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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.

160 Comments

    1. I love the picture at the top of you sidebar- super cute. I also like the pictures that indicate your categories. The sidebar does have a lot packed into it though. I would recommend reducing you favorite reads or dedicating a separate page for them. I might also suggest cutting the number of recent tweets displayed to 5. If you wanted to switch themes, you might consider one with sidebar as well as a uhh…bottom bar? footer? I think footer is right? Area at the bottom to put widgets too! Nice blog!

    1. Writing reviews are hard. I write book reviews from time to time. Some people follow the rule of thumb keep it to 500 words or less others go on and on. There is definitely some good background information, but I didn’t much about what the movie was about or your thoughts. Tell the reader about your thoughts on one or two of your favorite scenes. Give us a little background on the characters. Did you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?

      You can check out my book blog here: http://brokenspiner.wordpress.com

  1. Off late I have received feedbacks from friends who have told me that my writing has improved. I would really be grateful if you look at my posts and tell me what you feel. Also any comments on how to improve the writing and the existing layout would be welcome. Thank you!
    http://thinkerscap.wordpress.com/

    1. I love the name of your blog :-) There’s nothing wrong with the layout, but I’d prefer something richer – perhaps a subtle background pattern rather than a solid colour? But it’s just a detail of what is otherwise a cute blog!

  2. Hi all! I just started a new thing called 20/20 Five. It’s a blog hop and people get to ask questions I answer them and you copy and paste the questions on your blog, answer them and link up. It’s an attempt to get to know each other a little every week in five questions.

    I know it’s new and it’s going to take time to build it up, but does anyone have any suggestions for promoting it and getting people to participate? It’s already listed on WPs Blog Events.

    http://2020hines-sight.com/the-2020-five/

      1. I set the questions in a post, posted it and then specifically sent links out to various people with large twitter and Facebook followings. I would advise doing this sort of thing when you have a larger following…

    1. Normally, I am repulsed by the overly saccharine and trite feel-good type blog, but in your case, I’ll make an exception. I’m glad I read your About Me page before coming back to comment, otherwise, my critique might have been somewhat different. Your writing is not put together in a manner that would indicate someone quite so young, though possibly the content does. I believe you should try to hold on to your youthful idealism that is so obviously reflected in your writing as long as possible, and try not to end up a jaded and cynical old snit like me. There is one thing you do need to fix A.S.A.P.: Your “Home” entry in your main menu. It links to what I assume is an old blog.com address that perhaps your blog used to reside at? Whatever it is, it leads nowhere, and it should lead to what is represented as a deleted blog but should lead to http://adshayay151.wordpress.com/

    1. I don’t see an About page that tells me anything about you or the purpose of the blog. Also you theme is a bland. It doesn’t make me want to stay and read your content. As I scrolled down your page I noticed there were a few different fonts and posts that look they were in bold. There’s something going on in your side bar. I’m assuming there is supposed to be a picture under A.G. Moye but there isn’t one there. And you’ve got some type of code above it that should be something, but I don’t know what.

      Good luck.

    1. I think your post was dead on, people should not post pictures like that of their kids if they do not want others to see. you were just trying to offer a suggestion. If i may give advice on your layout. I found the bright blue to be a bit abrasive on my eyes. Maybe another shade/color? just a suggestion. The writing is great though :)

  3. Hello. started writing my blog a whole 3 months ago, and I have a small but regular bunch of readers (who, oddly, leave comments by e-mail rather than on the blog- ??). I have changed my layout round, so that my about page is the one you see first. I have two specific questions: 1) does this layout work?- should the about page be first rather than my latest post?
    2) is the about page a good introduction, so that people will want to read more?
    Would love your comments (either on here, on my blog or by e-mail!).
    Thank you all in advance.

    1. I like the About page but I’d definitely prefer to have latest posts rather than About as the Home page. When I visit for the second time, I actually don’t want to see the About page again…

      1. OK, having looked at it again, I prefer the way it was before too. I’ll change it around again. Check it out again, if you have a few seconds, and do let me know if post-first looks right. Thank you for your comment.

    2. The choice to not have a page for your posts in your main menu makes finding your posts awkward in my opinion. As a casual passer-by, I want to be able to easily access all your information without having to hunt for it. There is nothing that obviously indicates your site is a blog. Even if you don’t want it to be the front page, you should at least have a menu entry for your posts.

      1. Thank you. This is very helpful. I’m completely new at this, and allocate about half an hour a week to blogging, so haven’t had the chance to explore menus. It wasn’t really a choice not to have a page for my posts, more that I chose the default option. I’ll dig around and find out how to add a menu.

      2. Changing menu options is usually fairly straight forward. There is an option under the Appearance section of the dashboard where you can create custom menus and assign what menu areas they should appear in. Also, under the general settings area (I believe it’s under the “Reading” subheading) of the dashboard, you can select whether to have a static front page or your blog feed as your front page.

  4. I like your “about” page, and I very much enjoyed your conversational style. To get your family involved in blogging would be a great idea. You need to write down everything you can about your history – both you and your family. I know very little about my mother’s family background as it seems to be shrouded in secrets, but as I think back to my childhood, I sometimes remember things my mother said that gives me hints. It’s early morning here in Australia and I haven’t had breakfast yet. I’ll check out more of your blog later today.

    1. Thank you so much. Sorry about the delay- it’s been a busy week. I think it’s really important to catch the stories before my grandparents get too forgetful. I have just had a browse through your blog but will have a proper look next week, when I can catch my breath.

    1. Just a couple of thoughts… what you have as your ‘home’ should be your ‘ABOUT’ page and the home should be the place where your latest blog shows at top and earlier beneath..(you can take a look at mine if you like only for explanation of what I mean.) .. Settings…Reader… Front Page displays your latest posts Scroll infinitely and # of post per page maybe 10… I might suggest putting some of the information you have all at the bottom on ‘side widgets’… for easier viewing…. hope it helps..just suggestions Diane

      1. Thanks for taking the time to check it out, April! I worried that the background image is too busy, but I like it so much, you know? Touch call, but I tried to balance it out with plenty of white space.

  5. Hi, have started blogging at creationsgalorehere.wordpress.com
    I wanted to know how to improve my sidebar and widgets to add to make the blog a little more interactive. Any suggestions are welcome!

  6. I have just received 100 postcards with one of my images on it and it reflects one of my blog posts – http://gregurbano.com/2014/01/22/ode-to-hdr/.
    My idea is to use these to increase readership/traffic/interaction on my blog.
    I have come up with three ideas so far:
    1- A postcard exchange where I would send any reader a postcard who sends me one, posting the received cards on a page with a link to the senders blog.
    2- A weekly contest where I would ask a trivia question about my blog and the winner would recieve the autographed postcard.
    3- Basically make it for sale through my fiver.com account to help build my statisitics there.
    Thank you in advance for your opinions!

  7. Looking for feedback of any kind. Good, bad, indifferent. I think I’m ready to hear it. If you don’t have time for anything else, please read my most recent post, “I Choose the Cello”.

  8. Hello!
    I’m fairly new to this, I am trying to link my pictures to my blog on pinterest. And I have no idea how. If anyone has any advice please let me know, I would grad toy appreciate it! Thanks so much!!(:
    Baileysmithblog.wordpress.com

    1. Hello again, Sue! Just read your latest article, and I also read that angel one a few days ago, which I agreed with. The latest one gripped me, I started thinking ‘Oh no’ when the guy said you were going to Cuba. Great stuff! Can’t comment on a fluctuating readership, as I’m having trouble with readership myself, but I like your blog. Thanks!

    1. I have just a couple of suggestions . When I followed your link there was no information at the top immediately visible to the reader. I scrolled all the way down to the bottom and found some about info and archives. You could probably benefit from an ‘About’ PAGE and also a tab link indicating ‘HOME’ so that they were always available …. I don’t think your ‘theme’ has sidebars so your archives can’t go up at all… and without going back I don’t know if you have a ‘follow me’ widget which makes it very visible for people to follow… although you likely have the follow word up at the top… again I forget… Anyway just a couple of my ideas.. Diane

      1. I went and took a look….what you have as your ‘home’ page should really be changed to ‘about’ Your home page should be the place where your last post shows followed by your previous ones….hope you don’t mind that I mentioned that… btw congratulations on your new little one…. Diane

      2. Okay. I think I have got it this time! I am not very good with how pages and menu’s and all that work but I think have finally got it all sorted out! Thank you so much for your input and help!

    1. Some people share all their posts on Facebook, or there is the option of just sharing the one(s) you want to.. For me, I’ve only done one…because for the most part I keep the friends I blog with separate… Not every friend on facebook would be interested in my blogs … and I don’t want to push them … But that’s only one opinion… Hope you enjoy blogging.. Diane

  9. I’ve been blogging now since Nov. 11. When I first started there was so much to read and learn I didn’t pick up on one thing… and that’s taking photos from the web. I just found them and really didn’t understand copyright and buying them to use for blogs. I thought people only bought for using professionally… Anyway in 2012 I got notified to take down two photos or my blog would be shut down because I infringed on copyright or ?? So I took them down and then still didn’t fully understand so I would give ‘credit’ to where I got the photo. However I found out that’s not enough either so basically I stopped using pictures on my blog unless they were my own OR from a free site which I found but which doesn’t always have the ones I want.

    So my question is … every blog almost that I read uses lots of pictures and most don’t give any credit and I know that they don’t all purchase them so where are they getting them from or are they just not getting called on it… Can anyone enlighten me? My site is http://hometogo232.wordpress.com Diane

    1. Hi! This is an outstanding question. And, many other people are wondering this too. Copyright law in the US prevents people from posting pictures. Pictures however can be used without violating copyright law if the use falls within one of the law’s exceptions. One such exception would be using the picture for purposes of commenting on that picture itself. The law in this area is very complex and lawyers spend a great deal of time fighting over what is and is not appropriate. Because of the confusing state of the law, bloggers often do 1 of 2 illegal things. 1. They use pictures that they find freely, and most of the time they are not caught. If they are caught, they simply remove the picture and generally do not face liability. 2. They use the pictures, giving credit to the maker, and are in fact unwittingly violating the very same copyright law. Credit does not make infringement legal. So the big name bloggers, sign up with stock photo companies like bigstock (I sometimes use bigstock), or they use free license pictures from websites where downloads are permitted like morguefile.com. But, the biggest bloggers, or the most creative bloggers create their own images, by substantially modifying existing images, so that the original maker cannot claim infringement. I hope this helps!

      1. That is really helpful…. so since I am not a big name blogger and can’t modify images and don’t really want to infringe…. I guess I will use free ones when I can because when I checked one time about paying for some they were expensive for ‘just me and my small blog’ …. can you tell me one more thing …if I use one from the many sources that are on facebook is that also infringement since they don’t ask for payment?In any case thank you very much for explaining to me….Diane

      2. No problem. Absolutely you can modify images, regardless of your status as large or small. The large blogs tend to come up with their own images more often, is all I intended to say. Sorry about that ambiguity. I modify and create images for my blog with photoshop and Apple’s Motion 5. I unfortunately am not sure about the facebook sources as I am not familiar with those. Should you need additional guidance, please feel free to pass me an email. Here is my contact URL from my site: http://audiencewatch.me/contact/ I’ll also check this thread, though I know it will close soon. Have a great Tuesday.

  10. Hello all, like everyone I’m looking for a bit of feedback. Just posting this before I go visiting some of the other blogs around here :) if you could tell me specifically if you like the homepage, the about page, and if the subjects are interesting. Thank you in advance!

      1. I’m sorry.. I did say I took a quick look.. I guess because they were photos representing your posts..I didn’t immediately get that..I suppose I just haven’t seen that before…… The only other thing was I wondered about putting the widgets that you have on your post pages…. on your home page as well for easy reference if people end up on your home page?? but that’s just a question.. You may want to keep your home page just with your photos… Sorry for the confusion. of my remark..Diane

      2. No, it’s grand, don’t worry, I appreciate you taking the time to point it out to me. It is good to know that you didn’t realise the pictures were the articles! I may look at changing to a different skin so others aren’t confused! :) I shall look at putting my widgets in too! I’ll pop over to your blog to read soon. Thank you again :)

  11. Hi everyone! For the Olympics my family cooks a different meal from a different country every night. I’ve been showing off what we’ve been making on my blog. Some people have requested the recipes directly onto the blog, but I have been linking them. What do you think? Just wondering if it’d be too overwhelming to have a huge recipe splat in the center of a blog post.

  12. Hey! I’m really new to WordPress. I’m just looking for someone to read or look over my blog and give my any tips. I don’t know much about formatting or how to write, blog or post successfully so I’m sure any small comment would help. I appreciate the feedback!

    http://katehobson.wordpress.com

    Thanks
    xx Kate

    1. Hi… just a couple of thoughts or observations… I did a similar thing when I started blogging… I tended to make them a bit too long. If there is really a lot to say…sometimes it’s better to make two posts… eg. Title …part 1 and then same Title part 2 .. Sometimes I do long posts but I warn the reader ahead of time that it is a bit long …. One other thing is the writing area seems rather small but that’s likely the theme and you can’t change that. Maybe that’s why the post seemed long and maybe isn’t … the background is a bit strong….again You put what you like not what others do…. just making an observation… and I would say that some side widgets where they are more readily seen at the sides rather than all at the bottom might be considered… And maybe your first post.. (I think it was your first??) where you talk about why you started blogging etc… could be a separate ‘ABOUT PAGE” Just remember you do what YOU want and not others as you’re writing primarily for yourself and then others… So ignore everything I said if you like what you see…. Diane …

      1. Thank you! I appreciate you looking at the blog and all the feedback. I am definitely having some formatting issues, but I also tend to go for strong backgrounds, etc. I definitely think making shorter posts is a good idea! What do you mean by the “side widgets” (I’m very new to word press and all of it’s lingo). Thanks again for your feedback Diane!!!

      2. Hi… Widgets are information for the reader …some of which are at the bottom of your particular theme. You have chosen a theme which does not allow side widgets. I took a look. You can always change if you want .. Anyway..take a look at my site…Recent Posts, Topic Cloud… follow me …. etc. All of the ones that can be used are found on your dashboard if you want to look at them… Go to Settings… Appearance… Widgets and then what happens is you select the ones you want and in my instance I have a Sidebar 1 on left side of site and Sidebar 2 on right side. Some themes have one Sidebar… some two …. or they may be referred to as 1 column which means no sidebar…2 columns..which means 1 sidebar and the writing area is the 2nd.. or 3 column which mine is and I have a sidebar each side plus writing area I am going to give you two links to help you learn about things …the first is wordpress forum where you can look or ask question at top The second is worpress support …. Anything else ask me if you like One more thing to remember Your blog is WordPress.com and not WordPress.org…there is a difference Diane

        http://en.forums.wordpress.com/

        http://en.support.wordpress.com/

    2. Hi! I’m going to be completely honest – I hope you take it I’m a constructive way. I don’t mind reading your posts, but your layout is sort of, err, not very great. You need to work on that. I’m sorry for vein blunt :P

  13. I’m struggling to get my blog kicked off and working the way I want it to. Understand, this is tough for me because I’m new to WordPress but not to IT or Web development; I’ve been in the business for 25 years now. Any suggestions or tips would be greatly appreciated. I’m working on this and a manuscript for a story that’s been living inside me for decades now. Thank you for your time and consideration in advance.

    http://www.resurrectedwarrior.com/

    1. You are much more experienced like you said re designing…I just went and had a quick look and noticed that you show very little of each post on your home page… I’m not sure it’s enough to get a reader’s curiosity up to read more…. Also your them I don’t think has side-bars at least on the home page… for most recent posts ..or most viewed posts.. Just a couple of thoughts… Diane

  14. Hello, I’m new to blogging, I will appreciate any feedback. The initial idea was writing about things I find on the street. Now, I think I’ll add some film commentary. I haven’t found how to get more readers.
    I see some people visit, but they don’t comment. Any ideas, how I can prompt more interaction?

    http://vicusz.wordpress.com

    1. Just one observation… I noticed after looking a couple of times … that you have your link to comments on your home page is at the top not the bottom where I think most people look for it after reading the post…. just a thought… Diane

    1. I really liked reading through your blog. I liked the mix of media you use to express your thoughts. You definitely have a voice. Keep writing about any and everything that catches your attention.

  15. Hi all

    Has anyone used WordPress to create ‘headers’ with ‘posts’ stacked up behind? More web site design I suppose? I am really struggling with this design, so at moment I have headers with nothing behind them and a heap of posts by date, despite me giving them a theme aligned to the headers.

    Have a looksie http://www.islifearecipe.com

    Hope someone could help many thanks Brian

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