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Let's Take This Thing Out For a Spin...

We've been using the new SBNation 2.0 platform for several months now.  But some of the most powerful features are related to rosters and schedules, and given that the new version was released in April at the conclusion of the Clippers' season, we haven't really benefited very much from those particular enhancements.  That's about to change.

The NBA schedule is available, and there's a widget (currently on the right side bar) showing the next 5 games.  I've also moved the team roster up higher on the left side bar now that it reflects reality a little better (still a lot of of unsigned Clipper free agents out there - I guess last year's team really was that bad if nobody wants any of these guys). 

But the power in the platform will come from how we use these things - and when I say we, I mean we.  When the good Citizens of Clips Nation decide to add a FanPost or a FanShot, there are several options to the right of the text editor - things like Tags, Attach Events, Teams and Players.  These are all ways to catalog the content.  For now, let's not worry too much about Tags - I don't really want everyone making up their own Tags anyway, and it would quickly get out of hand without a system of some sort.  But Players, Events and Teams are all quite useful.

When you write a FanPost about Baron Davis, please add 'Baron Davis' in the Players section.  You can add as many players as you like, one at a time.  Just type in the name, and the system will find who you are looking for (if you type in 'Baron' it will find Baron Davis as he's the only Baron in the NBA - if you type in 'Davis'', it will give you five choices, three of which are Clippers of course).  Then, your FanPost will be linked to Baron Davis in the database, and when anyone clicks on Baron's name in the roster, they'll find all of that juicy related content.

Another really handy item is 'Attach Event'.  The database contains the full NBA schedule, including pre-season games.  If you write a FanPost about a specific game, use the attach event feature to select that game, and once again all of the content will be available when someone selects that game from the schedule.  As an example, I took a FanPost Citizen Lawler's Law wrote about the Clippers schedule with a reference to the FElton 'homecoming' on New Year's Eve, and I attached that game to it.  By the time that game arrives, I have a feeling there will be quite about written about it.  As you can see if you follow this link, related front page posts appear in full under the game, and FanPosts appear in their usual spot in the right side bar.  Cool, huh?  And although it may not happen often, you are not limited to Clippers games.  So, if for instance if Shaun Livingston is playing in his first game for another team and you have something to say about it, simply use the drop downs to select the team and find the game in question.  Heck, you can even do it for other sports.

You can also link your content to other posts - so for instance if you decide to write a FanPost that is a direct response to a ClipperSteve front page post (for instance, you decide that a comment just wouldn't suffice), you can click on the 'Add Related Item' button and paste in the URL of the original post.  You can do this with anything you find on the web, by the way - it doesn't have to be content from Clips Nation or even SBNation for that matter. 

For now, I'd really encourage everyone to start using the Players feature and the Events feature.  I suspect 'teams' will get a little overwhelming, and let's face it, pretty much everything at Clips Nation should in one way or another be related to the Clippers, so there's limited value in adding that.  I myself will no doubt use add the Clippers relationship for big stuff like season previews and what not - but not to everything.  And I'll relate posts to other teams when appropriate - as in the case of my critique of Portland last week.  However, there will no doubt be some trial and error involved here to figure out the right 'signal to noise' ratio. 

And while we're on the subject, don't forget to 'Buzz' items and recommend items (if you like them).  Buzzed items are prominently featured in Yahoo! Buzz, which of course helps bring exposure to Clips Nation.  Recommended items (you can recommend pretty much anything - front page posts, FanPosts, comments, whatever) highlight recommended content within Clips Nation.

Camp starts Tuesday.  It's getting close Citizens!