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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.

53 Comments

  1. If you are interested in photography, this post maybe for you… If you are interested in street photography, this is definitely for you. Here I share on of my experience while shooting on the street. Would love to here from all the wonderful people here about what you have to say about the post, and I would also love it if you have any similar experience to share, by commenting on the post. http://turn2pagelife.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/when-preparation-meets-luck/

    1. This is a really good post Dipayan. Useful for those who are looking for hints on street photography.

      I’m not entirely sure about the ‘shoot in raw’ bit though. I tried that one day in India, but I found that my camera took ages to take the shot and then process it, so that cut down on the ability to do continuous shots, which is often necessary to get that ‘lucky shot’ in times of action or movement. I personally gave up on using ‘Manual’ and just set my camera to ‘Auto’ now in such situations. That’s just me though – I have the patience of a demented flea sometimes.

      Another thought is the ‘anticipation’ factor. I find that if I look around my environment, especially in city situations, or where children are milling about, sit somewhere out of the way, train my camera towards my subject so it can focus quickly, and wait, I often manage to get at least one good shot out of twenty or so. I guess that’s all about observing the environment you’re in on an ongoing basis when you’re in ‘photographer mode’.

      I really love Delhi for that – if you sit still for long enough, something will always happen. *grin*

      1. True, and very well said. I agree with almost everything that you have said, and yes, many of these methods/rules/etc. keep changing from time to time and place to place. But about the RAW processing speed being slow, I think something is wrong with your camera. You should get it checked. Or else it isn’t a usual problem.

    2. Excellent post! This is Very educative and useful advice for most of the amateur street photographers. Nevertheless, I consider you shouldn’t be so strict in some aspects of your statement.
      It seems you go out just for furtive good street shots. For amateur photographer, practicing techniques, it is ok; but, it doesn’t mean that you have to set your camera in Aperture Priority all the times. For instance, that could be not the proper setting, depending on what you are expecting to capture.
      Apart from that settings you mentioned, it is also possible (or necessary) to preview the location, pre-establish the point to place the camera, the use of a tripod, angle, flash, etc., and then, as you wisely said, you’ll (maybe) be lucky, not only having a good photo, but the one you are looking for.

  2. I just want to thank everyone who inspires the blogging world, especially.

    THANK YOU ALL. Here’s hoping that you day is fun filled and care free. :P

    1. Ditto. It’s been the best therapy I’ve ever had and the support I’ve had from you guys has helped me through a very tough time. Thank you.

  3. Hi Everyone,

    I have two self-hosted WordPress.

    The main one is a personal weblog. I write mostly about me personal experiences – day-to-day life and when I’m traveling in my RV. I have a lot of RV’ers in my readership, but since I’m not full-time that’s not really my niche. I welcome constructive comments (you may put them on my blog) as how to engage readers and improve my blog.
    http://www.desertdiva.net

    The other blog relates to my amateur photography. I like to showcase my best/favorite photos with quotes. I haven’t posted to that blog for some time, but even when I do it doesn’t get much traffic.
    http;//www.cjcox.net

    Thanks!
    Cheryl (a.k.a. “Desert Diva”)

    1. I think you’re going to need a few more widgets as you move forward. I can appreciate the desire for simplicity, but you might be well served by adding category listings and archives. (Both of these can be done as drop-down menus instead of full lists.) Otherwise, it’s going to be hard for anyone to sort through your older posts once you’ve been here a while.

    2. Hi! Don’t forget to edit your about page, it is still the default! You can probably shorten the blurb about yourself that appears on the sidebar, and put some of that text on the about page. Cheers!

  4. We got a curious comment about our blog http://veryethnic.wordpress.com/ a few months ago: “It takes a bit of work to understand what your blog is all about, but once I did, I ended up spending hours reading through all the posts. It’s sad that more people haven’t discovered what you’re doing here.”

    We’d like the blog to feel more immediately accessible without sacrificing the voice and overarching perspective. Would be grateful to hear any constructive feedback on: (1) What barriers did you encounter in terms of engaging the blog? (2) What little things can we do make our blog more inviting?

    Namaste,
    @VeryEthnic

    http://veryethnic.wordpress.com/

  5. Though I’m probably a bit late to the party on this one, but if there’s anyone around to read this, it would be really useful to me if anyone could give my story a read through on my blog http://thehoaxofadigitallife.wordpress.com/. Just click on the story tab located on the menu bar and go down and read the 3 posts that are on there.

    The story is basically a dark thriller that starts with a young man who awakes from horrible nightmare and discovers that he has been missing for a week and has no memory of what has happened during this time. As he goes further into uncovering his memories, he realises that there might have been much more to his sudden disappearance as an eerie masked serial killer has been about during this time. Something tells him that the frightening dreams, memory loss and hideous crimes committed by this unknown serial killer seem to all be linked somehow. The key to the truth seems to lie within the dreams…

    I’ve only got an introduction and a first chapter so far, but if anyone would be so kind as to read it through and give me a few pointers, that would be fantastic!

    1. Like most people here, I don’t make recommendations about other people’s writing style. However, I’ll give you a pointer anyway…

      Since you seem to be writing a short story or novel, are you currently reading any short stories or novels? That’s the best way to kick your writing up a notch. (The only thing you mentioned in your profile were comic books; those won’t help you much with what you’re doing now.)

  6. hi fellow bloggers! I am brand spankin new to blogging and i would love to get some feedback on what I have been doing so far. i have never shared my writing before and was wondering if i could get some constructive feedback on my writing. i am incredibly informal and i write from my mind not my brain. let me know if my mind makes any sense. Thank you all so much in advance for your time :)

    http://khahare.wordpress.com

    1. Well, I’m not sure what your old format was, so it’s impossible to compare. The only thing I see that’s questionable now is that green background. Your photos are incredibly colorful but they don’t pop like they should because of the green. I’d recommend switching to white, or to black if your theme allows you to use white text in your posts. If you were trying to avoid these two standard colors, I’d suggest a very pale yellow or something that won’t compete with the color in your photos.

    2. Well the first comment I would make is the big banner shot of the monks in the temple ISNT STRAIGHT!!!! and its not straight by enuf that its clearly not straight, but its not wonky enough to be creative and arty. The beer mugs are blown up too much and are all pixelated as is the family on the bike. Looking at the temple post, nearly all your shots are just crooked enuf to make most people twitch which is a small thing to fix that would make them a lot less irritating (being off just enuf to register with peoples brains makes them twitch because they know there is something wrong with the shot but not necessarily what, its why its important to get horizons straight)

      I agree with the other poster, ditch the strong green, doesnt do the images any favours against it – if you are wanting to make a focus of your photography, perhaps put a bit more effort into presenting the images so they look their best?

      I did like the temple shots with the dog and you have tried to capture nicely framed images so keep working on it :)

  7. Hi, my site http://LoveMekanism.org is about a week old. I wasn’t really expecting people to read it yet but I hoped. I would rather the writing progress naturally, since I’m recovering from writer’s block, but as a Southerner, I’m now naturally concerned whether its user-friendly and hospitable. Is this ok or could you recommend a more user-friendly theme if needed?. Could you also give me some feedback on titles? It’s about me- mostly trying to heal and show who I am as a person– a lot country in tone, a little nerdy, inspiring, artsy– but all discovery. So you see why I didn’t really expect that :), but any help would be appreciated thanks!

    1. Hi! Just at first glance I find it really difficult to focus on the text on your page because of the way the text scrolls across the static background – it feels like the text is just floating. Your blog is pretty text-heavy so perhaps look for a more text-friendly theme?

  8. Hi,

    I’ve started blogging recently and one of the main challenges that I’m facing is with the comments. I’ve made a facebook page for my blog and I share all my posts on it and from there I can also tell how many people viewed a particular post. However, I’m still not getting as many comments on my posts as I’d like. One reason could be that the readers don’t want to comment, which tells me that I should increase my readership/following.
    How can I do that?

    Here’s a link to my blog for reference:

    http://officialwarranty.wordpress.com/

  9. Hi, my site http://LoveMekanism.org is about a week old. I wasn’t really expecting people to read it yet but I hoped. I would rather the writing progress naturally, since I’m recovering from writer’s block, but as a Southerner, I’m now naturally concerned whether its user-friendly and hospitable. Is this ok or could you recommend a more user-friendly theme if needed?. Could you also give me some feedback on titles? It’s about me- mostly trying to heal and show who I am as a person– a lot country in tone, a little nerdy, inspiring, artsy– but all discovery. So you see why I didn’t really expect that , but any help would be appreciated thanks!

      1. Thank you for the reply!! I wondered fpr a moment it that bothered people. It’s just a sentimental thing- maybe I can put it in the image in the right column instead

    1. Your blog seems fun! :) I liked the first sentence of the tagline (don’t know if you need the second because the first sentence says it all with a punch! :D ). I also really like the title and the posts that I went through. :) I personally find that blogs with dark text on a light background are easier to read, but I liked all the widgets exactly where they are. Cool blog!! :)

  10. I was wondering if anyone has experienced this issue. A blog that I have been following has changed from wordress to another server. I cannot leave any comments or “Likes”.

    I don’t mind that as I decided that, perhaps, I may be blocked by the blogger herself. BUT – I leep getting “Likes” and comments from other bloggers she has on her blog list.

    How do I stop getting these e mail comments when I am not following her. I tried to post on her blog in her about page to unsubscribe me but it will not allow it. ~~~~~ : – (
    Can hints?
    Isadora
    http:insidethemindofisadora.wordpress.com/

    1. You probably subscribed to comments from her blog. You can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of those emails or by going to https://subscribe.wordpress.com/ and clicking the tab that says COMMENTS. Of course, you may try an email to her– she may not have blocked you. Sometimes when people move over to new servers, their system starts over– and you have to be approved for one comment before the others approve… and maybe they haven’t checked their spam/pending folder. It’s possible! :) Best of luck!

  11. Hey all,

    This is my first time venturing into the “Community Pool,” hello! I’ve recently started a new blog / writing project (not my first blog) and am looking for some input or feedback: http://breakingmoulds.com – Anything at all is appreciated, but specifically:

    1. The concept is “getting to the heart of matters with strangers,” within the theme of “breaking moulds” in religion, gender, video games and so on, so obviously part of the purpose it to stimulate discussion. Any suggestions on how to do this better? I think mainly increasing readership, at this point, is key, as well as focusing on creating good and thought-provoking content…

    2. I am yet undecided on whether to openly share this blog with people I actually know, it’s still kind of a secret (well, as secret as anything can be on the internet). I’ve shared it privately with a few friends with whom I’ve discussed some of the issues in my articles to get their feedback, but so far that’s all. I mainly want to avoid the super-awkward comments from certain family members that plague my other blog (which is fine because it’s a travel blog that’s main purpose is to keep family and friends in the loop), but also I want to keep the conversation inviting for, as the tagline suggests, “strangers.” What do you guys think? Open the gates or hold off for now?

    Cheers!

    1. I would hold off– see if you can get some readership to set the tone, unless you think that your family/friends are the type of tone you want to set. I find that people follow in the footsteps of the majority group on any blog. If they’re joking, people will joke. If they comment with mini essays, others will too.

      As far as readership, maybe seek out that core group? Find, follow, and like the posts of people who would be interesting contributors, and either they or their friends will surely find their way back to you! :)

      1. Hi rarasaur, thanks for the advice. I think you’ve confirmed what my instinct tells me, which is to try to build a bit of community first before letting my secret out. I’ve invited a select few friends privately so I’ll leave it at that for now and work on the important things. Thanks!

  12. hello,

    My blog is Your Well Wisher Program and it attempts to solve commonly known problems. I am looking for mobile application developer to solve a problem.

    I am looking for a Mobile Application to control mobile’s usage will reduce mobile’s side effects.

    Refer my post: http://wp.me/p3dJz1-7r
    thanks

  13. Hi friends, I’m unable to connect to my blog at http://www.amaltaas.wordpress.com since 4 days. It is very frustrating. Don’t know whom to contact. tried various method. Not getting connection to even your post or any other word press post. For complaining or getting help connection is necessary. Google or Facebook is okay. Please help.

  14. Hi all! I have a new-ish blog here (7 months old) and it’s my first attempt at blogging. While I love blogging and am excited about it I do still wonder if I’m doing the best I can as far as content and layout is concerned. Would someone be kind enough to check out my blog http://suaaddartistry.wordpress.com and give me some feedback please? I blog about beauty, makeup and hair trends and some other random stuff as well (sometimes). Thanks so much!

  15. I was getting tired of people who click “Like” on every post in the WordPress reader without ever reading the entire thing. (I’ve also seen a few other bloggers who have written full posts on the subject.) So I decided to set a trap for them:

    http://bumblepuppies.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/puppy-haters-insult-my-intelligence/

    My question is: what am I ***NOT*** allowed to do to the bloggers who liked this post? Incidentally… if my trap netted reprehensible human beings instead of annoying ones, I have no problem with exposing them for what they are. I don’t want to give them the publicity, but I’m sure there’s a way around that detail.

    Should I just leave a message (with a link back to my post) on each of their blogs?

  16. Hi you all! Coul any of you, please, help explaining me what (or Why) is this?: Lately, when asked by Worldpress to moderate a comment in any of my post, the comment I find is something like: […] Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled | My Photolanguage […], and it is not a normal comment on my post content but just a link to the blog for the one who makes the comment. I would like to know if this is normal (and who makes the comment just wants me to visit his/her site) or there is something wrong in my settings. Please, I don’t want to miss any comment from you; I would really appreciate any help!

    1. That’s a pingback, not a normal comment. What happened is someone included a link to your post in one of their posts. If you accept that “comment,” a link to their post will appear in your comments section and it will be labeled as a pingback.

      This happens a lot with the daily and weekly prompts/challenges because some people will post a list of all (or many) of the preceding entries. If you’re getting a pingback on a post that was not written for one of these prompts, it probably means that someone is talking about your work on their blog and is sending people your way.

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