Community Pool

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. Suzie, I just love your pictures. You have the eye for photography!! keep up the good work!! You allow me to visit London by the pictures you post!!

    1. Nice post there! That’s quite a controvertial question, but ofcourse everyone is entitled to an opinion. For me, there’s no hard and fast rule to things like this. Men and women can be friends. Friendship often stirrs it’s own unique emotions that could advance into romance, but that wouldn’t happen if the relationship was defined from the onset and one of the people involved keeps a clear head.
      Colleagues, classmates, clubmates, etc can actually be intimate friends without romance. I’ve encountered quite a number even though they may be on the minority.
      Good job with the post.

      1. @TEECEECOUNSEL: Having lived, and to some degree, still living a non-romantic relationship with a male friend, I have to declare it possible. Where, though, was the original post?

    2. Hi Suzie81
      Great post! I have often pondered this question myself. Now at nearly 40, I think I have come to the conclusion that any male/female friendship that exists independent of other friends or partners, is based on a sexual chemistry. Whether this is mutual, recognised, acknowledged or acted upon is another question.

    3. The more experience I get in this part of life, the more confusing it gets…. Absolutely men and women can be friends! So many of my friends have males as closest friends and they rock… But for me, it sucks. It’s said that at some point of time, one or both of them fall for each other and that’s where the troubles start.. I don’t remember having good male friends who didn’t fall in love with me!! But Slowly I am making more friends in males and some of them are really good friends (finger’s crossed)…

  1. Hi everyone. I have a poetry blog that i run with all original poetry by me and I would love any feedback, constructive criticism, suggestions etc. on the content, layout and design. Also I have been trying to think of a domain name and I can’t really think of anything so any suggestions for that would also be appreciated! thanks! :)

    1. hey there. looks good. one suggestion [and might be way off, just me] is that the colourful images down the side for me are a little distracting cos they keep grabbing my attention away from the poetry – i would perhaps go for something softer or more simple so that the poetry doesn’t have to vie for attention – you want that to be the focus after all…

      and then you might be very intentional about why you don’t have space for comments [unless i just didn't see it] but i enjoyed the three or four poems i read and would have loved to have hit comment [i will go back and look cos might have just missed it in my hurry] and share some poetry love but didn’t see the possibility to – but ja thanks for sharing and all the best as you continue – if you have a general theme or summation of the kind of stuff you write i would try find something like that for the title but if it’s a whole lot of different stuff then a title that specifically points at poetry or rhyme or creativity would be better…

      good job so far!

      1. Thanks so much for the feedback. I see what you mean about the background being distracting and i will look for something softer and let attention grabbing. And as for commenting if you click on the title of the poem it brings you to the individual poems page and you can comment there. Thanks again for the feedback I appreciate it alot.

    2. I agree with brettfish about the colors being potentially distracting. I think a great domain name would be:

    3. Hi there. Again, I agree with the other comments about the artwork down the side of your blog. Much as it is great, it makes the page a bit too busy. I was wondering whether you could call it by the word you use at the top in the title? Is it Hekau? That would be poetic and original and for those that don’t know the meaning you could define in your tagline. Anyway, just a suggestion. You have a very profound style. It’s great.

    1. hey there, thankx for sharing and all the best as it grows with you – for starters i would fil out your ‘About’ page with a brief description of who you are and what the blog is about, what you’re hoping to achieve – wordpress has some good hint pages on how to write a good ‘About’ if you can find them – want it to grab people’s attention and pull them in without being too long or anything…

      name and title looks good, subtitle a little harder to read cos the writing so small but don’t know if you can do anything about that except perhaps change colour of writing?

      yeah and then things like keeping it short [your lengths were good], using bold or italics to emphasise certain points or ideas or headings can help grab peoples attention and inserting a picture helps make it more interesting as well – just a few simple ideas to amp it up a bit…

      have fun and all the best!

    1. As I’m doing this on an iPhone it only took me to Ashton Kutcher’s speech, which I think is a great topic. I’ve watched this several times this week and it’s very inspiring!

    1. Hi Jolene, I did a VERY similar post on my now closed blog that I plan to move to my current blog…but in reply I will say I love this. Raw-ness is great! You attract RAW readers. If that is OK with you then you are on the right track.

      1. Thank you Mara for your feedback. Although I posted this days ago and the follow up the day after I still wasn’t sure if I did the right thing by posting it but I will tell you this….it sure felt good to come face to face with that hidden demon called the past!!

    2. i think it’s great. really sounds like you’ve been through the toughest of times and sorry for that but so encouraging to see the hope you have in being able to get those words together for yourself and now just remember to keep going back, especially to the hopeful ones which pull you forwards and the hope of things getting better and moving to a better place – be encouraged in that and go for it.

      1. Hello Brett,
        Thank you for your feedback!! You are right….I need to go back and come face to face with the past. I think if and when I do it I will only help those that may be going through the same thing can relate and somehow know that everything will be ok….in time.

    3. Raw? I didn’t think so. Not exactly. It felt perfectly honest and truthful not just in a not-lying way, but in the way that I think I can actually know something about the real you. It also has a few places you could, in the future, expand on a particular story, if it serves your own purpose. It’s good, really good.

      1. Hi David, thank you for your feedback….. I did end up writing a follow up to the letter the following day to offer a little insight to the reader.
        Thanks again

    1. I like what you have, but I see two things that could be improved:

      1- Does the blog title (in the upper left) have to be all in caps? If it can be changed to capital and lowercase, the N on “breakdown” might fit on the same line as the rest of the word. That would also eliminate some of the empty space at the top of the page.

      2- Your blog title is good and I think it renders your current tagline unnecessary. I think you’d be better served with a tagline that says a thing or two about you. Since your blog is about your current life situation and how you’re dealing with it, you might want to mention something about yourself in your header. That way, new visitors would know what they’d find if they explore further.

    1. It’s visually intense, such that the words (specifically the font) seemed a little out of place. I like the font you have on “Waiting for No One” post. It seems a little more congruent with the rest of the design. In that post, it seemed more like the words mattered while, in the others, it looked a little more like the words were accessories to the images (which are insanely spectacular).

    2. Hi there. A great start! I just had two thoughts:
      1) Both your background image and your template theme/colours etc are both great on their own but somehow don’t work together for me. I’m wondering whether, if you kept the background image (if it’s a favourite) and simplified the theme or do the reverse, it might have more impact?
      2) The images are great but in my opinion to left align the text or keep it all centred would be easier to read. Sometimes consistency is the key.

      Only my thoughts but otherwise your blog is fantastic.

    1. I really enjoyed your post! I’m sorry you’ve had such a hard time – I’ve only been on here a few months after having a bad time and the support I’ve found on here has been amazing!

    2. Hi Expanding Middle.
      Your blog post really struck a chord with me. I am a single mum also under pressure to find a job. There is nothing more destructive than putting yourself out there time and time again only to be disappointed. I think it’s soo great you have started a blog. I’m sensing that you might be a little bit depressed by your circumstances? Sometimes action is the best remedy, even when depression dictates that action is the last thing you feel like. It sounds like you have considered some productive options like volunteering which serves to keep you busy and continue networking. However, I think putting your energy into your blog rather than the Wii could be hugely rewarding. It might not get you a job but it will give you a purpose every day.Take it by the horns and view the community as your new best friends who can be your silent self-therapy buddies. My suggestions to continue with what is already, a great start, would be to give your blog a tagline ( the subheading) and fill in your ‘about’ page. Life is like a game of chess (just like your banner photo) Keep playing! Best Wishes.

    1. Hi there.
      Well done on starting your blog. My constructive criticism would be to remove the menu at the very top under your heading. It is a bit distracting and already appears further down. Otherwise the colours are great on your theme and the pictures perfect. Maybe you could create a post that talks about what you do and what you are offering on your blog rather than just photos? It is always really important to spell check your posts too. We are all guilty of typos but for business purposes it’s really important to make sure your content is accurate.Goodluck!

      1. Hello! Thank you for your constructive comments. The “menu at the very top”, as you call them, are necessary because this is not just a personal blog but also the website of a fully functioning (horticultural) society and community organization with specific goals and missions towards culturing, promoting and preserving orchids in all their diversity.

        Also, as you have observed, the top menu is duplicated further down at the very bottom because the President of the society reckons that it is too long for him to scroll backup to the top on his iPad.

        As for “about what you do and what you are offering on your blog”, it is found in the customary “About” page. Had you visited the About page, the questions that you have just posted would have been answered, at least partially if not totally.

        Yes, spellchecking is very important, though it is unclear as to whether you did find any typos on the blog.

        Once again, thank you very much for your feedback. SoundEagle has taken the liberty to take a look at your website. :)

      2. You are absolutely right. Apologies. Its just more common to see the menus under the title or photo banner. Because your About page is tucked amongst other menus in smaller print than the following plant catagories, it gets a bit lost. However you are right to say it is absolutely present and thorough if you look carefully for it.

    1. not sure if you were wanting feedback on the blog in general or the latest post but really enjoyed the bike story – can’t really read the note she left cos it’s uber tiny but only tiny piece of critique within what was a well written and sounds like well lived out story – the fact that you engaged and dived into it and just shared in her joy makes it so great – i imagine most people would not have… so yes, great post, you might want to fluff out your about page someday but it’s short sharp and to the point so may not need it and nice variety of posts… keep on!

      1. Thank you! Yeah I should have really got a close -up of the note, but didn’t get the chance! Too much glitter and glue got in the way! :) Thanks again!

    1. I read your post and I you have a great writing style! In my opinion, there is little you can do to improve this post, apart from adding another picture or two that fit with topic. Or for example you could add an image of the author or something showing modern India. It makes it more attractive for readers :) Great post!

      1. Thank you so very much Ula! I am glad you liked it! It definitely means a lot! Also, I shall be posting an annexure chapter to the book this Sunday…look forward to your response on it too. Thanks again. Have a wonderful day!

  2. I’ve started my own blog and would love it if anyone could leave me some feedback about current content/what they’d like to see on a blog like this… I did write a slightly controversial post about Facebook today which may spur on some interesting debate also! Check it out at:

    1. I really like your blog! The layout and design is nice – it kind of resembles the lighting and feeling in which I like to read in! I should probably get to know what your own personal view is on your blog before I say anything but have you considered putting up a couple of video links on things that interest you? I find it quite interesting and engaging to hear someone speaking on a subject as well. Just a thought though – like I said I already love the blog! I’ve subscribed too!

      1. Thank you so much for the feedback – it’s exactly why I picked the design; peaceful and mellow; like where I like to read! I have thought about video links & am musing about subject specific posts – hopefully I can get past the procrastinating and branch out a little! I’ve had a look at your blog to and it’s very interesting, lot’s of variety – I’ve subscribed! :)

    2. Hi Amber. Wow. Are you really sixteen? I love your writing! What an inspiring start to your blog. Its simple, concise and enjoyable to read. You are clearly independent, intelligent and thoughtful about life. I would love to hear more about the trials and tribulations of being sixteen. By the by, I am an avid Facebooker but loved your post. I agree with lots of your observations but I guess I just shut my profile down when I need solitude. I look forward to reading more. I am off to follow you!. Best Wishes

      1. Hi – no, I’m not 16… I wrote a letter to my 16 year old self with the benefit of hindsight and though I haven’t specified my actual age, I’ve highlighted my age bracket in my FB post ;-) I’m glad you like my blog though I hope you won’t be put off by the fact I’m older than you thought! Best wishes x

    1. Hi There!
      I think you have some interesting content on your site. The layout had me jumping around though – so much to see that I would just read clips of articles instead of the entire thing. Could just be my style though. Love the color scheme! Good luck with your blog!

    2. Hi halfdecentgigrider.
      Well done on beginning your blog! I like your theme and began my blog with the exact same one! ( recently changed) My only suggestion might be to add some images. Because you have used the format that lists posts with brief chunks of text it makes your page look a bit wordy. Maybe it would work better to display each post in full as an infinite scroll? You could add pages if you wanted to catagorise your content into say. MUSIC, ART, LIT etc. Just a suggestion..

      1. Thanks for the feedback! I have got quite a bit on the appearance of the blog so I’m going to take a good look at it. One more question though – do you think I could add pictures to my post now or is that kind of cheating?
        Good luck with your blogging endeavours!

  3. I’d love some feed-back. Most especially I would like to know if people think that I should focus my blog on just one theme and create a separate one for other hobbies/ideas? At the moment, my blog is a bit of a jumble of different interests of mine (society,cooking, movies…) so I’m having trouble attracting a specific type of audience. Any tips?

    1. Hello!
      I checked out your blog and I really like it. I think your mix of topics is appropriate and not too far reaching. Somehow it all seems to blend quite well for me.

    2. I like your blog. I like how there isn’t one pin-pointed topic of your blog. Mine is the exact same! I don’t see why it should be just one topic; so long as the posts are placed into feasible categories, of course.

      Take a look at mine, and tell me how you find it?

    3. Please consider roasted reverie, an “About” page so that you can summarize in 1 sentence the focus of your blog and your blog title in a creative way.

      1. Thanks for the advice. I think I dealt with most of that question in the “Me” page, but perhaps I should change the name of the page to make that clear. Thanks for stopping by!

    4. Hi Roasted Reverie.
      I think your blog is great the way it is! It shows your personality but teaches us new things. Knitting patterns, recipes, your views etc will all appeal a certain audience ( maybe homemakers) but also to lots of people who may like only one of those things. Enjoy!

    1. Based on the blog title and tagline, I was not expecting literary analysis. Neither the Hemingway quote nor “Bad Cursive” make that clear. I’d probably switch out the Hemingway quote instead of the title because you’re already using badcursive as your URL. (You could move the Hemingway quote to your “Front Matter” page, though. It would give greater detail to how you’re doing things.)

      If I were you, I would also go back to your June 11 post and put quotation marks around all instances of “Negro poet,” assuming those are the words Langston Hughes used. That language is out of place unless it’s a quotation.

  4. Hi everyone, I’m looking to start an agony aunt style blog. Instead of dishing out second chances to undeserving other halves, I believe in empowering those who otherwise don’t have the confidence to stand up for themselves and gain closure. Please let me know your thoughts. Many Thanks!

    1. Well I would drop the Revengewitherica, it sounds like you hate all men and wont to rid the world of them.
      Another thing is are you qualified? Giving out information to someone who is suffering a mental illness, could land you in trouble if that person does something stupid and ends up harming themselves or someone else. I dont want to put a downer on your idea, its great and enthusiastic but you could leave yourself open to the ambulance chaser. Check out the legal ramifications first. Good luck :)

    2. Hi Erica. I totally understand where you are coming from with your blog idea and the need to feel vindicated. However, closure comes from reconciling the events with yourself and letting go of blame and the victim mentality. That’s not to say there aren’t some relationships that leave us with a walloping sense of injustice – its just maybe better exorcised by teaching people how to take their power back and move on, rather than wallow in anger. None of us can do this unless we have mastered it ourselves. I wish you all the luck in the world but just suggest you tailor the focus of your content to positive self help.

  5. Hi, I’m still relatively new to WordPress and I’d like overall feedback on my blog. Layout, widgets, and generally my writing style: is it engaging enough for the reader? Did you enjoy reading it? … Things like that; forgive me for asking for so much lol. Here’s the link:

    1. Hi Kidprepjay. I loved your blog. Your theme and layout is very simple and easy to read. You are writing from the heart which is always appealing and you do it well. My only suggestion would be to watch how you use italics and capital letters in your content. Otherwise, keep your chin up, take the pressure off and enjoy your new outlet. Best Wishes.

      1. Thank you for that. I really appreciate the feedback. I’m glad you liked it. Yes, I will also be more careful with my italic & bold letters. I go a little crazy sometimes haha.

    1. Hi. Keep going! Make sure you fill in your ABOUT page so we can hear about you, who you are and why you blog. I’m also wondering whether a more colourful theme might work for your content? As images might not be the focus, you have room to add some flair with your template. Try to add some widgets too. These appear in your side or upper/lower menu areas and allow you to fill out your page. Goodluck.

  6. I have noticed several blogs have a ‘rate this’ option. Is this available on the basic set up or is this an upgrade option only? If it is on the free setup, would someone please tell me where I may find it to add to my posts. Thank you and have a wonderful day.

    1. BTW: nice blog, gorgeous photos.
      What’s not to like for a former Yooper like me, especially when you mention Alpha. That’s where I saw a giraffe eating leaves at the edge of a field; from the back seat I cried for my Dad to stop, stop, go back, see it! But of course by the time he did the giraffe had wandered off into the trees. Magic in the UP, even when I was five…

      1. Woo Hoo! Another Yooper!!! My parents grew up in Crystal Falls (Bill Premo and Carol Perry). Lots of relatives still in the area and a cabin on Long Lake. I was raised in Escanaba — MTU grad. Now …. I’m stranded in Iowa :-)

  7. I’ve been blogging for a month, and I have a post written once a day, mainly about photograph I took and the story behind it. I’m happy that someone actually read my post and like them (usually 5-6 likes per post) and wondering what it takes to increase visitor to my blog and have them commented it. Thank you for any feedback given.


    1. Hi Potpourridaily. Love the title and the fact you have added the definition. All makes sense now :) Your layout is great. The logo is perfect and colour scheme is on trend. The feed is easy to follow and clean to look at. I’m just wondering if there is an angle that you can find that hasn’t been done yet? There are quite a lot of similar blogs out there and its hard to compete. Wishing you all the best.

  8. i have just started my blog and was wondering if i could have some feed back on what i have done so far. I haven’t done loads yet but would love some advice

    1. First off, I’d put a “Who” at the front of your tagline’s final mini-sentence.

      The other thing I’d suggest is adding some visual interest to your tagline. Right now, it’s just some large black text in a sea of empty space where an image would normally be with that theme. If you were to create a single-page PowerPoint document (saved as a JPEG) with the text in a more interesting font and with a background color, it would be a great improvement. (I would have suggested putting a horizontal line at the top and bottom of the header but you’d have to crop the JPEG to fit the header’s required dimensions and it would be time-consuming to get the placement right in PowerPoint. )

  9. I recently started my blog and was looking for some feed back about the design and layout. Also, should I stick with two pages (home and about) or expand by category (fiction, poetry etc)?? I would really appreciate any advice, comments, or feedback!! Thank you :)

    1. Right now, I think Home and About are sufficient. Since you’re already using the category widget, visitors can already sort posts by type. (Other popular page types are “About Me,” “Contact,” and “Blog Roll;” you don’t have to include them but I find that visitors flock to an “About Me” page.)

      As far as design goes, I’d strongly recommend adding a custom header. It would add some visual interest. If you don’t want a header, I’d suggest changing the orange text color or light blue background. (Considering your blog topic, probably the background…) The two colors look mismatched without any other images to tie them together.

  10. Reblogged this on miroslavjokic41 and commented:
    Prvi put se javljam ,i moram priznati da mi puno stvari nisu poznate,pisao bih nesto,da li su odredjene teme pisanja,komentarisanja,obracanja,kome i kako. Svaka pomoc od Vas dobro bi mi dosla .Potrebno mi je samo da krenem,sto bi kod nas kazali”da udjem u fazon”,i na svakoj pomoci bio bih veoma zahvalan.Puno srece i zdravlja i od Boga svaki blagoslov dobili. Hvala Vam najlepse.

  11. Hello, everyone. My name is AT Augustine, and my blog is called Crown Town Scribe. Through it, I explore storytelling in all its different forms, from the staples we all know and love like books and movies, to the mediums we may not expect like dance and video games.

    I just reformatted my site to include a home page, and an about page. I’d love for you guys to take a look and see if they help or hinder viewers.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. Since you are aiming to write stories of imagination, though not on your blog, consider a blog header design/photo that is less technical (city skyline) and something more suggestion of memory, imagination.

      1. That’s actually a picture of the city the blog is named after, and I guess I need to reword the premise of the blog since it must have misled you. I won’t be writing stories, but shining a light on how stories are told on different mediums. For example, I’ve got an article about the storytelling power of dance, and another about how video games tell stories.

  12. Hi there. I’m icythunder and I very recently joined this site and started blogging not too long ago, my first real post 3 days ago. My blog is mainly about health and nutrition and I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas for my future posts.

  13. Hi everyone, only started my blog site this morning, please have a look and let me know what you all think.

    1. Congrats on three years.

      I’m hesitant to make too many suggestions for improvement because i have no idea what your regular readers are used to. However, the gray background color doesn’t seem to match the tone you’re going for. It’s a little dry and businesslike for an author who goes by the name “Christrocks.”

      1. Thanks for the input! Well, the color scheme is actually pretty similar to my original theme, which was Book Lite. I mostly went for this one because of the side bar. Besides, I kind of like the clean, simple look. I appreciate your sharing your thoughts! :)

    1. I love that post! Really gets in the head of someone who wants to try a little more, take one more step, test their limits -even that means getting out of bed! Definitely write more posts.
      Also, I’d love it if you could check out my blog if you have a chance :)