Now that more clubs have the ability to create official icon & banner picks, I thought my link
on the subject could use a little revision.
Why does it matter, you ask? It's important to remember that fanpop is a community, and should do things as a group. Randomly starting a poll for a new icon, banner or background is rude to other club members. Making icons and banners takes time, and the first options (likely made by the person who started the poll) are given the unfair advantage of being there the longest. Early voters aren't likely to check back in every day to see if new options have been added. Following these steps will help ensure that everyone has a fair chance to participate and that all options are given the same amount of consideration. (It'll also keep you from getting yelled at.)
Step 1: Alert the Fans!
If you want a change, the first thing you need to do is let everyone else know. I like to start with a pick, like this:
These options give me an idea of how many people will be contributing, and if people even want a change.
Step 2: Make a Forum!
In the pick's comment section, I like to link to the forum that will hold everyone's icon and banner suggestions. Adding a real link to the club works too.
Feel free to copy and paste my icon/banner guidelines into a forum of your own:
-Icons need to be square and at least 100x100 px.
-Banners need to be 800x100 px or a size that scales down to that.
-Mind the club title, which will cover up whatever's in the right bottom corner of your banner.
If it's a small or inactive club, I usually leave the forum open for one week. Bigger clubs with lots of active fans should probably be open longer, as there will probably be more participants.
Why not just skip straight to the forum step? Because forums don't show up in updates. When you create a forum, people will only see it if they're browsing in that club. If the club has seen no activity in the last year, you can pretty much bet that nobody is going to see your forum. If it's a small or inactive club, or you're somehow opposed to picks, even a link will do. Just make sure something shows up in everyone's updates.
Step 3: Pick time!
If everyone's contributions are in on Deadline Day, it's time to make the picks. (You might want to check on the forum a few days before the dealdine and make sure nobody has asked for more time.) The pick buttons are located on the club's homepage.
If there are a lot of options, I like to make the banner pick first, then proceed with the icon pick after a winner is determined. The one-pick-at-a-time method also gives fans a chance to make a new icon, or tweak an existing one, to match the winning banner. Icon/banner clashes are bad for the soul. And the eyes.
Once the picks are up, you're pretty much done, because Fanpop will take care of the rest.