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. I absolutely loved your latest post, your love and passion really shines through. Lily is one lucky little girl to have such an amazing and dedicated mom. Now excuse me, I have to give MY mom a quick phone call… :)

    2. Beautiful blog and very inspiring! I would only encourage pictures- I know you may not want photos of Lily, but, say, a close up of her hands? Something to break up the writing?
      This will be a treasure for you to look back on one day :-)

  1. Hello everyone! :D I would love to hear your thoughts on my recent post about music. :) Don’t feel shy to criticise me in any way, we’re all here to help each other be better at writing! thanks in advance :D (click on my name to get to my blog.)

    1. This is a really great post. It’s well-written, and uses the lists to make it scannable and easy to digest, even though it’s very meaty. And it is very meaty. You go from talking about what music can do for you to giving specific playlists, which I love. It’s so meaty you might even be able to get several posts or a regular column out of it. It’s very clever….

    2. I really enjoyed this! It is visually appealing and easy to read, plus your description of how music makes you feel in the beginning is very well-written. I’m not THAT into music, but I still liked reading this, which tells you that it’s a good post.

      1. Thank you Sabinaleybold :) the visual effect is mostly thanks to the awesome WordPress theme!
        and by the way, you really should start listening to music hardcore! :D because you’re missing out on something great!

      2. I like music, and actually our tastes are relatively similar (Arctic Monkeys SO GOOD) but I’m not one of those people who hates sitting in quiet so they’re always listening to music.

    1. I don’ think you’re rusty at all! I think this is perfect. You gave enough of an intro, and you wrapped it up well, but you let your beautiful photos do the talking. I love the interplay of colors and the balance of the photos. Nicely done.

      1. Oh my, Thank you so much for visiting and giving your kind opinion Jenna. I really appreciate it !

        I loved your About page, Although I’m not a big fan of football neither do I know know a lot about it. It was honest and straight. Wish you well with blogging. Keep it up :)

    2. I like the content of your blog. I know very little about your country except what I see and read on the news and from the book “I am Malala” so I like the insider view. I have one small criticism – the background graphic is so bright as to be a little distracting particularly where you have photos.

      1. Hey,Now that I think about it, you are totally right about the background being too bright. I never thought of it because I didn’t really used to share a lot of photographs on my blog before. I’m thinking of changing the theme altogether. Thank you for great insight.
        And about my country, Can I please just say, Don’t believe everything that media tells you. Most of it is just the wrong interpretation. They are sold out.
        About the book Mala wrote, I won’t say all of it is wrong or is a lie but it isn’t the WHOLE truth either. Thats just one side of the picture. You know how young she is and in this kind of world how easy it is to change the meaning of one thing to the other. I just hope that one day world will see us for what we really are.
        Thank you so much for taking time to comment and valuable advice =)

      2. Aah, I’m hardly a representation of my country but I’ll try Trent. I’ll be happy to answer any of your inquires. Thank you for the follow, Hope to see you more often :)

    1. It’s funny, there is a big North/South thing here in the states and I was a few paragraphs into your post where you mention BBC and Manchester and I realized you weren’t talking the city up the road from me, Manchester,NH. Not sure of the North/South thing in England so I don’t have too much of an opinion.

    1. Love it. I love that it’s a niche blog piece and it gives information you might not get elsewhere (instead of just a regurgitation of other people’s content). I love the colors and the way you balanced the text with the pictures. I also like that the “sell” to the etsy pieces didn’t feel like a hard sell. Nicely done.

    2. I like your blog a lot! It definitely takes an informative approach to what you have in your shop. The pictures make it easy to read and visually interesting. I hope you’re promoting this to your customers!

    3. I liked it. One thing you might think about – you have some links to sites selling some of the items you talk about. You might want to have the links pop up a new window so people stay on your blog page.

    4. It’s a beautiful and clean blog where your images really stand out! I didn’t feel I was pressed into buying, rather, I felt that I wanted to find more about the stuff you write about, so no issue here at all!

    1. I think it’s fantastic! the pictures are gorgeous and well-placed, and I love how you tied the whole piece together with the mountain theme in the title, beginning, and end. for me sometimes ending a post is the hardest part, you have to kinda just awkwardly stop talking while also wrapping the whole thing up, but I think referencing the mountain again was perfect. great job. :)

    2. I don’t have a lot of time right now, but I really liked what I read. It all seems interesting. I’ll try to come back later for more.

    3. Your writing voice is easy and honest and it flows. “Direction” was lovely…you have a fan in me

    4. Your content and experiences are definitely interesting to read. I’m assuming those are your pictures as well? Either way those add a lot to the posts when reading. You have a very intelligent sounding voice.

      For the blog itself I have to say I think it looks really elegant and appealing. It immediately struck me pleasantly at first glance when I first clicked the link. I love the effect with the picture in the background and the content that scrolls over it, too. The cleanness of it all puts forth your content really well. I know it’s the theme but it seems all very fitting. :-)

      1. Thank you! And yes I try to use my own pictures as much as possible, otherwise they should have a caption about the original creator. Happy writing!

  2. Hi, Please could I have some feedback on stories and blog features.

    I have been posting my story extracts for 13 weeks now and I’ve just finished ‘Series 1′ of ‘The Paradox’. I have created a list of all episode extracts hyperlinked to the appropriate story. If you want to read them in order then please be my guest!; but if you don’t have time they don’t really need to read in a particular order to understand what’s happening:


    1. I think as a personal “day in the life” blog it’s great. But I think that kind of blog will most appeal to people who know you already. If you were looking to expand your readership, you may want to focus more on one topic. Here, you kind of skip from a very big thing (wanting to move to a city you never visited) to small things like skirts. I’d love to know more about Portland! I think you could really dig into these topics and get some great posts.

      1. I agree–perhaps focus more on one specific topic from your day and flesh out how it came to be and where things might go in the future.
        (side note, I’m from Portland! It’s a great city)

      1. Thank you guys. My life is random and I’ve tried sticking to one topic, but that isn’t how my brain works. I’ve explained and wrote about my life, so it’s in there if anyone wants to know about me. Thanks Mara :) I’m glad you think it’s fun.

  3. Hi everyone! I am fairly new to the blog scene (I started in January) so I’m looking for any tips you can provide. Specifically any ideas about tagging/categorizing–right now they’re all in “personal” because I like writing about topics inspired from my life, but I’m more focused on how moments in my life relate to the bigger picture. Let me know! I’m excited to start connecting more on WordPress.

      1. I really love your posts! They are well written and fascinating :) I’m a photo junkie so this might just be me, but I think you should try adding some more visuals, or atleast on the home page.

      2. Hi Sabina! I really love the casual and personal tone of your blog- I feel like we’re sitting down to coffee!

        I’m new too, so don’t have much to offer in regards to tags, etc. but I will say I’m a fan of photos! Like your lounging post- I would love to see pics of all those things you’re talking about to flesh it out a bit. Like you did when talking about your passion for Unicef- really adds to the personal connection!
        Great job :-)

    1. As you already saw, I also only started in January so like No Name Cat, I don’t have much advice either. So far it all looks good to me! As for the tags, one thing I learned over my short time is to look at the current trending and most popular tags on wordpress (found here: It helps to remind of tags you wouldn’t have thought of as well as maybe help people find your posts through those relevant tags. I definitely got more views and followers since I started doing it.

    2. I liked your blog, but I have the same thought as everyone else – you need more pictures. Maybe you could write about your interests – photography would give a great excuse for a lot of pictures and, actually so would knitting. Also you could talk about the differences between landlocked Ithaca and Portland or East vs West. Anyway, I like what you’ve written but you asked for ideas.

      1. I appreciate the feedback! This will definitely help. I like the East vs. West idea, I talk about it a lot with my friends but haven’t thought to write about it. Thanks!

    3. Oh, I forgot to add this earlier – I think when someone clicks on your name it should take them to your blog or Gravatar. It makes it easier to find you.

      1. Ahh that would be easier. Do you know how I change that? Right now it’s directing people to my scholarship blog for school and I didn’t even realize.

      2. I’m not 100% sure. I think you can click on your picture in the upper right corner and go to settings. Maybe from there it is under profile. There might be a help page on it someplace on the site.

    1. I wish there was a little more structure to your blog. I get “mindless musings”, and I love the photos, I’m just not sure what your blog is about. It may be a good idea to focus on a type of content, or two or three, but basically build your blog around a particular conceit so it doesn’t wander too much. Hope this helps.

      1. Thank you so much I was wondering whether my blog was too random. I think I might center it around food and photography with short reflections/quotes.

    2. I actually disagree with Jenna–I think your purpose is fairly clear. It’s mainly a photography blog, with accompanying writing (either your creation or taken from another source) to show what inspired the photo or to give the viewer a textual connection to the visual image. I think it’s great!

      1. Thanks! I decided to just let it become what it becomes..which I think is exactly what your describing haha.

    3. I agree more with Sabinaleybold here. I like the photography. An aside – In my opinion you should make your name “hot” so someone clicking on it will be taken to your blog or at least to your Gravatar. It just makes it easier for others to find your bog.

      1. Thank you :) I’m definitely not changing the name, I think I’ve grown way too attached to it over the past couple weeks/month haha.

      2. Hi Jessica. What I mean about the name is this: click on my name and it’ll bring you to my blog. Then try clicking on yours. You can’t. It’s so convenient to click on a name to get to a blog.

      3. wowww I am so sorry for misunderstanding. That is definitely a good idea and I will try to fix that. Thanks!

  4. I want to know how do I manage a multi-authored blog in terms of payments, post publishing etc. I also would like to know how should I write tech news, please see a few published already at and let me know how can they be improved. If there are any other suggestions, please let me know. Thank you!

    1. Right now, I accept guest posts through email and manage the publishing myself. I have a specific style guide and an agreement that they have to sign. I pay upon publishing (not too much right now, but I hope it will grow) and do it through PayPal only. When I posted for a large blog like yours, I was given limited access to WordPress. I could enter my blogs, add images, etc., but didn’t have the permissions to actually schedule or published. So, I know WP has that capability…

  5. Hi all. I’ve only been doing this since January and I’m wondering how I’m doing. Anyone have any advice or see anything worth me working on?

    Also I’m wondering how my ‘home’ page looks, more specifically the graphic I have with the ‘open-minded’ text. Does it look ok? Or does anyone have any ideas for doing something different? I originally just had it in just text but thought it looked too plain.

    1. Im actually not sure what image you mean. I think it’s an interesting blog tackling meaty subjects. I’m not sure what category it fits in; I thought it was a science blog at first, but it doesn’t appear to be. It might be a good thing to define your blog and content to your users…maybe in a blurb or a subhead.

      1. Hi, thanks for replying! The image i’m talking about is on the ‘home’ page which can be reached by the links in the menu under the header image. As for the other info, I have some of that information in that page as well as the rest in the ‘about’ page. Isn’t that where you are supposed to add that stuff?

      2. Actually, do you think a widget (maybe the text one) with some of the info from the other descriptive pages placed at the the top of the sidebar accomplish that? I could probably add links to the full info too as well.

      3. That might be the way to go. I have a short text widget at the top with just a one-sentence explanation of my blog (I have a very specific niche). Something like that could ground people in your content, then you could link out to a fuller explanation.

      4. Awesome, thanks. :-) I’m going to try that out next time I get a chance then.

        BTW, thanks for being such a great help around here. Ever since I discovered the community pool, I have been going through the posts each week just trying to gather information and ideas based on other peoples questions and blogs and I have found a lot of your replies to others very helpful to me as well. You’re very active each week and I can already tell you are part of the reason why wordpress has such a great community.

      5. Aw thanks, Jon! That’s a very nice thing to say. People have helped me and given me a lot of great advice, so I like to pay it forward. :)

      6. I like the look and feel of your blog. The image of the path on your home page? yes, it seems to work. I agree with Jenna about a text widget with a short blurb about your blog.

    2. I think the layout looks great! Very easy to navigate. The only things I would change (and this is me being a nitpicker) would be to change the picture behind the openminded post on the home page. The image and the one at the top have different filters so the whole page looks jumbled. I would also put your “Continue reading” links earlier in your articles, such that readers can see more topics faster as they scroll your most recent posts page.

      1. Hi, thanks for replying! That was actually my fear about the image behind it. Think it would be better to just put the text back in or would only changing the image suffice?

        About the continue reading links (more tags), I’m really glad you brought that up! I wasn’t sure if I was placing them in a good spot or if they were too far into the posts. I’m going to move them up higher then.

    3. Agreed with Jenna about thinking it was a science blog at first. Of course that has partially to do with the post about the Higgs Boson being at the top, but also your heading photo does make it look kind of science-y/futuristic so it gives the impression of being about space or technology or something similar. I also agree with Emily about the “continue reading” links–by the time I’ve read that much of the post the cliff-hanger aspect is gone and I’m probably less likely to click through to the entire text to see your point.

      1. Thanks for replying! Yea I can see that, it’s more of a coincidence I suppose since that was the latest post. Glad you mentioned about the links too! I did just change them. It definitely looks better and more enticing.

  6. My blog Kaleidoscope Eyes ( chronicles the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project. What are suggestions, please, for reaching a wider audience and inviting guest blog posts (I’ve asked several times). This is one of President Obama’s fast-tracked projects and has garnered national attention. Thanks in advance.

    1. I would say the first issue is that when I read “Kaleidoscope Eyes”, I don’t think “Tappan Zee Bridge”. Maybe there’s an inside joke I don’t get, but I don’t think I’d look for that content under that title. To reach a wider audience, you may want to rethink how you market and name your blog. As for guest blogs, I’m willing to pay a bit to get good guest blogs. I have a permanent space on my site to talk about jobs posting for me.

    2. I agree with Jenna on the name. Also, when I click on your name here I’m taken to your Linkedin. I had to copy and paste the URL to get to your WordPress blog. If you have your name tied to your blog people would be able to get there easier. Use tags, like Tappan Zee and New York so people will see this when they search within WordPress. You also need to search within WordPress for things that are similar. Make comments on posts, not as spam (don’t say “look at my site”) but that contribute. People might then look you up. But if they do, they need to get to the blog. Anyway, just a few ideas.

    1. I actually love your blog and mostly that comes from the breadth of content. You have a good balance between serious posts, fun posts and useful posts. I think you’ve struck a good balance for you and I like seeing what you’ll come up with next.

      1. Thank you, Mara!! I’m so happy to hear my blog’s message and theme reads well with new readers. =) Thank you for taking the time and giving me feedback!!

    2. I think it looks really elegant and appealing. It immediately struck me pleasantly at first glance when I first clicked the link. I love the effect with the picture in the background and the content that scrolls over it, too. The cleanness of it all puts forth your content really well.

      1. Bah, I got two different blogs mixed up, ignore the last post (hehe silly me, sorry!)

        Anyway, like my drake is jake said, it’s very colorful and inviting. Looks like a really “fun” blog! I’m loving the content so definitely going to follow!

      2. Hi Jon!
        Thank you so much for truly taking the time to look at my blog and give such wonderful feedback! =)
        This makes me feel better as I like to change my blog’s colors a lot. I needed to make sure it looks good to everyone else! Thanks again!

    3. When I first opened your site I thought the background was a little too bright. After reading a few posts and looking around I think it fits. No, I don’t mean I think your blog is too bright ; ) I mean I really like your blog and after reading and getting the feel of it I realized the background seemed right. As Mara Eastern says, it’s perfect for a “girly” blog like you have.

      1. Thanks, Trent for the feedback! I wanted to create a girly blog but not too overpowering and obnoxious! I’m glad you were able to get pass the background and read some of my posts =) Thank you for taking the time to help me out!

    4. I think the look suits your blog very nicely. It makes sense with your content and it’s fun!

  7. Would love feedback, from non-sports fans especially, about my blog ( on whether it’s readable and intriguing.

    1. I like how despite the fact that you are covering sports events (which is something we usually see from journalists attempting to maintain objectivity), you still breathe life and your own personality into your commentary.
      That being said, I have zero interest in sports, so I don’t find it particularly intriguing. I have no frame of reference for the people you’re talking about. But your passion is clear and the layout especially makes it readable. Nice job!

      1. I hear you. My mom always says it might as well be in Russian, for all she knows about these guys. ;) Glad to see my voice and passion is coming through. Thanks so much!

    2. I’m not a huge sports fan and know little about football (or soccer, since “football” means something else to me). That being said, I really like your blog. The layout is good and fits the content. I like the larger pictures in the actual posts. I also find it well written. To answer your question, it is readable and intriguing.

    1. I like the balance of posts. They’re not all about the same thing, but they feel more connected than your average. I also like the way you handled the poetry; too much poetry gets a little overwhelming if you’re not really into it. This was sprinkled throughout at just the right pace. Nicely done.

      1. Wow Jenna, how do you find the time? You’ve been giving insightful comments on everyone of these posts and have stayed way ahead. I enjoy exploring new blogs but it has to be tiring. So, kudos to you for being so helpful!

  8. sure love to know more about many processes of WP and especially : What is gravatar, how to post video, what are the amenities of premium upgrade…via Q & A
    Thanks good way to help us move forward,,,I basically needed to develop the blogg habit first and learn more processing techniques once i was aclimated to the WP site…regards gregorydyczkowski a.k.a. primordial

    1. I would start with your subhead. Right now you have WP’s default, which doesn’t tell us about your site. Its an easy way to get us acclimated to what you have to say

    2. I agree with Jenna that changing the header would help. The help pages here are pretty good. I’ve found a huge amount of information on them. In January they had a “Zero to Hero” challenge that covered basic blogging with WordPress. It was very good, but i think they took the pages down – keep your eye out in case they bring it back. The help pages, though, are your best bet for now. I do like some of the mono-types you posted. I explored the media years ago in an art class.

      1. Great Trent, will follow up on this asap,,,Thanks for the kind words and the friendly critique, this is sorely needed I am so busy “doing” that often I miss the obivious. I’ll see if I can find the “Zero to Hero” article too. I have also been reminded my: ‘About’ page is also incomplete, it is new this blogging media, I so do enjoy much of it. Hope to hear from you again. I truely appreciate your honesty and the time it took you to comment. I do need to study help pages and do tutorials. Take care, Best to Ya and to Yours, Godspeed in all that you do regards greg d

    1. The logo itself seems very fitting to the blog. I think between the font and the style it really works.

      Only thing is, the resolution of the image is lower than the size of the header area. So since it was blown up to fit the space it looks really blurry and pixelated.

      1. I did kind of think that too. However now that I’ve had some good feedback about it I will look into getting a better quality image. Thank you.

    1. I’m not a huge fan of such simple, technical-looking themes for content like yours. I can see not wanting to go too “fluffy”, but I’d love to see some color or something a little more creative. It’s a little grey now…

      1. Yes, I can see that the design is changing before my very eyes now…! But I love your header and when I visited, the background colour was grey, which I loved a lot – much better than the white colour that I saw previously. Good luck!

    2. For the most part the layout works for me. One little thing: on the actual posts you give the reader a chance to look at different categories, archives etc. I miss having that choice on the home page. Other than that, it works well for me.

    1. I’m actually not sure what your blog or survey is about, and I’m usually not inclined to spend my time without knowing what the subject matter is up front. Maybe add a little information?

    2. Hi Rachel; I wish I knew why you wanted us to take a survey. Beyond doubt, it is important to you, because you label it urgent. Maybe, if you wrote a post explaining why you are collecting data, and what you want to do with it. If you are asking people to take five minutes, you need to hook us into caring. Thank you, Silent

      1. I’m sorry I guess I missed the most important part Rachel. I left once I made the comment on the doodle when I got the moderation que. I don’t spend time on blogs that have this.

    1. I don’t think it’s drab. However, having your art mostly be one color does present a challenge. And I do think you have a lot of white space, with posts that don’t have much visual interest in them. and the theme really isn’t supporting both your art and writing. I’d loo around to see if you could find one that made them pop.

    2. Hi – I admire people who can draw and paint. Maybe it is because I cannot, so I write. Have you looked at all the themes? Some are made to show off pictures. I wonder if one of them would work better for you. I love the pictures you have posted, but I think there are better ways to show them off than in the mosaic. Could you try slide shows or something? Keep posting. You will find where your heart is. Silent

      1. Hi Thank you so much for your encouragement, But honestly I find the selecting the theme and figuring out how I can make a slideshow work quite confusing. But will work it out and then come back for further comments.. :)

    3. I tend to agree with Jenna, there seems to be too much white and black space. A new theme could improve the looks of your blog a lot. Good luck with finding the one that best suits you!

    4. I agree with the others that you might want to do something with your theme. You can test out a few or you can try customizing the one you have. I actually use that one but changed it slightly. Might not work for you, but you might want to experiment before trying a new one (I played with a dozen themes before i ended up with what I have).

  9. Hi, this is a fairly new blog so I was hoping to get feedback on my layout and also maybe the content of my posts ? And also recommendations on how to get more views ? It would mean the world if some of you could check out my blog xx

    1. I like your content, maybe because I am a hurt soul like you. as far as layout goes I am a fan of background image. How about a background image to make your words pop out more. The fonts are bold and big which pops, but I would go with an image to make the content pop…just me…


      1. thankyou so much ! I’ll definitely take your suggestion into consideration and try to think of an image I could use. You’re feedback means a lot, thanks again xx

  10. I could use some helpful critic please. I don’t send posts out too often as I do have a lot of other things going on and I spend a lot of time trying to understand “everything” but I would really appreciate some feedback. First I don’t understand why 99% of the followers I got “never” comment and seldom like a post but start following anyway. I also wonder what I might be doing wrong to get so few views, maybe my blog is just one that interests few? I’m ok with that I just would like to know. I still haven’t got a good understanding of how to use tags, the very first day I wrote my first blog things happened that suddenly stopped, as I wrote tags would suddenly appear as if I chose them to…I had no idea what was going on or what a tag was, it didn’t happen after that. I do read other blogs and leave “meaningful comments” because I truly want to and not for self promotion. Anyway I sure would like some feedback. thanks everyone.

    1. I have a lot of followers who never comment, but it’s clear they’re reading. And you should know that WP’s stats are not always accurate. Two days ago, mine showed zero views all day, and yet I was getting comments, both in the posts and in email. So someone was reading it. I did check out your blog, and I think I’d like a little more detail on what the posts are about. I don’t get enough from just your headlines. You might also think about streamlining your content a bit to what you really want to write about (I found the baby chickens fascinating, for instance).

    2. I think it’s pretty common that most followers never comment and only few of them “like” your posts – though your stats are telling you that they’re reading. I have a great experience with asking explicitly for the readers’ opinion at the end of the post. On an unrelated note, as Jenna says, on the first look it’s not quite clear what your blog is about.

    3. You seem to have a very niche focus on your blog. I enjoyed reading the post about the mail order chicks, though it is rather long and I did wonder if it would perhaps benefit from being broken up into a series of posts as longer word-counts sometimes put reader off.
      I had a look at blogs using the tag ‘chickens’ on the reader and there seems to be quite a few blogs which use it and host similar interests to the ones on your blog. I think following and commenting on blogs which talk about the same sort of interests might be your best bet on creating more meaningful conversation. (You may already be doing this. I don’t know.)

    1. VERY clever. Instead of your usual “foodie” recipe-based blog, you use food to evoke memories and tell stories. Nicely done.

    1. The content is good, current and relevant. It’s also unreadable. :( Between the font, the font color and the background image, it’s almost impossible to make out your content. I would definitely simplify here. You want your content to be the star.

    1. So, don’t take this the wrong way, but I think your blog has a bit of an identity crisis. I didn’t get much “gardening” or “Africa”. It’s fine to do a kind of day in the life blog; just let us know that’s what it is. Otherwise, I’d try really hard to get my content to coalesce around my niche…

    1. The blog looks nice enough but I’m not sure what its subject is. Is is a blog of general personal meditations? Your tagline doesn’t give me any specific idea as to the content.

      1. I don’t even know yet myself. It is a work in progress…the honing will come for now, I’m just going. Thank you for your thoughts though…

  11. Shakespeare in the 21st century
    Shakespeare tends to be held in very high standards that is the archetype of skill. Shakespeare’s ability to create amazing plays that become fragments of history has gained him legendary reputation. As a modern interpreter of Shakespeare’s plays I tend to notice or look for symbols that each word has, some hidden meaning. On my recent trip over to England my opinion has been altered. Particularly, a lecture about the different aspects of Shakespeare and the distinctive way Shakespeare specifically wrote his play characters for each of his actors was very enlightening. The main thing that stuck out for me was when the speaker said that, “Shakespeare was an entertainer; people didn’t come because the language was witty but because he entertained them”. This statement really challenged the way I think about Shakespeare because I want their to be more appreciation of the man’s work that I have come to love and value while at MSU. This lecture changed the way my brain processed Shakespeare because the speaker’s different view and opinion altered my romantic and nostalgic views of Shakespeare’s works. History changes throughout time to create something more appealing than the truth. The truth is that human memory is gullible and fragile. By focusing on my “memory” of what Shakespeare really did and what I want him to do I can separate facts and fiction.
    As a 21st century thinker I unknowingly force my views and culture onto what I’m working with. Having Shakespeare as the almighty noble figure I can persuade myself into false pretense. The key fact that the speaker emphasized was that, “Shakespeare wasn’t trying to be a genius, he was trying to get rich” and that “he was a businessman”. Having my one-dimensional view altered, has allowed me to think of Shakespeare in a more complicated light than just a genius that changed the world through his plays. By Shakespeare being a more multi-dimensional figure than simply the total paragon of poetry I am able to connect to him as a 21st century individual. Knowing that Shakespeare was trying to be an entertainer instead of an innovator gives me more insight into the man instead of the myth. The person is valued more than the work and as a modern audience of Shakespeare knowing that he had the same struggles makes the appreciation of his works grow more.

    1. Hi Carol; I, too, have a series of characters, five actually. They are episodic…and I have no idea where any of them are going.

      I did two things to tie them together. Like you, I put a link at the top and bottom of each story, but I left the link in words, not as a picture (I’ve done it both ways). To keep people from getting lost, I also created a page called MY LIBRARY. A reader who goes there sees the stories laid out by main character.

      If I could offer a suggestion. Find some way to steer the reader. Maybe it is an index or a library or a table of contents.

      On a different note, I am not a fan of stories sliding over the background. Many people like it, but I feel like I am going to fall through, out into space or something lol.

      Thank you for writing, and letting us peek under the covers,


      1. I do have a series of drop down menus at the top of the blog, but I will have a think about adding something into the widgets or redesigning the front page. Perhaps including some extracts?
        Thank you for the feedback.

    1. Hi Steve; Have you tried looking at the categories? For instance, I am an unpublished author. I follow a number of categories related to that, like WRITERS, WRITING, FICTION, STORIES, FLASH FICTION, etc.

      Inside these broad categories, I have found some blogs I love, and I follow them.

      If there is a map for all this, I have yet to find it. But…since I like to explore, why would I want a map? Then…I would have to have a destination. And that would be no fun.

      Keep writing,


  12. Hi fellow bloggers! Previously in the Community Pools I was asking about my blog’s sidebar and footer widgets and received some great suggestions – you advised me to limit the number of widgets, among other things. I’ve been working on it, so now, what do you think of the current layout of my blog and its looks in general? Any more suggestions for improvement? I’d love to hear what you think! Thank you for any input and happy blogging!

    The blog I need help with is

    1. I read the comments on your post last week which prompted me to clean up my widgets a bit. Don’t know if it helps me, but I really like the way your blog looks. I think you did a great job cleaning it up.

      1. Your blog looks very clean now – but you cleaned the Follow button too, which maybe should be there? Just a suggestion :-) Thanks for the compliment, I’m glad if I managed to make a good use of the advice that I got!

    1. I think yours is a very creative writing style that comes from within you. I noticed you have a knack for taking every day moments and making them into something creative and beautiful. I would keep focused on those every day moments, or think back into your past to mine stories, rather than getting requests from outside. You’re really writing YOUR story. My two cents.

    2. You’ve got a really amusing style. I would agree with Jenna, I don’t think you need suggestions from the outside, the every day moments read really well.

      1. Thank you so much Carol! I enjoyed reading your blog and found a few inspirations as well. :)

    1. I’m new to blogging too and one thing I’ve done is search for blogs with similar subject matter to mine. It’s fun reading other people’s thoughts and then discuss our shared interests. Hope that helps!

    2. Hi Quion; I think bloggers are like novelists. We all want to have zillions of devoted readers. It seems like there are more writers than readers. What am I offering that fills a need? Why would they read my stories?

      In a story, the first word, the first sentence, and the first paragraph are THE most important in a story. If I cannot hook the reader in the first ten seconds, they will move on. Every writer not named Stephen King or J K Rollings wrestles with this.

      A blog is no different. My advice? Stop worrying about followers. Follow blogs that interest you. Comment on their material. Write the very best comments you can write. Breath life into them. Without being wordy, or long, or hijacking the article, write something beautiful. Cause people to wonder who Quion is? Lure them into clicking on your name.

      When they jump to your blog, what will they see? What sets the hook, pulls them in, and gets them to follow you?

      If I knew those answers, I would be rich and famous. So…when you find out, let me know, okay?

      Keep writing, Silent

    1. I think your content is really good, but I’m not sure on your design. First of all, it’s not really visual; would love some more imagery. I think the color scheme is good, though. I also would like to see more of your content available when you click on the main page. Sure, you have pages and “recent posts”, but you really only have one post available. I would love to be able to scroll through and see some more of your offerings. Overall, though, I am a fan of the content.

      1. Thanks for the feedback and you’re right. I would like to try and make it more visual. Are there any good design programs you suggest for people not too familiar with graphic designs? Or do you think a better theme might help? I’m very open to suggestions. That’s a good point too about the scrolling. Never thought of that. Thank you!

      2. Start with a different themes. Some support imagery and have a more “creative” feel than others. I don’t have much design background, but because I have a very niche blog I chose one that utilized feature images to make the home page pop. There are also just a lot of themes that look more creative and fun and make use of colors. Go into your dashboard and just preview some with your content…

      3. Thanks for your help! :) I think I might try looking at other themes then and see which ones would help make it more visual. I don’t have much of a design background either. I noticed the layout of your blog and you’re right. It does have a creative feel with how the images pop. You made me a fan of the scrolling idea too!

    2. Hello. I am not keen on the color chosen but then it’s only my taste.
      I like your writing but it lacks of pictures or photos to break down the text a bit more.
      Also, I would have more articles on the home page (with the “continue reading…”) that way i wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the length of the text and I would have more choices to read from instead of having to go all the way down to click on “older”.

    3. It seems as if you made changes after the comment above, because it looks really nice to me. I really like being able to see the full list as I scroll down with the pictures to the left (i’m assuming you just added those?). I’m a big fan of the content (I love movies too, and you had me as a follower after the reference to LotR and your nickname ;-)) and who wouldn’t be? Everyone loves film! I look forward to reading more later.

      1. Thank you for the comment! :) And yeah, after some trial and error with some other themes, I think I found that works well! I’m still playing around with the font choices and maybe the color (I stuck with my original color scheme). But, the other thing I’m concerned with is the location of the page numbers. I would like to move them above my sharing buttons. I’m still trying to learn how to do that with CSS.

  13. I’ve been writing brief posts meant to be short and amusing. They’ve been getting fewer views, and I am wondering if readers think that is due to the material or them not being the daily prompt. They are my three most recent posts.

    1. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the content or length. I also wouldn’t get too hung up on doing the daily prompts; I think sometimes people get too meta with their posts about blogging. It’s better to just keep on the path you’re on: writing what you find interesting. Readers will come.

    2. Hello. Like Jennea I don’ think there’s anything wrong with the content or the length. You have just started writing. Keep on doing a good wrok and the reader will join in. I started reading your articles and wanted to read more. I’ll definitely will comme back. The only thing is that the design looks very serious for a teenager with a good ironic sense of humour.

    3. I love your blog! And I personally prefer shorter posts. You have a wonderful sense of humour, very much to my liking. Only one thing, the look of the blog is a bit bland to me – maybe a splash of colour here or there would help?

    4. Hi; What do you LIKE to write about? Follow categories which include articles and blogs you like. Comment on other people’s blogs. Develop friendships and get them to comment on yours. Join blogs which have daily or weekly prompts. And…keep writing. Silent

  14. Salutations Bloggers,
    I would greatly appreciate any advice or opinions on my blog documenting my experience as a Healthy Narcissist. This is my first blog and I would love to one day share it with friends and family, but not sure if it’s really worth it. I’ve enjoyed reading all the above questions and comments.
    Thank you!

    1. well.. how about you give us the link :-)
      When I click on your name it says your blog ( ) doesn’t exist

    2. that’s better ;-) So, I quite like your blog but I do find your header photo a bit too big. I’d rather see your face – but smaller – as well as the menu and the beginning of the homepage. Not sure I’m very clear there!
      And I suppose, when having a long text, I would not post it entirely and would use the “continue reading…” option to break down a bit the length.

      1. Thank you! I am not well advised on the functionality on this site, so certain technical aspects, I’m still learning. I will make my picture smaller and I didn’t even know the “continue reading” was an option. Thank you for telling me that. I’m sure that would get annoying to have the whole thing on someone’s feed!

  15. Hey peeps. I identify as queer and genderqueer and write about memories, my coming out experience, and stuff I’ve gone through. I always try to make it about resilience in the end. You can find my blog at Any comments about my style or about how to wrap up a post would be appreciated!

    1. Hello there! First of all, you’re doing something great! Keep your writing the way it is. It’s a personal matter so keep it the way it is.
      But, I am not sure you have chosen the right design for your writing. You don’t have any widgets, so far you don’t have a sidebar so maybe I would have chosen a more “zen” design to really put your writing on the spot.

      1. Hey Murielle! Thank you for the feedback! I’ll look into putting some widgets and a sidebar on the page – I’m not an internet nerd, so it just hasn’t interested me up to this point, but to put my writing on the spot, I’ll do it! :) ~ Sam

      2. Oups, no!
        What I meant (sorry english is not my first language) is : if you don’t need widgets (and sidebars) and you just want to put your writing on the spot, maybe you should go for another wordpress theme. A theme for writer. :-)

    1. I don’t see anything that needs changing simply because it’s too early. Maybe add some more posts and come back in a week or so, so we can have a better idea of where your blog is going.

      @Levi. The thing is, when there’s too much text, it just needs a picture or several rightly placed to break down the reading and make it more enjoyable.
      Or write two posts instead of one long one. gives some good tips about how to make a good blog.

      1. I did that once. once it was posted it was lost in the crowd of older posts. I thought it was my language or picture or that I simply wasn’t liked.
        Yea for it not being me! :)