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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. Thank you – it wasn’t meant to be a sad piece but a few people have said a similar thing today! I may look at my style and see how I made it sound upsetting…

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    1. didn’t seem too “long” and I might just suggest breaking into paragraphs once in a while, but I’m old fashioned like that :)

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    2. I think your post was great. Humorous, well-written and a likeable voice. But I agree with the others about breaking up into paragraphs to make it more manageable.

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    1. Think of what affects you the most but people around you seem to be untouched by.
      Think about your take on relationships, life, on how your professional life is going, your aspirations… read a lot of blogs… that helps too, sometimes. :)

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    1. at first glance it seems like there should be one section to hold all of the Charity Fundraising, Community Volunteering, Collegue Linkup and Community Champions content instead of menu items for each, maybe one page to collect all of these sections in one place? And I would put FAQ as the last item on the menu. Hope that helps!

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      1. Hi Chris – thanks for your comments. Moving the FAQs looked like a good idea, but it has 2 sub menus & the second one gets ‘lost’ if it’s moved to the end of the blog.

        The 3 sections are appropriate as they are 3 separate strands to the community initiative that the blog’s all about. There would be the need to have too many sub-menus if they were combined in the way you suggest.

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      2. I was suggesting a page on your site that would include those 3 separate areas, like a “Community” main page or something and then you could update that page as you needed and create just one menu item instead of 3…not sure if it makes sense to do that but it would make the menu less intimidating/confusing

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    2. I actually think it’s fine for all the sections Chris mentioned to stay on their own as they are now. But yes, the end seems like a good place for FAQs. You could also integrate it with the About section.

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      1. Thanks Jhaneel :)

        The FAQs already has 2 sub menus beneath it, so moving it to the About section would make too many sub-menus. The audience isn’t familiar with blogs, so the FAQs needs to be easy for them to find ;)

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    1. Nick seems a bit harsh and I could live without the profanity, but curious to see where the story goes when they all get on the bus! Maybe post parts of scenes like episodes and keep it going like a series?

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      1. Thanks for the feedback. Yes, he is harsh. I guess the profanities could be tamed but it just came out like that when I wrote it, I didn’t to it to shock or such. I do have a few more I can post as follow ups to see if it’s worth continuing…

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    2. It’s definitely imaginative! I like that you involved the cutaways where Nick imagines different scenarios, but I think his character comes off as overly angry, especially at everyday occurrences. Perhaps some exposition on what’s pissing him off in future “episodes..”

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  1. Hello again, fellow bloggers!

    If anybody has the time, I would really appreciate it if you looked at my blog and let me know what you think of my posts.

    Feedback on what works well and what doesn’t in regards to layout and content would be fantastic.

    Thanks a lot!

    -Bradley

    thehoaxofadigitallife.wordpress.com

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    1. Hi Bradley, I’ll be honest and admit that writing about personal struggles and sharing directly from the author’s voice, in the first person, is not my cup of tea as a reader, generally. But, you do write well, and quite competently regarding skill, professionalism and lack of errors. So, kudos to you for having well-crafted material.

      What I liked most were the posts where the voice is a character’s other than your own. I realize that it’s you doing the writing, but I happen to prefer a less direct connection between the author and material. The web comic comes to mind as my favorite. I like the art, writing, and format of that post the most. A reader wouldn’t have to know that you, Bradley, wrote it, to appreciate it. I think that Nyctophobia and The Street are your strongest posts.

      Of course, take my opinion with a grain of salt, and write and produce whatever satisfies your urge to create and post, while at the same time considering your audience. It’s likely that I represent the smaller portion of that audience anyway, as self-help, advice, and direct author-to-audience material is quite popular.

      My overall rating and opinion of your material is positive.

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      1. Thank you so much! This really made my day.

        Honestly, I thought my fictional posts were the worst things I have done, but I guess that is only because, as you say, the advice ones are the most popular ones. These posts weren’t generating as much interest. Also, they required a huge emotional investment to actually maintain, so I lost a lot of motivation in those particular posts. They were mostly a way of keeping busy when I had insomnia at the time, I may continue them when I have more free time though.

        Thanks a lot for taking the time to read my older posts too, I know that it can be a bit exhausting considering there is a lot there to go through. I really appreciate your honest feedback!

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  2. there needs to be a review the person promoting outside featured content through the wp.com twitter account.. many of the tweets are promoting some despicable disgusting stuff

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    1. Who is your audience? That question kept going through my mind. It’s a very interesting blog. I really liked the bit on the different types of leaders. There was also something on another post about believers wanting to be with other believers and the problem of alienating one’s family and friends. This has definitely become a problem with my husband and his family. I look forward at reading more of your posts.

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      1. Thank you for your response and for your kind comments. I believe I envisaged that my audience would be anyone interested in joining me on my journey as a Christian at an incredible point in my life. I do realise that the topics may not be appreciated by a vast global audience, but I hope that my writing and poetry has a style that still makes it attractive to those who come across it.

        Having said that I think that it may be a good idea to make more of what I’m about in the subtitle, so thank you again for making me reflect on that

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  3. Sure, I would love constructive feedback. I am not struggling with anything, but I write about a wide variety of topics and would be happy to know what people find the most interesting. Great idea.

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    1. Hi, I really loved your photos and your writing posts are just as great! =) I like that they are short and to the point and that I get a sense of feeling from what you’re writing about.

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  4. Hey everyone!

    So I have a question for you section at the end of each poem and I was wondering how else I can get people to engage in thought about my poems or about the issues I bring to them?

    Also if there is anything you think my blog needs to be better (orientation, layout, spelling, grammar) Let me know.

    ~N
    ———————————-
    Forever is only as far as tomorrow will take us

    http://ncbek.wordpress.com

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    1. Hi, I took a look at your blog and the poems, and I have a few suggestions. First, though, I must mention that I really like the idea of putting a question at the end of each poem. That seems like a great way to engage readers and draw them into a conversation. I might have to try that on my blog, so thanks!

      Here are my suggestions: First of all, the theme is just a little too bland. Overwhelmingly so. It casts a kind of greyness onto your writing, so I even had a hard time separating the words in the poems from the grey. So, perhaps you could still keep the theme subtle, but change the color scheme a little? Secondly, I like the tagline at the end of each poem, with links to your other sites. However, the question “didn’t find it interesting?” is not very inviting. It presumes the negative, which doesn’t make me want to click on either of those links. Maybe you could try something like, “Want more?” “Like what you read? Click for more!” Lastly, whether you decide to change your color scheme or overall theme, definitely consider adding images to your posts. That would make your blog a lot more interesting and inviting, especially if you use tags to drive traffic to your blog. When you include a photo, and tag your post (for ex. “poetry”), the image appears along with the first snippet of text in the Reader. An image alone can draw readers, and generates a visual association with your post. That is one thing that I have learned first hand with my poems, and I found that it really helped increase my readership, likes, and followers.

      Keep up the good work!

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      1. Thank you!

        I have been trying to find the right theme for a while now, however I can’t seem to find one that is lively enough. I thought about investing in a premium theme but I am not sure I want to go that route yet. I am glad that I could help you in adding something extra to your blog. I will change the ending tag line right away! I am also going to be working in some visuals as well so thank you!

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      2. You are welcome! I had a hard time choosing a theme as well from amongst the free ones. But, there are some nice ones that are clean and uncluttered, with just enough color or style to make it interesting. I don’t think I’ll be going to a paid theme for a while, if ever. Please take a look at my blog, the theme I use is Bueno. I like it, although its a bit girly (totally not me). If you have a minute for some feedback, I would be very appreciative!!

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  5. I always am looking for constructive feedback and advice about how to improve my blog, in order to gain a larger audience. My goal is to be able to blog for a living, so, any words of wisdom and tips are appreciated. Thanks!

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    1. I think your blog looks great! =) I love how all your blog posts and topics are instantly visible and easy to look through. Good luck with the rest of your work! (Don’t forget us little people when you get rich and famous, okay?)

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      1. Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my blog and offering your feedback! I so appreciate it, and I wish you all the best, as well, and expect you to remember me when you hit the big time, too!!!

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  6. Hey everyone! I have a poetry blog that I would like some feedback on. I have a hard time stepping back and deciding if my writing is impactful enough. Will you please stop by, read a poem or two, and let me know your thoughts? It would be very helpful for me. Thanks!

    notenoughpoetry.wordpress.com

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    1. Your poetry is excellent, with clear, strong, descriptive vocabulary. The topics chosen are wide-ranging and a good mixture of observation, personal memories and thoughts. I particularly like Waterman and I Sat On The Edge.

      My question would be who or what do you want to make an impact on? Is it a particular cause or just poetry in general?

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      1. Thanks Linda! I am happy that you like my poems. I guess I feel that I tiptoe around subjects too much. I feel like I am holding back, and I could be more bold in my poems, and writing in general. Also, sometimes I feel like falling back on rhymes is like a crutch … but I can’t decide if rhyming poems or free verse poems are more “impactful” … anyway I really appreciate the time you took to look over my poems!

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    1. Dear MISS ELIZABETH ALICE VINE,

      I had a look at your blog and have some feedback I’d like to share with you. But before I do that, I would like to tell you not take my feedback too serious. At the end, it’s just an opinion of one person, who above all is also a stickler and a grammar freak :)

      First of all, I think it’s a good idea to write a personal memoir in the second person. However, I found your blog to be a diary written in the first person, so I’m not quite sure how your question relates to your blog. Or did you mean a specific post of yours?

      Anyhow, I liked the design of your blog very much, especially the main picture. The structure of the blog is also pretty straight forward, so that one doesn’t feel overwhelmed or lost. Also, the things you write seem to come from the heart and reflect your real thoughts, the ones that you maybe sometimes won’t share with anyone else in the “real” life. I liked that. The sincerity of your posts is really charming.

      With all this being said, let’s get into the details. Couple of points regarding the blog design:

      – I checked it on both Mozilla and Chrome browsers, and the font appeared to be too small for relaxed reading in both cases. I think you should consider making it a bit bigger.
      – Also, as your posts are short, one can read the complete post straight from the home page. However, there is no possibility to leave a comment (at least I didn’t find any). I figured out that one can only leave a comment if one clicks on the link to a particular post, that doesn’t appear to be a kind of thing one would think of doing, as the whole post is already visible on the home page. So, in case you are not getting enough comments on your posts, this might be the exact reason for it.

      Now, as you haven’t specified a particular post you would like to have some feedback on, I read four recent posts of yours: “I Hate Doctor’s Appointments”, “The Bus Driver”, “My Unremembered Past”, “Who Am I?” Please forgive me for skipping the poems. Poems are not my thing, so my feedback at this point wouldn’t have been of any use to you anyway. It would be like asking a lactose intolerant person to pass a judgment on a cheesecake.

      Before I go into detail for each post, one general thing I noticed common to all four posts: You don’t use enough commas. Some sentences are way too long to go without one, so that I had to read couple of times to understand where to make a “mental pose” to understand what you meant (see examples below).

      1. I Hate Doctor’s Appointments
      – As for the title itself, see here (I warned you, I’m a stickler): http://languageandgrammar.com/2009/11/10/doctor-appointment-not-doctors-appointment/
      – It started interesting, but at the end I felt a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to know more about why exactly you hate all these things.
      – Too many brackets; sentences in the brackets too long

      2. The Bus Driver
      – Nice idea
      – Sentences way too long with some redundant repetition (for ex., 3d paragraph: my comment – make comments)
      – Some more commas would be great

      3. My Unremembered Past
      – Loved the title
      – Some more commas would be great. For ex., compare these two sentences:
      Original: “Then slowly I started to look like myself until the age of three when I looked exactly like me and, from that point on, never changed.”
      With more commas: “Then, slowly, I started to look like myself, until the age of three when I looked exactly like me, and, from that point on, never changed.”

      4. Who Am I?
      – I’m sure you hate me for this already, but… commas!
      – It is important that a sentence also makes sense. I found a couple of ones that didn’t, for ex.: “Of course everybody says I have Daddy’s face, but where?” Basically, you are asking “where do I have … face”.  I’m sure you meant to ask which features of your face look like your Dad’s, but in this case you need to phrase the sentence differently.

      If you haven’t given up on reading this yet, I have a great piece advice for you as a reward for being patient with me. It’s not mine, it’s a professional one, put together in a very famous book. Do get yourself this book:
      “Writing Tools. 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer” by R.P. Clark.
      It’s an easy read, but very, very useful for anyone who wants to learn how to write better. When you start reading this book your sentence structures and punctuation will improve automatically. Promise.

      Hope it helps.
      Take care,

      Gill

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      1. Thank you very much. Your feedback was very helpful. I’m always wondering about the clarity of my writing and I try my best to follow the grammar rules that I do understand. Commas are confusing to me. I don’t know how to tell when I’m using them too much or not enough. I also wasn’t sure how to phrase “Doctor Appointment” so I just stuck to what I knew. But I understand where to found that post disappointing, and even writing it I was disappointed.

        As for the memoir I mentioned, it’s a project that I’m currently working on that I have not yet posted. Sorry about the confusion.

        Thank you again for your feedback.

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      2. Cool. Thanks for reading till the end :)

        Re commas and grammar in general: I think this short post will also help for starters, as these are things you can start with immediatelly:

        http://myblognr3.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/writing-in-english-tips-and-tricks/

        But if you are serious about your blog, do get yourself a book about grammar or follow some grammar blogs.

        Re your memoir project: If you like you can let me know when you post it, and I can have a look.

        Cheers,
        Gill

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      3. Sorry Gill I read what you wrote and I am sure you have more to do then write what you did, please life is far to short. A few lines, not an essay. :-) btw please don’t take my post to heart its only my opinion :-)

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    1. Great idea. I always wanted to try something like this, like watch a different Christmas movie every day in December up until Christmas Day. I will defo take part in this….oooo feeling Christmassy now :)

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      1. Thanks! Leave a comment when you can and let me know what you want to do. I have some others interested but haven’t updated the page with any news yet.

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    1. What a lovely looking blog you have and great for anyone interested in fashion and modelling. At the moment it is all about the photography (very professional). I would suggest sharing your thoughts would make it more interesting and engaging to readers. Good luck !

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