marlins are ready to embark on another campaign. Fish Stripes is also ready to start another successful season covering the Fish, but the blog could not be at its best without the support and help of the excellent community. Here at Fish Stripes, readers are not just passive observers watching the staff pontificate; no, the readership here at Fish Stripes can be just as active as the writing staff! Thanks to SB Nation's unique platform, readers can make their voices heard in a variety of ways and discuss Marlins baseball with the Fish Stripes staff all the time!
How can you, a reader, be a bigger part of a growing Marins community? Here are some of the ways we encourage you to get involved on the site!
The SB Nation live commenting system is a great way to encourage readers to discuss the happenings on the site with the authors and each other. At the end of each article, there is a comments section that allows you to wrtie your thoughts in real time about what you read. And authors and other members of the community can just as quickly and easily respond, leading to a live discussion on the topic at hand. If you do not agree with what the staff or I said, speak up in our comments section and let's talk baseball!
There is no other better example of our SB Nation real-time commenting system than in the daily game threads. During each and every game, Fish Stripes will post a game thread that previews the game then encourages a live discussion of all the happenings of the game! Members of the staff will be present to talk about the Marlins and whatever else comes to mind during games, and the game threads are home to many of the site's inside jokes and ongoing memes that have developed over the years. Get in on the action, turn on a Marlins game however you choose, and start discussing the Fish with us live!
The 2014 season of Ichthyomancy will be in full swing starting tomorrow as well! Ichthyomancy is a pick'em game in which we make selections on how various aspects of the game end, and those picks are made before the game starts in the game thread. We'll have more on Ichthyomancy, including its format and history, in a later piece today.
But the participation here at Fish Stripes goes beyond commenting and discussing with the staff. Readers have a chance to write their own posts and have their work featured at the front of the site!
On the right sidebar of the main page, you can see our FanPosts section that is filled with community-written content, in order of most recent. At the bottom of that sidebar, you can find a link to write your own FanPosts, which will immediately show up on the sidebar when published. Have something you're dying to talk about and share with the community? As long as the post is an original piece (please, no links to your work on other sites or copied pieces from other places) and greater than 75 words, you can post it on our site and let the community know what you have to say!
Don't think your work is not being noticed either. The editors of the site, Scott and I, will work hard to identify the most interesting and exciting content from our readers and promote them to the front page of the site! If you are an aspiring writer, you can get your work started here and have it be read on the front cover of our site in front of all of the Fish Stripes community!
Do you have something to share from another location, like a funny picture involving the Fish or a great article from another website? Leave us a short comment on the link and feature it here on Fish Stripes in our FanShots!
On the second section of the front page, you can see the FanShots section on the right sidebar. At the top of the sidebar, you can immediately insert the link to an article, picture, video, or anything worth sharing, and immediately create a FanShot for the community to see! The FanShots go down from most recent in that sidebar. And just like the FanPosts at Fish Stripes, if the FanShot is something that we think just has to be seen by all, we will feature it on the front page!
So be prepared, Fish Stripes readers, to share with us all the obscure Marlins links or GIFs (perfect for this feature) that you can find. I am fully prepared to see all the Jose Fernandez smiling GIFs to be posted to the front page this season.
What do you think Fish Stripers? What are your plans to make yourself heard in the community? What else can Fish Stripes do to feature your content? Let us know in the comments section!