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The Community Pool is for those of you looking for input, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout,…

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for input, whether on post ideas, writing, blog design and layout, or anything else. If you have a post, page, or idea you want to bounce off someone, leave a comment. Your fellow bloggers can then click through and offer input either on your site, or in the comments here (feel free to indicate which you’d prefer).

Read on for the ground rules and to leave a comment . . .

  • You’ll get the best feedback if you can be as specific as possible about what you’d like people to respond to or where you’re struggling.
  • Please keep all comments civil and constructive. We’re here to help and support one another, not to beat anyone down.
  • If you haven’t looked at our Commenting Guidelines in a while, now might be a good time.
  • To keep from losing your place in the comment thread while you visit others’ blogs, right-click on a link to open it in a new tab or window.
  • No running on the deck.

Photo by t_a_i_s.

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    1. With negative commenters, it’s a simple matter to add a particular user to the spam list. This takes the fun out of it for them and they stop.

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      1. I agree. I had a particularly vicious fellow stop by multiple times with I-hate-the-world-die-die-die remarks, and into the spam bucket he went. That’s really the best thing to do.

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      2. Thanks…I didn’t know about that…as all that I thought was that you couldn’t block anyone so unless you wanted to make blog private…you had to just accept it! You do that by edit comment and then spam? Diane

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      3. You can mark a comment spam when it comes up for approval. But if you go to the dashboard, then settings, then discussion, one of the options about mid-way through the list is comment moderation. There, you can put users names on a list that is automatically marked spam. If you do that, the user’s comments will no longer show up to be moderated at all, and I think the user also no longer gets to see their comments appear to be on your page while they await moderation. It saves aggravation.

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      4. I haven’t had a lot of problem but at one point I did. So when you say their name do you mean their blog name or user name or their blog url… I went to see where you meant and I was unsure how to put it…this is what I see and don’t know what exactly it means to do ..Sorry I’m a bit dense…

        . One word or IP per line. It will match inside words, so “press” will match “WordPress”.

        Thanks for information and help with this….I’m still learning … Diane

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      5. May I just say that you will never learn nothing if you always have positive comments, remember there will always be someone better then you and they would have got there by learning from some better then them. But again there are positive, negative and down right nasty, get rid of the nasty of course. Wish you the best and helpful comments :D

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      6. Thank you…As I mentioned to Ashana I don’t have a lot of issues re this … I only had one…but I know someone else who does and so I was very interested in knowing the options that are available…Diane

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      7. As a photographer I have come across some right ignorant people who get enjoyment by putting down other peoples work because they are to lazy to learn techniques or they don’t know one end of a camera from another and get their jollys from putting other peoples images down. I tend to think people like this as friendless, sexual flustrated morons and have a chuckle to myself then block them =)

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      8. Don’t reply to anything she writes; soon enough this person will realise that attacking you is like water running off ducks :)

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    2. Thank you all for your support and constructive comment. Here’s another one just to let you the community know:

      Allen
      add1dude.wordpress.com

      One of humanity’s problems is labeling people. Were one group of people to successfully eliminate another group, then the eliminating “class” would become the new “wolf.”

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      1. A “wolf” is also known for its courage in the face of threats. A wolf can do a great service for a community by flushing out hidden predators.

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  1. I wonder what other people feel or think of people changing their layout and themes on a regular basis? It is a good idea to keep them interacting or do you think changing regularly is off-putting? I love playing around with themes and colour schemes on my blog but just wondered if it actually does put people off visiting your blog again?

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    1. I’ve been wondering about the same thing. I’ve started changing the background and header of my blog on a weekly basis so that it’s a little like looking at a regularly published magazine. Is “branding” lost in the process? I’m not sure.

      I think changing the theme too often becomes confusing for readers–I’m not so sure it’s that they don’t visit again, but that they may not really recognize the site and don’t build up an association for it that they want to return to.

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    2. I’m not sure that’s such a good idea. I think you’ll lose your personal touch and your readers may find it a bit of a pain finding things which you think is obvious but they may not. Just my opinion.

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    3. You know, I agree with the others here. I would follow a blog not entirely but definitely partially for a unique and interesting theme. If it changes very often, it makes navigating it a constant hassle and I’ll be less inclined to want to read it. Hope this helps! – Catherine, from Never Stationary

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      1. I agree; consistency is the name of the game really. I just love playing around with the themes so much :D

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    4. I believe you can change your themes many times, but then you’ll have to settle on just one. It might take time to figure out which design you like the most, but if you keep changing it will be harder for readers to recognize your site. It’s not about branding, because brands are in constant evolution. It’s about deciding what theme suits your needs.

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    5. I think a bit of a tweak here and there is a good idea from time to time particularly if it brings an improvement but I think it best to think long and hard before making really radical changes. As its your blogging identity I think you want a bit of consistency.

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      1. I have changed my theme colors widgets quite often…but have finally settled on a theme and “look” I really like…
        I want to keep it consistant but with so many options it is hard not to change it up once and awhile…

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    6. Depends on why you are blogging. If you are changing it once a week then you are probably in it for the fun. If you want to make money or have another serious reason for blogging then you probably want to create a brand and once you think you’ve got it right leave it that way to get people comfortable and familiar with it. Its like if you went to a bookstore to read every day if they renovated differently every week there would be no chance for it to start to feel ‘homey’. that being said having fun with your blog is no crime and if that’s what you want it for, then don’t worry about others, just put in good content and people will read. :D

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      1. I change the header image with each post but keep the theme the same. I am new here and hope that works ok. I want to become known and want to do what is best. I value all of your input.

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      2. That’s cool. I have a featured image that I change every post. It has the name of my site on it. And the font and way it is written is the same as the header. If people see an image over again they will associate it with your blog. If you have great content then the association works for you. You can often change things and leave others the same and people will still associate. My feature pictures vary greatly but they are always the same dimensions and always have the name of the site printed that same way on it somewhere always in the same size. I don’t change my theme or the rest if the site much either. But I make my own pictures from my own photos or I use stock textures and brushes to make them in photoshop. It helps me to satisfy my creative side. :) happy blogging.

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  2. Hey everyone! Does anyone have any feedback about my writing? As a high school student, I feel as though it can sound a little too childish for most of the potential readers here on WordPress. I’d also love comments about my layout, but really, any feedback is totally welcome. I appreciate it :) Thanks! – Catherine

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    1. Childish? No, not even a little bit. I’m pretty sure when I was in high school the deepest things I thought and wrote about were boys- and how to be around them more haha. Your writing is thought provoking, authentic, and interesting. Your age doesn’t matter, I think people can learn just as much from a high school student’s blog as a philosophers writings. Open minded people, that is. Keep it up, great work!

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    2. I like your blog, did not find anything childish about your blog. thumps up, you are doing good.

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    3. Congrats, Catherine! Your blog is very good, the posts are well-written. I was specially impressed by those articles about North Korea. Oh, by the way, don’t worry, you’re not being childish (maybe except for that e-mail address… just kidding!). In the end, if the blog is nice, readers will come back, no matter how old you are. The only thing I would ask you about is: why don’t you display your posts (at least a summary) on the home page?

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      1. Thank you! :) I’m glad you found my take on North Korea interesting. In terms of displaying a summary of my posts, that is a good idea. I used to have a theme that did something like that, but then it looked a little strange so then I changed it to my current theme. The focus is supposed to be on the pictures that I add but I suppose it is worth considering including a snippet or so about my post on the homepage. Thanks so much for your feedback!

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  3. Following up on some advice I have been given in previous Community Pool posts, I have made some changes to my blog yeldarbinator.wordpress.com It would be really helpful if somebody could take a look and let me know what they think. Any sort of constructive criticism is welcomed.Thanks!

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      1. I made changes to the layout/colour scheme. I also changed the name to something less obscure than “The Yeldarbinator”. I’d really like feedback on the blog in general as well though, if that’s okay? :)

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      2. Well the concept seems good. I look around expecting you to expand on The Hoax of The Digital Life, and I think you do, it’s just a task to see that. I see you have your posts segregated by categories listed in your sidebar. Did you know you can create category pages in your menu along with your About page? Have those there would encourage readers to explore your posts further instead of digging through the first few and getting tired of reading without possibly finding something they’ve enjoyed.

        Keep going!

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      3. I was planning on making a sort of “intro video” explaining the reason for the name change and the concept behind it. I think I shall play around with the categories a bit and try and put them on the menu, like you suggested… it would definitely make it easier to navigate!
        Thanks a lot for the feedback :)

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    1. Actually I like it the way it is. I don’t know why, I just do. I enjoyed that I.D.I.O.T. post! :)

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    1. I like the image in the header. It needs a background (perhaps a texture or maybe just a color) to go with the header. Just an initial impression about the design.

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    2. I agree with Ashana…the blog is clean, the curse with clean is I think it comes across plain…a bit unexcited, the header does pop out though…Ashana is dead on it NEEDS a background

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      1. poetry is fresh…I like what I read…you are rather descriptive…I will get into more a bit later…your on my reader now…

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    3. Hello Liv. :-)

      I agree with Ashana. Your blog sounds very cheerful and you sound like a very cheerful person, so maybe your blog could reflect that a little more? More colors, maybe? Just a thought.

      Cheers,

      Cookie

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  4. I’m not sure I totally understand the concept of the Community Pool, so enlightenment will be entirely welcome. I’ve submitted questions a few times but have never received a response. Is the process completely random, as in whomever feels like providing input can … but it isn’t at all guaranteed to happen? My questions usually deal with how much — and how — I can tweak the theme I’m using, which is Koi. I’ve gotten help from a couple of individuals via email, but I hate to bug them all the time. Their generosity has enabled me to figure out a few things, but I’m always on the hunt for more information.

    So — how does this little spot on Word Press actually operate?

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    1. Hello :-)

      You basically just submit a question, whether you need a random look over or something more specific, and anyone who’s qualified for it will stop by and leave a reply. Don’t be worried about the no-reply days, sometimes the page traffic just carries the questions down.

      Cheers,

      Cookie

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    2. I checked your spot out, your blog looks legit…actually I liked it, layout, theme…right on…not sure if you had a specific question regarding it…but I like it…I don’t like the pic of the foot thought…not to fond of feet…

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      1. Thank you, Mocha, for taking a look at my site. I enjoy the Koi theme and it’s fairly interactive and customizable. One of the things I’d like to do is make small image headers for each of the widgets along the right-hand side, but I’ve had trouble understanding the instructions on the Help page. Sorry you don’t like feet — they’re pretty necessary. But just in case they’re a turn-off to other readers, I might go back to my original profile pic or find another … :)

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      2. i’m just teasing with the feet…you got me on the small image headers for widgets, I might have to take a look at that and see…maybe someone else in the pool thats more verse can be of help…Just yell HELP

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  5. Thanks to WordPress for the chance to share my question. –And for anyone who responds, I apreciate your feedback.

    Re: kristinshermanolnes.com

    Do you think it’s interesting to consider the learning that has occurred in the video profiles I produce or the ones I share; or, is it a waste of time for me to interpret the learning.

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    1. hey
      i’m not sure about a community group on wordpress; behance has a great arts community, though i’ve not been active there in a while – i stay busy on wordpress and doing my own art as well! there are some prolific artists who post, and i’m working on a post right now to introduce them to some other like-minded people.
      i loved the photo of the cats in the tree – that looks like a guava tree or pride of india/crape myrtle, btw.
      z

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      1. Thanks for the suggestions. It would be a good idea for WP to have groups on areas of interest (written and other forms).
        You guessed it right – it is a guava tree. I like all the sunset pictures in your blog!

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      2. i didn’t know that but that’s very useful information, thanks! Btw, from your blog, i see that Latin America looks so similar to India in terms of the evergreen flora, climate and infrastructure/development :)

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    1. Hi
      So whenever I try to give my non expert opinion on another person blog, I go in with a first impression sort of eye…On first look, I liked the dark blue background…gives it a strong look…the side bar on the left threw me off a bit, guess its because most blogs have there side bar on the right, or maybe because i’m right handed, when I finally glanced over at the side bar…the cat sort of gave me a what the hell are you looking at look…its hard to get past its gaze…anyway, I managed to move on…really like your about page…also your poetry is strong…i’m going to follow

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      1. Thank you! I’ve been told before about the oddly places side bar, but when I switched to the right handed style it threw me completely off balance, and the whole thing looked so lopsided lol. Maybe I should switch for a couple of weeks or so and see if I can get used to it.

        Thank you for the advice! :-)

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  6. Hey people, I was wondering if anyone can help me with keeping to a schedule and coming up with ideas on what to write about. I’m a college student, so I pretty much have little time on my hands and, most times, little motivation, which drives me nuts. I feel like my posts are inconsistent in terms of both frequency and content. I’m just starting out here on wordpress, so there’s not a lot on my blog yet.

    Also, in general, could you let me know how my blog looks and if there’s anything I can improve on. And I would like to know how good my writing is and if it’s “on par” with what’s typical here.

    Thanks!

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    1. I see that some days you publish more than once. If you’re looking to blog more regularly, you could schedule some of your posts to publish at a later time. That can help fill in your blogging calendar. I know some days the muse just sings, and I’ll get a few posts written and then schedule them for a later date.

      I like blogs that encompass a little of everything, so your content works well for me. I like the nature photographs in particular.

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      1. Glad you like it! I’m still trying to find my “niche” so that’s part of the reason why there’s a bit of everything.

        I’ll try to remember to schedule my posts so that they appear on a semi-regular basis. Sometimes I forget that you can do that, so I end up posting something immediately after I write and edit it.

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    2. I like your current theme. As for your writing, I’m particularly fond of those 6 word stories and “Swisher Sweets Little Cigars.”

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    3. Hey, to get ideas for blog posts, go to Amazon or someplace like that, find out what subjects, topics or “slants” on subjects are currently popular and write something related to that. Also, you could pay attention to any negative reviews you find. If you can fill a gap created when one writer disappointed a reader, well…there ya go.

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    4. It looks like you get notifications from the Daily Post…Do you try any of their daily prompts….It sometimes motivates you to write on the subject they suggest? Diane

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      1. I do see those, but I guess it’s just my general motivation. However I am nearing the end of the semester, so I know I’ll be more than willing to try out some of the daily prompts! For me, summer = three months of boredom.

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  7. - I have recipe-image-galleries in my Recipe Index page. > (http://faestwistandtango.wordpress.com/recipe-index/) I have used ‘Create Gallery’ feature.
    By using ‘Create Gallery’ feature, I cannot (or don’t know how to) link corresponding recipe post. I’ve seen others have done it.
    – I appreciate if you teach me how to programmed my gallery that the reader is able to click on the images (not on captions like mine) to get to the recipe post.
    – Appreciate respond here or through my ‘Contact’ page > (http://faestwistandtango.wordpress.com/contact/), and delete this comment.
    – Thank you very much in advance. Fae.

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  8. The community pool has helped me a lot with the outlook of my blog and I am grateful to all who helped me but like Oliver Twist I keep coming back for more. I need help with comments, a lot of people come by my blog and like a lot of my write ups but don’t leave comments. can anyone take a look and tell me what I am doing wrong. @ sheilacioustreehouse.wordpress.com

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  9. Hey guys!
    I was wondering if I could get some feedback for my blog. I’m not too sure where exactly I’m going with it and I’d love it if I could get some feedback on wht I have so far :)
    My blog is amybyrne19.wordpress.com
    Thanks!

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    1. Amy, I believe you’ve chosen a great theme for your blog! It complements your posts in an excellent way. Just keep on, and remember to update the page as many times you can. Later you’ll know what you should do with it, but you’ll only find this out if you try to write more often.

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      1. Thanks for the feedback!
        That’s the problem I have at the moment, I don’t really know where I’m going, so I’m not too sure what to post :)
        Hopefully trying to update more, like you said, will give me a direction :)
        Thanks again :)

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    2. Hi Amy, I think your blog has a good clear layout and suits your style. You seem to have a nice variety of posts and I think it is just a matter of continuing to find your own individual voice rather than worrying about what direction you are going in. I particularly liked your post on babysitting your little brother and making him listen to your music :). One small criticism though would be to talk less about being bored as I think that can bring your reader down a bit unless you can give it a bit of an entertaining twist. Just as something that might fit with your style, you might like to take a look at http://expateyeonlatvia.wordpress.com (a very amusing Irish blogger living in Latvia). Good luck, I enjoyed visiting :)

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  10. Hi, I started blogging as a way to vent about specific things that I was observing related to the Jewish teen experience. I realize that I’m writing a blog for a niche group, which is part of niche group, which is part of a niche…well, you get the idea, don’t expect tons of views, but want to know in general how someone neutral would evaluate my blog—boring? blah? In need of some punch? I would really appreciate the feedback and will happily return the favor if requested. Thank you!

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    1. I enjoyed reading your blog it is interesting and honest. It would be nice if you added an About page just to introduce yourself and have you considered adding a Like button?

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  11. Hello Fellow Bloggers, I just updated my site. When I created a custom menu, I accidentally deleted the “Home” tab. Didn’t realize it was forever! Anyway, would love some feedback on how easy or hard it is to navigate on my site.

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    1. It defaulted on your ‘main’ home page but then I selected a post and then pressed ‘previous’ expecting to take me back to the home page but it took me to your previous post…..Is it for sure you can’t get your home page heading back… ?? ie settings reading etc. …I’m a bit tired actually or I might have taken a bit more experimenting…but it was a bit confusing as to how to get back to your home page once I left it…Diane

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      1. Hi, WriterWannabe. Clicking “previous” at the bottom of a post will always take you to the prior post. To get back to the home page, you typically click on the blog’s title, logo, or header.

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      2. Okay that’s what ‘previous’ does mean but in her case she is concerned she doesn’t have a ‘home’ indicating tab or heading or whatever… Would her best option for people to automatically get back to her home or main page not be a widget with link since she is under the impression that her ‘home’ indicator is ‘lost’ forever ? Diane

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  12. I have a new fitness website that I put up that is custom domain. In my opinion, the niche I found would work really well.

    If you wouldn’t mind clicking around the site and providing feedback on the overall look and feel of the site itself and the posts (especially the about page) it would be greatly appreciated. I’m moving posts over from my previous site to the new one.

    There is also a free eBook I am putting out in the coming week. Does anyone think this comes off as a shameless way to drive traffic?

    the URL is – http://yahfitness.com/

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  13. I would like feedback on my posts with “Monkey mind” in the titles. Too long? Too general? What do you think of the 2nd person address and the attitude of my “voice?” All other feedback also welcome.

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  14. Hello:

    I would like to know if my posts are too long or too inconsequential. Any tips on the blog itself – style, etc. would be helpful too. My last blog from today is one of the shortest. A few are pretty long. How do you get people to read, comment, like and follow. I am assuming this stuff just takes time. Thanks!

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    1. Q. I would like to know if my posts are too long…
      A. What matters to me is how compelling they are.

      Q. or too inconsequential…
      A. not to me. I’m 52 so I can relate.

      Q. Any tips on the blog itself – style, etc. would be helpful too.
      A. I like it the way it is.

      Q. How do you get people to read, comment, like and follow. I am assuming this stuff just takes time.
      A. I dunno, but I’ve noticed that many bloggers who write “controversial” have followers in the hundreds.

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  15. Dear fellow bloggers,
    I am thankful for this post. I am eager to get some feedback on my blog, especially my latest post. I am going through a very crucial phase right now; any help is deeply appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Minu

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  16. First time posting here….I have my blog http://momentsthrulens.wordpress.com/
    so firstly I want to know how does it appear at first to the viewer, is it complicated or slow or just pretty simple.
    secondly…..i am always doubtful about Tags to be used for the post and how its different from categories. If anyone can help how to keep Categories and Tags in a more managed way as its in my blog.

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