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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. Hi Suzie! I read your post from the perspective of a 17 year old, and it was really interesting. I most enjoyed how you differentiated between a job and a career. It seems like in your transition from 20s to 30s you somehow found yourself settling down, looking back on a newer generation, of which you were not a part.
      The way you wrote about it is pretty eye-opening, but I’m sure that there are some awesome parts of growing up.

      - Catherine

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    2. Hi Suzie. I really enjoyed your Blog post. As a 36 year old with several friends that are in their mid-twenties I am constantly reminded about the differences between the twenties and thirties. In fact my wife and I had friends over till about four in the morning last night, and we are dragging today, where ten years ago we could have slept for a couple hours and then been good to go for the day today.

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    3. This is a very well written post! my own mother can relate, though personally my family is more of a techno, dance/trance oriented family, though I’m with you one hundred and ten percent on the whole JB and One Direction thing. Why do girls lose their minds? they are after all just over glorified humans. Keep writing please! I look forward to reading more!

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  1. Hello everyone! I’d love feedback on my content, as well as the layout of my blog. I’m a little young (high school senior) but I still take writing very seriously, and I am always striving for improvement. Thanks :) – Catherine

    neverstationary.wordpress.com

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    1. Interesting Lay out – Images with links to posts, Categories at different place. But my first impression was where is latest blog ? Then when i scrolled through the page i found the lay out cool. I might try it myself what is this layout called ?

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      1. Hey there :)
        A great about page should include as much or little information that you’d like to convey to your readers. Perhaps background information that gives context to whatever you write about, such as your age and ethnicity, and a description of the intent and goal of your blog. That way, interested readers can look here to see if your blog is one that they might want to follow.

        A great blog layout will prioritize whatever the focal point of your blog is. Mine, for example, lures readers through pretty pictures. The homepage is simply pictures and titles of posts. Others will be concentrated on the writing itself, and may show snippets of the posts on the homepage. Thus, focus on whatever you want to draw readers, whatever you are most proud of. Make sure its sleek and versatile, and can appeal to many different types of audiences.

        I clicked on your blog; the first thing that I think is that you have a Halloween-themed blog, which may or may not be the case. If you change your blog layout to match the upcoming holiday, I might not want to follow that sort of blog. That’s my opinion, at least, and I hope this helps!

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      2. Clean, modern layouts are nice that give you an instant feeling for what the blog is about and are not too busy or cluttered.

        Abouts are great when they give a quick glimpse into the blogger. I like when they have personality and are not too long. That said, it can vary. We ended up with a long about section because it covers the mission of the site, the founder, beginnings and our goals. If “abouts” are longer it is nice to break them up into sections (in my opinion), so people can skim if they want. But short and sweet means more people will read it through.

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      3. Well, I guess your about page will set the tone for your blog. So a great one will match the feel of the rest of your blog and convey whatever sense you want your (potential) readers to get from your site. I think you have crafted yours perfectly. It suggests a lot of fun and relaxedness and from what I’ve seen that is carried throughout your whole blog. I’d say just throw absolutely whatever and as much or little as you want into your about page, particularly if your blog has no specific theme. If your blog is really just an online version of yourself, the best thing you can do on your about page is just be your uncensored self in words. I think yours gives us a good sense of your character and is extremely welcoming. I like it, and I instantly wanted to like you!

        As for blog layout… I haven’t worked that out. Mine is rubbish, and I’m aware of it, but unaware of what to do about it. But even in that, it essentially represents who I am. A clumsy, bumbling, disorganized oaf who essentially means well and is (hopefully) worth delving into for more info. And again, your layout suggest a lot of fun and playfulness. People will expect (and receive, I’ve noticed) that from your posts. I think you’ve done a great job on it. Change nothing but exactly what you wish to!

        (Sorry that was a little bumbling (as usual)). But I wanted to respond to your post, and got a little involved. Haha.

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    1. Your about page has to point to what you do and be able to reflect the blog through the description. You can state what you do, why you blog, what you blog about and your interests.

      A great blog is one that can capture the interest of the reader. The writing has to be spot on, the design has to be sharp and not too cluttered. Simple sometimes makes the day, do not be too fancy, simple is good enough

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    2. What makes a great about page?
      In my own opinion, an about page gives a reader an idea of what to expect.
      Your stlyle, your creativity, your language and all that you use in your about page should give your readers a clear picture of who they are dealing with.
      There is no hard and fast rule that stipulates what an about page should carry, so enlighten your readers about yourself, in the most fun way.
      Cheers!

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      1. Yes of course. I recently – yesterday – began a blog overhaul of my old account. I just haven’t had the time to complete it as yet. Don’t worry though, that will be up soon :)

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    1. Hey,

      I really like the theme of your blog and that you review movies with such detail. The only add-on I have is to maybe categorize your movies in different genres so viewers can easily choose to get a review depending on what they like.

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    2. I love it! I do like a good movie review blog, and yours is definitely one of those. You’ve earned a follower in me. The categorizing idea above is a very good one I think. It would just make scoping your blog posts a lot easier and accessible and you’d probably get more of the older posts read. Best of luck with it!

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    1. Loved the honesty!
      I can see myself writing something like that in the next few months to be honest. Great post, I hope you march ahead all guns blazing in this new yet old direction.

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    2. Hello! I think the post is very clear about the new direction you want to take, which is the original direction but more fully focused on it. I am interested to see how your journey progresses.

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    3. Hey,

      I think you’ve done a great job clarifying what the new direction is, especially by mentioning bits of what your blog focused on previously. Good luck in this new direction!

      Like

  2. Ours is a Collective blog, so each day there is a different person’s photo/story featured. Our standard practice has been to link the contributor’s name directly to their blog or web site. Today we are trying out a new format of linking to their site at the end of the post in a more formal way. Just curious if anyone has thoughts either way. Is it distracting to put it at the end/too many links down there or better?

    http://brokenlightcollective.wordpress.com

    Other feedback on the site would be appreciated as well!! Thanks for taking a look! New contributors/friends are always welcome:)
    Danielle

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    1. For me, the way it is done isn’t distracting in any way – it’s quite clear.

      I came about your blog earlier and I really like the posts plus pictures – keep going like this!

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    2. My thought – disclosure I have ADHD – is put it in both places. That way, whether totally distracted or hyperfocused, people will see it.

      As a side note I have found many photographers are members of the ADHD club. I think looking through the lens gives us a sense of a world in control .

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      1. YES! Agreed. That is what we are all about too (photography and mental health)! I am on that spectrum too and have many other mental health issues and find photography to be so healing.

        Your photography is great. Very expressive. Keep creating. I hope you will share some with our Collective some time too. Be in touch.

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  3. I write about law school, games, beer and travel. If any or all of those topics appeal to you, check out my blog and tell me what you think. It’s more of an online anonymous diary than a blog that’s meant to be read by other people, but you can read it if you want.

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    1. As a biology student I found your blog informative but a tad bland. It was like reading a book. Could you personalise the posts or is the style what you aim for? You could make an About page for enabling your readers to understand you more.
      The layout is simplistic which is a win-win for the content. :)

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      1. Yes i thought about personalizing the posts but then thought about keeping it informative. Of course i don’t wan’t it to be like a book ! That can be boring !

        I am new to blogging so thank you very much for your feedback.

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      2. It is very informative, no doubt. Personalizing doesn’t necessarily mean less informative, does it?
        You’re most welcome. :)

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    1. Love the name, the layout too.
      You seem to be a prolific writer and although business is the last of my interests your writing style is very good. So good that it made me read the entire article.
      I’d suggest you make your Me page a little crisper as reading so much to get to know you seemed a lot. I had to do vertical reading to not feel overwhelmed by the amount of content.

      Great job otherwise!

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      1. Thank you very much for your feedback, especially on the Me Me Me page. For some time, I had been wondering if I should edit instead of add there, and your comment is highly appreciated and helpful.

        Thanks again and enjoy your Sunday!

        PS: Sorry for boring you with business stuff.

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    2. Hi CavegirlMBA
      I liked it too and I’m not particularly into business. It’s a fun and very interesting blog, though I found the posts a teeny bit too long. But that’s the only objection I’ve got. Good luck.

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      1. Dear Pills and Pillow-Talk, thank you for your feedback – good to know that you would appreciate some editing in order to be concise rather than lengthy.
        Thanks!

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      1. I have actually seen a lot of this and wonder when did common sense in India become so uncommon? I am from Bangalore, and i see it everyday. The only way to stop this or reduce it is to construct more public toilets and put a heavy fine. But i do know that it won’t stop till the fundamental sense of right and wrong falls from heaven on all men who do so.
        And yes the writing style is very appealing! :-)
        I just started blogging a week back and my first post is about a lane. I blog at http://thinkerscap.wordpress.com/.
        Thankfully there’s a public toilet there! :D

        Like

  4. Hello all, I am a fantasy writer who decided to make a blog with a main focus of writing.

    Only, I’m new to blogging, and so I would like to know if I am moving along the right track. Any and all feedback and advice is greatly welcomed.
    Also, what do you guys think of the title of the blog? I had some trouble coming up with it, as you will see in my first post, and would like to know everyone’s opinions on it.
    Thanks in advance.

    http://bottomlessbloghole.wordpress.com/

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    1. 1. Blog name from card game: awesome! It took me so much to find a decent enough blog name as well.

      2. Working on a book?Cool. Shadows of Men seems like an appropriately mysterious title which has the potential of being made into a series. Shadows Of Men, The Shadows Get Darker, you know?
      Amazing!

      3. I love your sort of self deprecating writing style.

      4. You could post excerpts from your book to judge the reaction of potential readers. Lots of my friends do this.

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      1. Thank you very much. It’s good to know that the titles are actually working out.

        I will be talking about my own book more at some point down the line, and now I’m considering posting some excerpts, too. I’ll have to think on this.

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      2. I think if you promise us readers a free autographed copy we could really increase you readership. :D
        Just sayin’!

        On a serious note, you could share it with trusted people.

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      3. I’m sure once I’m finished and published I’ll be holding some giveaways.

        I agree about sharing with trusted people, and I am actually doing just that, which is a great help for any writer.

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    2. You plan to discuss things like the writing process, character development and the like? That’s the best part about a writing blog, I think – you get the story behind the story. Just my two cents.

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    1. You can link to a post (or any web site page) by copying the web address aka url at the top of the screen (the full www or http address) and pasting it into the comment box. It is the address that people can click on to find the blog or post you want people to comment on. Hope that helps.

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  5. Mutually observed reality really is Life is Most Important in Life. That is the Most Important Truth in Life.

    Why is it that those who have been to war or who have lost a loved one (people that have experienced hard core reality) will always agree and those that are trying to make large scale environmental change for the better refuse to accept that which is necessary to stop all the unnecessary violence?

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    1. Good blog and the photos are good too. I was wondering if your blog has a theme or something… if not, that would be a good idea. cause it seems like you blog about things other than the photos you click… Just saying :)

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      1. Thanks for the feedback! We write about a variety of things but our overall theme is “the simple things.” My blogging partner does the poetry pieces and I like to post pics that I have taken. We don’t stick to any 1 topic really but the overall idea is that we want to share the things that bring us joy.

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    2. Very sweet blog and photos! Perhaps you can make it more clear who of the two of you is posting? That’s the only thing that came to mind. It seemed more like a one person blog than two. Keep going though. It’s great. (and if either of you are a match for our gallery site, we’d welcome a submission) All the best!

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      1. Thanks so much! We sign each post with one our initials at the end (H or S) and my blogging partner is in school full time right now so she unfortunately doesn’t have as much time to post as I do. But we can definitely try and make it more clear who is posting each entry to avoid confusion. Thanks for the feedback!!

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      1. ah ok – well, it depends on the content, e.g. if you have a story divided into different episodes. Then the readers might be curious and expect the posts to follow quite quickly. And it depends if you have stuff to post, of course.

        But for a beginning, I’d set the limit at one post per week and then see how it goes

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    1. i like it! this is nitpicky of course but maybe vary up the sentence structure/lengths of future posts – your writing flows so well that there were times i lost the point a little bit because i just got caught up in the words :) but really, great start!

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  6. Hi

    I’m new to blogging and wonder how to get more. I get more comments about the blog on facebook and twitter than on the blog itself!
    It’s pillsandpillowtalk.com
    Thanks.

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      1. Oh, and the blog is on topics that might appeal to readers of chick lit, since that’s what my novel is. Some of the posts are around characters taken from the book and so on.

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      2. Really enjoyed what I read of your blog so far. And the visuals are arresting too. You’ve made great use of the 2011 theme. I was interested to hear of your coma, glad it’s over. It’s not the same thing, but one of the characters in my novel has a near death experience.
        All the best.

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      3. @drcarolcooper
        Two ways of attracting like-minded subscribers are (1) commenting meaningfully and frequently on blogs with similar content and (2) being active on social networking sites.

        Don’t neglect responding to each and every comment on your blog. Also note that posting manually to social networks and posting different blurbs to each one will increase traffic to your posts in a way that auto-posting the same promotional blurb and link across social media sites will do.

        Your stats will tell you which posts topics draw the most traffic but that doesn’t preclude publishing a post that asks your readers specifically which topics they would like to have you blog about.

        There are many ways that you can encourage your readers to comment. Don’t overlook the fact that the way you structure your posts can draw out comments. You may want to try your skills at comment baiting.

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    1. hi! i like your writing a lot! i’m a little confused as to whether there’s a particular “theme” or something for your blog – i may have just missed it though.

      if you can check out my blog and let me know your thoughts too i’d really appreciate it!

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      1. Hi Havs23 I really like your blog, and they’re great photos too.Just one thing, I guess: I’m not sure who it’s aimed at, why you’re writing in such detail about your experiences. Perhaps some of the blogs could be shorter, to mix things up a bit?
        Good luck with your medical studies too.

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    2. I am having the same issue! Lots of facebook likes and shares, but none on actual blog. Let me know if you figure anything out :) I love your blog! It’s simple and well written. One tiny suggestion. I thought the text was a little on the small side. Can you increase it just a tad?

      Like