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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. @adhpants
      It’s important to know that you must presize the .gif image to fit exactly where you intend it to display in your blog. If you use the cropper in your blog after uploading a .gif it will not be animated. It will display as an ugly black rectangle or square – no image.

      1. The latest two. Just started writing. So if anyone has time to review all than that would be great !

      2. Lovethe layout, its very easy to navigate which does make life easier especially when you come on to a new blog. Nice soft coliurs, easy on the eye. Well done.
        If you have some spare time drop by my two blogs please, even though I had criticism from someone who says I shouldn’t be interacting with ‘newbies’ because I self host….oh yeah this person only thinks they have some authority because they have a blog about WordPress anyway my blogs are.
        rainbow-photography.net
        mysoresoul.co.uk

        Thank you in advance :-)

    1. Hi there! I will take a look at your posts and provide some feedback. I also like the layout of your blog. Its very clean. However, the pink background kind of makes my eyes squint because it is a bright shade. I would suggest making it slightly darker so your blog will be easy on the eyes :)

  1. I am interested in a discussion comparing Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, WordPress’s Daily Prompt, and Facebook experiences as arenas for expanding your audience. I find each useful but yearning for a quicker way to get my posts to each one.

    1. I have only used Facebook and I have taken advantage of WordPress’s Daily Prompt but I find that commenting and liking other peoples blog is the best way to gain more traffic. Don’t know if that helps.

    2. Do you use the Publicize features? Not sure how quicker you want them to be, since that links instantly to those services every time you post. As far as which is more useful, I think it depends on your blog; more career-focused posts might do better at LinkedIn, whereas picture-heavy posts will do better on Pinterest, and Facebook is good for publicizing your posts to people you are already connected to and getting them to link to your posts.

      1. I use the Publicize feature for all of my blogs. I also use Hootsuite from time to time. One of the benefits is the ability to schedule posts, which is particularly useful in getting to people in different timezones. It also means that you can use your link, but take a different feature or perspective from the blog, maybe highlight a secondary point.

    3. Hi Katerine,
      If you are using Publicize which Jackie refers to above http://en.support.wordpress.com/publicize/ then there is no quicker way to get your posts out. However, if I may be bold enough to share a truth with you please read on.

      We are all suffering from information overload. We are deluged by saturation of auto posted content sent to us, and when we are followers/friends with a person on more than one social media platform receiving the same snippet and link auto-posted to more than one site can become annoying to some people. There’s zero doubt in my mind that manually posting unique snippets along with your link to each social media site is a more effective way of communicating to online friends/followers that you have a post and would like feedback on it than auto-posting is.

    1. Your blog design perfectly conveys the artist that you say you are in your description :) It’s not too busy at all. I will take a look at your post and write a comment on your blog. Best wishes to you.

    1. Agreed. Love the layout. Like the site and the content too. Something to keep my tech side interested. Two small things, there’s a red X where something isn’t loading in the top right corner, and the box beneath the search field is just empty. While I assume the latter is for advertising space, it might be that something that is supposed to load there is failing to do so.

      1. Actually the top right corner has an ad, not showing now but within some days it will be showing. I have to fix this thing so i will do it soon and the second one problem i am not getting. Thanks that you the layout and content.

    2. Thanks for your feedback. I don’t know why don’t you like it. Can you please provide more information on why did not you like it so that i can fix if there are any problems.

    1. I find that index pages on my blogs do well. Fore example, I get an excellent response to my Basic Blogging page.It’s an index of links to basic blogging posts for beginners (blogging tips, tools & tutorials). I also get an excellent response to my Popular Postspage. It doesn’t have the links to top posts and pages on my blog the way the widget does. It also has editorial picks based on questions asked and answered in the WordPress.com support forums.

    2. I know two doodling and artist type bloggers who are close in age to you that I want you to meet. If I type their URLs into this comment it will end up in the spam filter so what I will do is provide their twitter handles. Then you can locate their blogs from there.
      ‏@TJLubrano
      @crpitt

  2. Hi everyone
    I’ve recently started a new blog focusing on my path to achieving my career and also chronicling my final year in university. I was wondering if I could get some feedback on the few posts I have so far, I am wondering about my approach to the subject and whether it is accessible to the reader.
    My blog can be found here: http://makingmymarkinart.wordpress.com/ and if anybody has any feedback, here or on my blog would be wonderful :)
    Thanks in advance!
    Amy :)

    1. ambyrne! I really enjoyed reading some of your posts, I also love the blog name itself. I’m a follower now, lol, just because going to school in Ireland was something I’ve always wanted to do, and now I get to mooch off of the experience through you. I think you’re doing great, don’t be afraid to write a huge post!

      1. Thank you for replying! And also thank you for such a lovely reply!
        I’m a follower of your blog now too, I love the inclusion of all the pictures, really makes your writing so much more personal. Just love it! :D

    1. You can try a website called: bzzagent.com
      You can sign up and if there is a beauty campaign going on, they will send you the product to try out and review for free. I don’t use the site anymore, but I told them that I was interested in trying beauty products. My first campaign sent me Garnier BB Creme to try for free. It was their standard $15 tube so it has lasted me a really long time. That is the only alternative that I am familiar with that isn’t a scam :) I hope others can give you other alternatives.

      1. Thank you! I’ll have a look at that it sounds really useful :) clearly they allow you to review credible products too which is really good to know! Thanks for your help :)

    1. I think maybe you could include less posts on the main page so if people want to read more they will have have to click to the next page or another link.
      Cool blog! (:

    2. I agree with Saiyan, add some pictures. You say you like to talk about music. You can also add links to YouTube or other music clips. I did a blog recently about being burgled by teenagers next door. After they got told off by their grandmother, they made a point of playing Jimi Hendrix really loud at night to annoy us. I included a YouTube clip of the track they played the most, just to add interest. Pictures and video (people don’t have to watch them) break up the page so it isn’t just text. If you can include relevant images it will draw people into the stories.

      Another thing is to have links to relevant web pages or other information. if you link inside the blogs (I do see you link to other bloggers outside of the blog content which is great:) you might engage more people. It will also make your blog more interesting to search engines.

  3. First timer, and apprehensive!! I’m a big boy though, have my big boys on today and everything. I would appreciate a look and, give it to me straight. Thanks,
    tdont

    1. I personally find, that when the stories are not divided into short paragraphs and remain as long ones, the readers get quickly turned off, no matter how nice the storyline may be. I suggest that first and foremost, you can divide your story into shorter paragraphs. And then maybe add a visual element to it as well. It’s not what you have to do, just some suggestions :)

    1. This would be a very good article to write, thanks for the idea. As for what I know now, so much growth hormones and chemicals are in our food, they cannot be good for any body. Another thing, cancer loves sugar.

    1. I’m so out of the loop in my nerd cave, I didn’t even know there was Echo Fashion. This was so exciting for me to read, and I am in love with the blog in general. I just realized this is not a very critique-ish comment, but I learned something!

  4. I’m not sure exactly what you’re wanting to hear. It looks like most of the things I try to avoid on the Internet, advertising. So if you were going for that, nice blog. Good luck with your passion, I’m sure it will be a success.

  5. http://thesisterseternal.wordpress.com/

    I would like feedback on two things regarding the posts I have so far. The first is in regards to design. Should I use more photos in my posts? If so, does anyone have any recommendations for sites I can use for photos. These images have to be okay for commercial use (only because my blog is for a book that I’m going to sell. The photos will not be used in the book).
    Secondly, I would like to know if the content that I have so far is interesting for my readers. I have just been wondering if the content would be more interesting if there were more eye catching elements to it. Thank you so much in advance and I will be giving feedback on the posts below as well. Feel free to comment here or on my blog :)

    1. As another senior and non-tech dinosaur the only thing I would suggest is perhaps to have a photograph or illustration at the start of your post. It sort of anchors it.

      I enjoyed the view of life in your area and I enjoy the way you tell it. The doggy meetings, the loo in the road…life in a condo – something totally new to me….

  6. hello, everyone. I would really appreciate some feedback on the blog i started a while ago. its just my outlet of what i consider the creative side of me. lol thanks a mill.

    1. Just checked it out…i like…have you be any chance ventured into Africa yet? I dont know if you want some like advice or something; like for me im a very visual person, i just think if your choice of colors could be a little less contrasting. I just think the combination is just a little harsh, other than that…me likey.

    2. id say a dark blue, and then make your text white. and i think on the categories part on the left remove the red and blue and just keep the black text. i think its all the red thats a bit much.

    1. hey Sarah, great start – thankx for sharing – i would suggest writing a short summary of that blog post and sticking it on your About page so that any time someone stops by your blog they can see what it’s about – but try to keep that down to two to three short paragraphs – you have an interesting style so i think people will want to read what you write – love the idea of both the scales and wish you all the best – don’t ever apologise in your blog though [phrases like 'are you bored yet?' suggest to people that they should be bored - assume your blog is interesting and sell it as that - people will choose to be there if they are so don't give them reason to believe you aren't even buying what you are writing] – in terms of widgets you can take a look at my blog and see which one’s i find helpful – generally links to other blogs you like [because that often helps gain you traffic especially if those people add your blog at some stage], something that makes it easy for people to subscribe so you can build up followers, i also have a recent highlight posts widget so people can instantly get access to five other posts which means they are more likely to see something interesting that catches their eye…

      in terms of your general posting it looks good but you may want to use bold or italics or add in a graphic or a heading to break up the reader’s reading and make it more interesting – usually online readers have a shorter attention span and so you have to keep them interested – punchy first line that grabs their attention in the form of a strong statement “you won’t believe what i saw yesterday’ [what, what did you see? keep reading] or “have you ever wondered what the meaning of life us?” [i have, i have, please tell me - keep reading]

      hope that helps a little
      keep on and all the best with both scales
      love brett fish

      1. Thanks so much! I appreciate your thoughtful and genuine response! You have very helpful tips and I am excited to make some improvements with your suggestions

    2. Sarah I thought it was a great first post! I agree with Bretty Fish, you should take advantage of your about page. But the post itself was great, I enjoyed it. :)

  7. it has been so refreshing to extend some invitations recently on the blog and see people really respond – the first was an invitation to stop rushing [http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2013/10/09/anyone-up-for-doing-a-non-rush-ing-experiment-with-me] with the feedback shared over here [http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/been-still-and-known] and now i have just invited a bunch of people to join me in a week of gratitude – anyone else want in? http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/anyone-up-for-doing-a-log-of-gratitude-experiment-with-me

    love your feedback and also your involvement
    keep on
    love brett fish

    1. First of all, I agree, sometimes the sidebars can be distracting and I like the layout you have. As for information at the end of a blog, there are two things that help, 1, engaging content – makes people want to read on, and 2, don’t have too many posts per page – people of the Internet age have notoriously short attention spans.

    2. I agree too. I think with a blog that is mostly images the sidebar will take away attention from what’s happening. I do think that if you are going to have something at the bottom of the page though then the bottom of the page needs to be visible fairly quickly otherwise by the time people have finished absorbing all of your beautiful images they won’t be looking for anything else.

    1. Hi Irene
      Perhaps a good place to start as a first post might be to post about why you want to blog. What is it that has driven you here in the first place? What sort of feelings did you have when you were registering the blog as your own?

      There are also lots of blogs that encourage you to write. follow the daily prompt or three words or any one of the many other great blogs that give you ideas for writing. I’m looking forward to reading your virgin post.

  8. I’ve been blogging more since I last asked for feedback, so I’d love for you guys to take a look and let me know what you think!

    Thanks!
    jillianmartin.wordpress.com

    1. Posting regularly, aiming to post original content or with unique point of view. My advice would be to try to stand out from all the other fashion bloggers out there…Oh, and shaving your head! ;-)