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Introducing: The Community Pool

One of the things we’ve been excited to see develop here at The Daily Post is your engagement with one another in the comments — offering feedback, ideas, and support. We thought it would be valuable to carve out a space here for those of you looking for input on your work, so today we’re introducing the Community Pool.

Community PoolIf y’all are interested, here’s what we’ll do: once a week (probably on weekends), we’ll put up an open Community Pool post. 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).

We’re hoping the Community Pool will be a way for you to both get the feedback you’re looking for and get introduced to new blogs you might not have stumbled across. That being said, this is not an open call to post a link to your blog asking us to come read, it’s a space for back-and-forth between bloggers who want to improve what they publish.

A few reminders before we get started:

  • 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.
  • No running on the deck.

With that, welcome to the first Community Pool! Come on in; the water’s fine.

Photo by t_a_i_s.

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  1. I think this a great way to get more people to find similar bloggers or even get out of their comfort zones when it comes to writing. I personally need more help in writing fiction or anything that’s not dark and sad.😀

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    1. Hi Theena, your blog sounds much like mine – I too sometimes write about sad events, especially of the past yet still try to see the ‘white lining’. I have just started to write some short Flash Fiction stories (very nervous about it at first) but I find that I can express myself further through my stories. Fellow bloggers can be very supportive:-)

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      1. Thank you. I will have to look into yours because I’m sure I can gather some tips from your dabbling in flash fiction. The past is what gets us where we are, and I am grateful for it all! Thank you and look forward to more interaction in the future.

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  2. This sounds a brilliant idea! The blogging buddy idea when you first started postaday really made us all reach out to other bloggers around the world.

    I am currently writing a novel which could be filed in travel and romance. It is a far cry from my blog and I wonder if I should create another blog dedicated just to writing?

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    1. You’ve already done the first thing I would have suggested: broached it on your blog. Now, how do *you* read those comments? Enough to indicate serious interest? Or not? I’m in no position to judge, obviously. How about this? Do a “progress report”, or two, or three. See if there’s sustained interest.
      OTOH, OpEding myself, if you feel really strongly about it, especially if you think blogging about it would help your writing, then forget the previous paragraph and go build your site. And see what happens.
      (aside: I deliberately wrote “really strongly” as opposed to the sadly overworked, previously good word, “passionately”. After the first million times, it sort of lost its punch :D)

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      1. Thanks Chopin:)

        You’ve been a great help. If I stop and think about my followers, different people/bloggers comment on different types of topics. For instance gardening may spark one persons interest but not my excitement over completing NaNoWriMo. So I suppose posting a variety of topics keeps the blog active. I already have a gardening, healthy eating and photography blog. So if I start yet another blog as well as keeping ontop of social media, I won’t acutally have time to write!

        BTW I could not see your blog URL

        Kind regards,

        PiP

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      2. Hi PiP,

        Glad it helped. You’re right…blogging should be a a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Given the kind of posts you write (I’ve had a very pleasurable look-see), staying with what you have seems the thing.

        Aaah yes, you could see my URL, because I’ve been procrastinating. All there is is a filler post anyhow. With the start of the semester (I’m an academic in my bread+butter life), things have been a bit hectic. But nothing is forever….

        CS, aka %%robert

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  3. OK. I would love people to come by and look at my blog. I post daily, journaling feelings, recounting conversations, saying what I think.

    I would like comments on the illustrations. How do you think they fit to the subject matter? I would like comments there on posts where you think they fit particularly well, and why, and where you see room for improvement.

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    1. Hi Clare. Took a quick look at your blog. One thought is this. You might want to break up your paragraphs and make your font darker and bigger. It’s hard on the eyes.

      As far as your illustrations go, they are very detailed and consequently, hard on the eyes. Your content is reaaly good in that you express how you honestly feel. I know I have a hard time expressing my own views on controversial subjects in a way that doesn’t come across as accusatory and angry. Anger has a place but it generally expressed better in person. In print it is hard because we can’t see your body language and facial expression. Blogging is hard work. I’ve struggled with the very things I’ve brought to your attention. Hope this helps.

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      1. That’s a really good idea to email offline and to still keep it constructive by giving feedback on good points and the not so good in a kind manner. This would also work well if the blogger asked for an in-depth critique of their work by someone who has a lot of knowledge about the particular content, like Poetry, and applying to others styles. Yes, good idea!:-)

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    1. I probably would not use the word, “hate” just because it can sound harsh! I think I would say that the line really didn’t “work for me,” or it sorta “turned me off.” And, then I would explain why.

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      1. Lauren, I will agree with you about the word hate, it does sound harsh, however, it is the truth. And people can appreciate the truth. There is some hate that I am dealing with and the only way that I can be helped or get help is to admit the truth. Call it the way it is, hate is hate. And there is somethings that I really HATE right now. Good Post, thanks for being HONEST!!!!!!!!

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  4. great idea, still a bit shy for comments, but have a group that does encourage me. Glad to know this exists, and when I get bold enough to even let my group of friends know I have a blog I may join in, for now I remain anonymous…😉 Thanks for being here and offering support and encouragement and ideas. I look forward to reading your posts daily. DAF

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  5. I think this is an excellent idea! It will not only help the visibility of our blogs, but it will also be a great place for us bloggers to learn from each other.

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  6. I think i like this, but i am a “Show me” type of guy. I can glean more b y looking and touching or using than reading. i will eagerly await it in its trial form.

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  7. Well, my blog is here: https://liquidmatthew.wordpress.com/

    I guess what I’m wondering is whether it’s interesting. I know that’s sort of vague, but it’s basically a development blog for my writing, and I’m wondering whether the stuff I write about is the sort of thing people would find interesting if they’re interested in the writer.

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    1. hmmmm Liquid I taken aback by your banner. I suspect I have some prude in me somewhere….but before I even read your posts, that was jarring for me. I tried reading but all I could think of was…Is that you in the banner and why would you want so much of yourself on the banner?

      It’s distracting. Those are my honest feelings. I will try reading again.

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      1. It makes sense, in that you’re an erotic writer. But I’ve been reading and you don’t write only erotica so maybe consider something a little more subtle, so it appeals to a wider audience?

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      2. I think that’s a good idea. I like the reading imagery, though. But I’m sure I can find something equally valid. I think I’ll try to see what I can find. Thanks for the advice!

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      3. I agree that a more subtle banner would appeal to a wider audience. I clicked through to your site, saw the banner, decided that I’m not really a reader of erotica, and then left the site before even reading what you had to offer. But after seeing Vernette’s response, I clicked back through and she is right – you do write well. I think if you toned it down – maybe made it more suggestive (perhaps draped in a sheer fabric or hidden in shadow or something) rather than nearly explicit, you would prevent what I did (click away before reading) from occuring with other readers.

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    2. Liquid I love the banner. I think it’s tasteful, beautiful, and sexy. I only skimmed your writing, but from what I’ve seen it looks very interesting and I’ve decided to follow your blog.

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      1. Thank you! I appreciate it! I think the banner isn’t too risque, but it’s not exactly safe for work, either, so it might be turning people off who might otherwise read it in more formal environments…

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    3. I found the direct aproach on your blog amusing and have subscribed. Although the Interracial Sex Survey took me surprise until I realised it was an erotic blog😳 I loved the banner and as someone said above “it’s tasteful, beautiful, and sexy.” It ties in well with your theme. Now if people came across to my blog the banner would not be appropriate as my target readers are different and would be shocked. Still it’s horses for courses …

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      1. Well I love surveys. I have a few on the site. It seems like people like the banner… Maybe I’ll keep it the way it is.

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    1. Lidia,
      If you copy your URL at the top of your blog page and paste it here, it would easier for all to just click on your link that leads us back to your blog. Hope that helps.❤

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  8. I like this idea:) As a new blogger, I’m hesitant to write a post saying “hey followers, what do you want me to change” because it would interrupt the flow of my posts (and make me sound insecure?).

    That said, I write about my travels and experiences – but I’m not sure that at first glance my blog screams “travel blog”. I’m still with the original theme I started with a few months ago, which has a dark background that highlights the posts/pictures, but it is generic enough that it could be a blog for any genre.

    What do you all think? I would appreciate your thoughts on the visual appeal of my blog, whether I should stick with what I have or make massive changes (if so, what would you recommend?).

    Thanks!
    Jen @ http://wanderoneday.com/

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    1. HI there Jen, I like your blog and it’s super interactive. If you have to make a change…maybe the theme so you can highlight more photos? One with a gallery format perhaps?

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      1. Thanks for the suggestion! I just worry that if I make a gallery format, my non-photo-centered posts will get lost in the mix. I do write quite a few posts that are more detailed travel planning posts, and I don’t want to lose those via a gallery format (hard to convey a detailed itinerary through a single photo)… Any thoughts on how to do that?

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      2. Thank you! And I don’t know if you are looking for feedback on your blog at all, but I really like the way you break up the text in your posts – it makes for very easy reading!

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    2. I am also in a similar dilemma. My blog is a general blog but travel sort of dominates. Your theme looks fine and your category/arrangement is also fine. I think it’s a good idea to mix personal posts with travel posts, otherwise our blog may become monotonous.

      You could start categorizing your travel (Like US, Europe or individual countries, etc). That will be helpful for people who want more details on a particular location (in future). Does trip summaries contain all your travel posts? If so, you can start sub-categorizing (a suggestion).

      Your photos are very small (inside some posts), larger pictures maybe attractive to audience. Your about me page could be shorter. But if you want to include the whole thing, try to put up a summary at the beginning.

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      1. Thanks for the suggeston on the categories. I’ve been cleaning that up slowly, but it took me the first 3-4 months of writing to even figure out what my categories should be. I will try to make it easier to pick out travel posts based on destinations – that is a great idea!

        I see that on your blog, you do have “places to visit” by location under your Categories. That is very helpful. My suggestion to you would relate to your long list of topics on the right side, below your “hosting” banner. At first glance, my eyes just want to glaze over the list because it appears as a wall of text.

        Perhaps you could intersperse the topics with a representative photo that spans the width of the sidebar? For example have a picture of you above “my autobiography”, a photo of one of your travel destinations above “places to visit”, etc. I think it would help to break it up a little, and catch someone’s eye and make them more likely to look closely.

        Thanks for your suggestions on my blog!

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    3. Hi Jen, I like your blog. Maybe try a theme like Twenty Ten or Publish. They are clean themes, but they are not so much the gallery format that you want to stay away from.

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    4. I like the look of the blog and your content is well written and presented. My one suggestion would be to possibly start using the MORE functionality, your posts are great but are a bit long.
      When viewing a blog like yours I tend to find it easier to have a couple paragraphs and maybe a photo to preview and then click through to the rest on posts that catch my interest.

      Think like a news paper, the front page has the start of the story but you don’t have to flip inside to read the ones that don’t interest you.

      Still great posts from what I’ve read.

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      1. Good suggestion! I always forget to use the “break” tool, to shorten the initial view of the posts on my main page. I’ll have to start using that – perhaps I’ll even go back and reedit some of my older posts to include that for better reading while scrolling. Thanks for the suggestion!

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      1. Thanks for the suggestion! I do need to figure that out – several people have suggested that I make the photos bigger, I’ll have to look into the best way to do that. Thank you!

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  9. I can’t really picture it, but it’s probably great idea, like most of y’all’s ideas, so I’m looking forward to seeing how it works.

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    1. I really like the format of your blog – there’s a lot of awesomness going on. At a first glance, it is colorful and interesting without being overwhelming. The simple text in the center and upper right balance out the vibrant background, while the photo slideshow of posts at the top center provide the visual link some of us need to click on posts. I also like the way that you begin many of your posts with a quote that draws you into the story.

      I think the only thing that didn’t fully mesh with the rest of the front page was abruptly scrolling upon the bottom of the page, with all of those colorful boxes of awards and photos. I don’t really have any suggestion on this, because I do agree that it is better they are at the bottom of the page rather than cluttering up the clean-lined side bar.

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      1. Thanks so much for your feedback. I just switched to this theme, and really like it for the same reasons you listed.
        My old theme featured much more text from each post, so I hadn’t noticed how cluttered (and long) the sidebar had gotten. When I switched to this theme, it really stood out, so I moved a bunch things down below.
        I suppose I could put the “awards” on their own static page to create some white space.

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      2. That would be a good idea – it’s not that I don’t like the bottom of the page, just that it is a jarring transition from the clean lines of the rest of the page.

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      3. Thanks.
        I just followed your blog, meaning that now, I AM AWESOME.

        And to improve my awesomeness, I’m going to walk away from the computer and take a shower before picking up my kid from school.

        Seriously, thanks for engaging with me today. I really appreciate your thoughtful input.

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      4. Thank you! You are the first to ever comment on my “follow” button’s text, so I’m glad it amused you:) I’m glad this community pool idea is working out so far!

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      5. I like to notice the little things that bloggers do to individualize their pages, and to pull it all together with a theme.

        All of my widgets have something to do with ‘life’ but nobody has ever noticed (or at least commented).

        MUST SHOWER. Really leaving this time.

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