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FanShots or Talking Points? You decide.

It's been almost a month already since Rocky Top Talk transitioned to the new platform. One of the first questions I had about the transition was whether the cool new FanShots would kill the semi-regular Talking Point link dumps. I used to throws bits and pieces of stuff I've read into a Google notebook and then use the notebook to piece together the Talking Points post. Since the transition, though, I've simply been using the FanShot bookmarklet and posting each individual link to a story in the FanShots section.

So that leads to a question. Is it working? Yeah, it's summer, and news is a bit scarce, but what do you think? Are FanShots a good alternative to the link dumps?

Pros of using FanShots in place of Talking Points:

  • Speed. As soon as one of us reads something, we can get it posted with two clicks and almost no effort.
  • It's special. Aww. Each thought, article, quote, whatever gets its very own dedicated post. This could, conceivably, encourage more discussion on a wider variety of topics.
  • Destination for breaking news. Becomes a hot area on the site devoted to breaking news. Hmm. Okay.

Cons of using FanShots in place of Talking Points:

  • Encourages laziness. It's pretty easy to just see a headline and FanShot it even without reading the thing or just skimming it.
  • Not really special at all. The more FanShots there are, the more the area becomes just another list of stuff that you can easily find elsewhere. It's easy to become blind to that kind of stuff.
  • TMI. The FanShots area could become just a dumping ground for anything and everything, whether it's relevant or not.

Pros of returning to Talking Points:

  • Provides a better format for analysis and commentary. The extra work forces a synthesis of the information, identification of themes, and combination of common elements into something possibly new and insightful.
  • Front page treatment. News doesn't get lost in a long list of commentary-less links. This may encourage more discussion than individual FanShots.
  • Consolidation. A Talking Points post can serve as a one-stop location to find news that you might find pertinent to the Vols. I read it so you don't have to, and I give you an executive summary.

Cons of returning to Talking Points:

  • Speed. To get the days' news into the same days' Talking Points, I need to get up much earlier, read, distill, and write before work. This is fine during slow periods, but during the season, it probably means that some news won't be discussed until a day or two later, and if I get behind, it may get missed all together or result in a notebook nuking.
  • Only one or two specials. When you include a bunch of stuff together, each piece tends to get compared with the others, and we tend to only discuss the most interesting one or two points in the post. That might be all that's worthy of discussion, but there might be other good stuff that gets lost in the shuffle.
  • Fewer other posts. Since it's more work, it cuts into the writing of other posts.

Hmm. So what do you think? What's the best way to discuss the days' news? FanShots or Talking Points? Or should we give the FanShots trial a bit longer? Leave your thoughts below.