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Community Pool

The Community Pool is for those of you looking for feedback, 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 . .

TIP: 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.

  • 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. If you simply leave a link to your blog, it’s likely to be overlooked.
  • 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.
  • No running on the deck.

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    1. Hi there. The text is quite dense. It would work if you were writing it about a well-known fictional character

      I was wondering, perhaps you could drop in some snippets of your book to show us what he is like? He sounds interesting but without context, it doesn’t really grab

      Good luck!

      1. Ah, that makes sense. I suppose it was more geared to people who already knew about Kartrus, but I see what you’re saying. Do you think dense is a good thing? Thanks for the reply!
        Aul

      2. Geared towards people who know him is a good thing… unless you happen to be a new person stumbling upon your blog. If not excerpts from your writing then maybe links to other places “read here first” sort of thing?

        Dense is not a problem with characters who are familiar. I just think you need an extra hook for new readers. Good luck!

    2. Took a look Aul. Very descriptive. My only question is if this is a snippet from your novel or just an aside describing your villain. If this is textual from the novel I think it is way too much exposition. You could cover much of the pertinent information via dialogue and actions. If this is just a ‘bio’ on your villain then sure, plenty of info there.

      1. It’s not something from the actual book, just something I wrote for the sake of the blog. I thought it would be interesting if I had an actual character from the book writing it, so that’s why it might have looked like it was from the novel. Thanks for the review!
        Aul

    1. Hi mara, I always like the look of tag clouds, you may want to try that! But let me just say that I Love your layout! It is very bright and crisp, which is eye catching!

      1. Hi April, thank you a lot for your feedback! Actually, I have the tag cloud in my footer and I like the look of it too, which is why I pointed you only to the sidebar in my question ;-) Once again, thank you for the compliment, I must say your blog is quite cute too :-)

      2. haha If I had scrolled down all the way it would have hit me in the eyes lol! I haven’t seen the tag cloud in the footer before and I like it! very unique :) Thanks for the compliment!

    2. Hi Mara,
      I wouldn’t say there is an optimum amount, just ensure that navigation around the site is easy. Having views your site, my feedback would be that you have a clean, crisp and easy to negotiate site there! Keep it up!

      1. Wow, thanks, that is good to hear! Sure, there’s probably no optimum amount of widgets, but I guess I’ve been trying out different things to do with the sidebar for too long now and so I can’t really see it from a perspective at this point…

    3. Hi Mara, I totally agree with April and Adam. I think your blog looks great, very easy to navigate and has the balance between texts, photos, and decorative elements. I honestly like the look of it a lot!

      1. Oh, thank you, I can’t believe I’m getting such positive feedback! I was bracing myself for honest criticism (which is perhaps yet to come, heh).

        I checked your blog in return and I do like the look of it, too, in particular your About.me widget. A beautiful photo and a great description!

    4. I think the widgets you have already are great, however I think the search box should be nearer the top. If someone wants to look for something they will more than likely look for the search box at the top. You have just reminded me that a search box is absent from my page!

      1. Thank you a lot for your feedback, you’re very kind ;-)

        Your blog is very pleasant on the eye and has a calming feel about it, by the way :-)

      1. It is, but it will come in time :) You need to reach out to other blogs too as you ask others to reach out to you. Visit other blogs that interest you, read some stuff and comment.

        Good luck!

    1. The blog looks great. The problem I see is that there are no titles, so I don’t know what the post will be about until I click into it – which I may not be interested in. Kind of a grab bag – which could be interesting or could feel like a lot of work to get to content I want. Can you maybe add a tag so that when I hover over the picture, it gives me the name of the recipe or such?

    2. The theme suits your blog content very well. Just my opinion, you should insert image of the same width to your writing by inserting it as “large” instead of the theme usual image size.

  1. Hey all! I’d love some feedback on my blog. How does the site layout look? Do you have any advice about the content? I just wrote a movie review about Frozen, which I feel strange about since it came out so long ago, but I just watched it very recently. I’d love any criticism. Thanks so much!

    neverstationary.wordpress.com

    1. I don’t think it’s too late to write about Frozen. I think your balance of posts is really good – a good mix of things I’d want to read about. Great job so far.

    2. Your blog looks great. Just wonder is it only me that can’t see the first image at your sidebar below your search engine. By the way I like how your Frozen’s review. Never thought of seeing it that way.

    3. I like your blog name. But I might be a tad biased being a devoted pet sla.., er, parent!

      You certainly are a prolific writer and I hope you keep it up. I liked your movie review. Details, in my opinion, are so important when reviewing something. You managed it quite well. Great job! :)

      1. I’ve not quite figured that out yet…. Maybe once the “Poland” post views stop going through the roof I’ll have a little ponder lol. Honestly, why did my most popular post have to be the one with the boobies haha

    1. Hi Tarika. Never saw your original theme but I think this one works with your subject matter. I don’t use any cosmetics myself so I can’t speak as to the content. But your header image is catchy and if I were looking for a shade of lip gloss or eye shadow I now know where to look ;)

      1. Thanks! Glad you like it, I was just concerned about the change. But I used to have my widgets in the footer, and having them in the sidebar makes them a lot more accessible to my readers. Thanks for your help :)

    1. It’s quite word heavy and your strapline is very self effacing, but the content seems good and incredibly honest. I’ll be following, with a view to dipping in periodically.

      1. Okay, here goes:
        Firstly, the site flows well and your focus / love of literature is immediately apparent. The tone of the writing is fabulous – positively brimming with enthusiasm and wide eyed wonder. You seem to have populated the site with a great deal of content in a short period of time. My only slight criticism is that some of the articles could do with reflecting a little more of you – because you speak with an infectious zing – instead of handing all the credit to those that inspire you.
        The site is easy to navigate, looks clean and approachable and I kept me reading for a good twenty minutes. Love it – keep it up!

    1. Poetry is such an incredibly personal medium that instead of critiquing it, all I can say is say what’s in your heart. If others get it, that’s because they GET it.

  2. Hey everyone!

    I did a mini series on “Morals vs Ethics” a little while ago. I’d appreciate some feedback on it and maybe some suggestions for a new series if any strikes you.

    http://jstrd.wordpress.com/portfolio/

    I would also be interested in finding some pictures for my blog and related visual content. My current set up is rather lacking in that department and any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    1. There’s so intriguing content here, although I haven’t had the time to read all of the morals vs ethics parts. The site could do with a little colour / pictures. Why not integrate the work of an online photo blogger into your work, crediting their involvement? It might be worth trying to find a collaborator or two, via something like flickr or Instagram. However, the content seems solid, so I’m following now. Keep it up!

    2. If you do a google image search, click on “Search Tools”, a sub menu will appear. If you drag down the “Usage rights” option and click on “labelled for reuse” that’s stuff you can reuse for free without worrying about copyright infringements. It’s polite to credit your source though :)

    1. I think this is a great idea. I was thinking about this with movies recently – older movies I missed and don’t know I regret not seeing. :) I’m looking forward to seeing more of these.

    1. Welcome to the blogosphere. I’m sure you’ll develop a signature style as you continue. I would suggest a meatier about page. Doesn’t tell the reader a whole lot about you

    1. I just read your post and completely agree lol! We crave that mommy alone time, and then complain the house is too quiet lol!

    2. Love the concept, so immediately following. It’s always great to get a different perspective – as a father of two boys, I’m sure there’ll be a great deal of common ground! Best of luck with the new site.

    3. As a girl with a boy twin I loved it! Cool to see the mom’s point of view especially on mother’s day since I know us twins can be a handful!

  3. Hi all,
    I’ve released a new WordPress plugin that enhances the default WP search engine by using Microsoft Bing Search APIs.
    In terms of search results relevance, it’s even more powerful than Relevanssi because it uses a real search engine: Microsoft BING.

    As far as I know, this is the first search engine extension that uses an “as a service” approach while retaining enough flexibility to use the current WP theme to render the result set.

    Would be great if you would consider to try it out and in case you feel it appropriate, drop a review in the WordPress Plugins directory.

    Here it is: http://wordpress.org/plugins/smart-search

    Thank you everyone

    Cristian

    1. I want to, but I am not tech savvy enough to. Please give me instructions. Also, in order to review, I need to know what to look for in performance differences. I realize you just explained that, but I didn’t understand. :) Maybe I’m not your target?

  4. I’m so glad I joined this community. I have received so much feedback and I’m so very grateful for the people I’ve met along the way!

  5. Hi everyone!

    I’m always looking for new traffic on my blog, as well as to build a community of readers, writers, and friends. I write about writing, parenting, life in general, and whatever I feel like writing about on a given day, and I love hearing feedback, thoughts, feelings, and so on.

    For the purpose of this comment, I’m linking to one of my favorite past posts, a little thing that I called: Be Your Kid’s Cheerleader, Not Their Bodyguard (http://nopageleftblank.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/be-your-kids-cheerleader-not-their-bodyguard/)

    Please feel free to stop by and browse around! Cheers!

    -Tracey Tobin

    1. Happy Mother’s Day Tracey. There are a few ways to generate traffic: participating in daily prompts, weekly writing/photo challenges, creating a blogging event, using the tag sorter to locate blogs similar to yours. Once you do so, read, comment, and perhaps follow.

      1. Thanks for the tips, Lana. :)
        I’ve never had the gumption to create my own events or blog hops or anything like that, but I’ve been participating in them a lot and actually recently met a great number of fellow bloggers through the A to Z Challenge. I’m planning to start (belatedly) the Blogging 101 stuff soon as well. :)

    1. It looks quite clean, and your approach feels focused, but the fonts look quite small on a mobile device (iPad). You might want to install a plugin that optimises the site for mobile – there’s loads of decent help on the WP forums. Best of luck – and keep it up!

    2. Hi Robyn. Welcome to the world of travel blogging (that’s my gig too). Your page is nice and clean looking. Don’t be shy to add widgets as you go. Best wishes

  6. Hi all, I’m just very new to blogging and wordpress and, as a non-native English speaker, my writing may seem funny at times. Still, I really wanna share my experiences and thoughts with people, thus venturing into the blogging world. I’d be grateful if you could check out my blog:
    http://sugarhighbydonaya.wirdpress.com
    and give me some feedback or suggestions on any aspects of it, e.g. theme, widgets, my writing, topics, etc. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Donaya. the link should’ve been ‘wordpress’, not ‘wirdpress’ (reminds me of ‘weirdpress’ lol). Non-native speaker? Don’t worry about that. Abot your blog, it surely looks sweet, I mean, ‘sugary’ enough to me. :)

    2. I don’t know what you’re worried about Donaya. I thought your English was better than a lot of ‘native’ speakers. I mean, most natives can’t even spell Frangipani ;)

    1. The blog is excellently focused and streamlined, and I like your choice of the theme/design too.

      Just a detail: your background image loaded a bit slowly for it, consider checking if it’s .jpeg or .pgn (the former is better for faster loading) and if it’s not excessively large…

    2. LOVE this idea. The use of the sticky note (and a different background in each one) is really clever. Great balance of types of content. Great work.

      1. Thank you so much.
        I’m always trying to find interesting topics to explore and to share.
        I love posting daily quotes as I found they inspire me to change, to feel different or to just see life in a different light.

    3. Nice blog Hermine. I liked your about page as well–the right amount of info to give the reader insight into who they are reading. And when I’m not writing I’m reading, so I’m a bit partial to your subject matter

  7. Hi all im using free WordPress for my blog and i notice there is no plugins option to insert a slider is this something you can do trough html or is it only a premium feature ?

  8. I just started a blog and I’m pretty passionate about it. I would really like a layout and blog/community website format that is as responsive and user friendly as this one. Not to copy you but you get what I am saying. Easy to use, Easy to read, Nice to look at, and that people want to come back to. Can anyone help? My site is http://www.asktoomuch.com and it is a WordPress site. Any ideas are appreciated.

    1. I adore your theme/design. It looks a bit like Twenty-Fourteen, but better :-) I’m pretty sure I’ll come back later when you have more posts to see what you’re up to!

      1. Thank you Mara. I liked 2014 actually. I just want to figure out how to add more content and different options. MY BIGGEST QUESTION is how to get others to want to write posts on my site and how to make sure that they are going to be passionate about it like I am. I figure that way, the site can grow and more and more people will share their stories and help others! Like I say, it’s time to expect more. Learn. Share. Live Better.

        Thanks for your reply.

        Larry

      2. I love your motto (Learn, share, live better), alas, your questions are too difficult for me to answer… Good luck and happy blogging though!

  9. Hello everyone! I would love to get feedback on my blog. I’m thinking of shifting the focus more on life observations rather that my tv and movie posts. I would love any comments on the content or the site it’s self

    1. The blog looks good to me, I like a lot the header and the background image. I would welcome more general posts, or life observations, as you put it, as TV is not quite my niche. Though it might be just me!

    2. I remember coming across you blog last community pool. Personally I’d stay focused, rather than going general. There are so many lifestyle blogs that you might fade into the background by casting a wider net. But that’s just me

    1. Two tips:

      1- I’d change the background image. Because it gets cut off, visitors can’t read the text and it ends up looking incomplete.

      2- When leaving your link in a comment, don’t add the dots at the end. I knew to delete them but a lot of people will get the error message and just move on.

    1. The content looks varied and interesting :-) I’d change the header though, I always prefer it when bloggers have something more personal than the default header…

    1. Hi there. :) Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It happens with every blogger in the initial stages. As time proceeds you’ll find yourself automatically coming up with ideas! :D

    2. I have a posting goal of once a week and once I have any new idea or issue I might want to blog, I create a quick draft I can later refer to. Blog about what you love and are passionate about as it will really show in your writing! Good luck!

  10. Hi all! :)
    I just started my blog today, so I’m not really sure how the whole layout and design aspect works, if someone would be so kind to help I would really appreciate it… As my blog progresses I hope it will deal with school issues like bullying etc. Please check it out and let me know what you think! :) http://www.theblossomingfallam.wordpress.com

    1. Hi there. :) Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It happens with every blogger in the initial stages. As time proceeds you’ll find yourself automatically coming up with ideas! :D

    2. Hi there. :) Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It happens with every blogger in the initial stages. As time proceeds you’ll find yourself automatically coming up with ideas! :D

  11. Hey, whats up?
    I’m a brazilian and writer, do you guys know about any brazilian cool blogs here? I’m starting now, my blog is about wording and behavior, but its all in portuguese! What a shame, huh? Thanks

    1. I’m leaning Portuguese, so I’m happy that you shared your blog here! I don’t know any Brazilian blogs, but there is a Brazilian WordPress (br.wordpress.com), you might want to look there.

      Estou aprendendo português, fico feliz que você compartilhou seu blog aui! Não conheço outros blogs brasileiros, mas há um WordPress do Brasil (br.wordpress.org), talvez você quer procurar ali.

    2. Ariadne, meu blog também é brasileiro, mas passei a fazer posts bilíngues depois que uma série de estrangeiros passaram a me seguir. Dê uma olhada no meu blog e me diga o que acha… Vou ver o seu também! Ah, adoro ler e tenho um blog literário também! Estou treinando minha escrita para quem sabe um dia publicar um livro, rs… Beijos!

    1. I had a look at your blog and I love it! I don’t think there are hard and fast rules as to how to blog but blogging relies a lot on community and making time to leave a comment on someone’s post might make their day!

      Only thing, it doesn’t look like I could Luke or comment on your blog? Is this disabled?

      1. Absolutely! Best think about blogging is community so my advice would be to get involved in film forums and read and comment on blogs similar to your own! Good luck! :)

      2. @boopandbear.
        It’s the Suits theme. To leave a comment, check the taglist at the end of an article, and find ‘Leave a comment’ (right after the post’s date).

  12. Hi all,

    I am not new to blogging as I used to be an avid blogger during my student days. 3 years and a few blogs later I feel like I have lost my blogging mojo and my blog doesn’t have a defined theme as yet. What I wanted was your feedback on how important theme is and my blogging style. I’m worried a theme might be limiting and restrict what I can post.

    My latest post is at https://boopandbear.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/merging-with-the-man-cave-10-things-to-love-and-hate-about-cohabiting/

    Thanks!

    1. The theme looks good and appropriate for the blog post. Precisely what is it you are worried about? Is it the lack of side bars? They tend to annoy me too. If you’re not happy with the one you have, spend a few hours playing around to see what works.

      1. Thanks for your comment! I think as well as the layout which I am still working on, I mean a theme in terms of posts too. A lot of bloggers have a particular thing they blog about but I haven’t quite got my niche yet :-/

  13. Hi. I just started blogging a couple of months ago (http://flisswtts1.wordpress.com/) mainly because I had written some stories and I was encouraged by friends to put them out there – I added the longer stories as pages because they seemed too long for a post – I am now wondering what the likelihood is of pages (as opposed to posts) being found and read? Does anybody have any stats or experience on this? Thanks :)

    1. Hello flissw, I too am a writer but I don’t post complete short stories. What you might want to do is post them as posts but create a page to link to your short stories.

      I’ve just looked at your blog. The way you have it set out there (with a page and each story as a sub-page) is good but I don’t think the theme you are using is doing you any favours. Perhaps try another where the pages are more prominent?

    2. Hi flissw. Better make your main content as ‘posts’, not ‘pages’. And you can put the ‘more tag’ on your post so it won’t take up too much space on your homepage.

  14. I am a writer. Not a very good one, but I do love to write just the same. I always have. I am looking for suggestions on books or websites that can help me re-learn what I learned in school and also how to take it to the next level.

    1. I think your writing is great! Don’t be too hard on yourself. I’m a published author, and I can tell you that the best way to get better at writing is to write more.

    1. A few thoughts:

      1-Can you create a mirror image of your background? If the right part were on the left, the overall look would be more balanced. As it is, the visual interest (header and BG) is concentrated on the right side. I like the images, though.

      2- On the background image selection page in the dashboard, there’s an option for “fixed” or “scroll.” Try changing the option you’re using.

      3- As a first-time visitor, I have no idea what a couple of your category listings mean. Most visitors won’t take the time to find out what “G talk” is, for instance.

      1. Thank you so much for visiting…I appreciate it :)
        I will definitely look into the suggestions given by you…Thank you so much for being honest :)

    2. Out of curiosity I read the G talk section. On the first post about showing skin, I agree that some people should be more mindful about what they where in public, but to go as far as saying you don’t feel bad if they are teased or raped? That seems a little ridiculous. I don’t know how it is in your country, but the clothes you wear should never be a reason to rape anyone in any country.

      1. Well it didn’t mean the way it sound…actually in our country 80 percent women still wear full body covered clothes…so if anyone wears something totally different…people go haywire…I am not against skin showing my closet is full them but there is right place for everything…I just want these girls to respect the culture of their own country…
        it is just like when you go to Dubai, you know skin show is a total no no…so we try to respect their culture than why can’t we do that for our own country,,,that’s it…

        Thank you for visiting :) ….I appreciate it

      2. Thanks for the cordial response. To be honest I totally thought you were going to blast me or try to start an argument. I know many cultures are very different and I definitely believe in respecting local culture when visiting other countries.It’s always interesting to see how things work in other countries and get different points of views on things that you wouldn’t have considered. Thanks for visiting my page!

      3. Hahaha…why would I shout on you…I guess any body might have took it like that :D
        Thank you for visiting my blog… :)

    1. I think your content looks fantastic! A very good mix that makes me want to visit your area. Love the “Five things” article. I could see you adding in maybe restaurants or such, but I like your focus on places and people. Great job.

  15. Hi everybody. Only just started on wordpress so if anyone can have a look at my blog at andyqby19.wordpress.com and tell me what you think it would be very appreciated and I will do the same for you. Thanks Andy