Melissa asked: Did you create your profile layout? Yes, I did. I know just enough about HTML and graphic design to get myself in trouble. What I know is self taught and comes after a lot of playing around with code and a lot of trial and error. I wish I knew more and could do it more efficiently.
It's probably a good thing I know some since I get tired of a layout after a certain period of time. I feel like I need to change it. I've thought about paying someone to make me a really cool layout, but I figure I wouldn't keep it long enough to make it worth it. And I've had a few people ask where I get the graphics I use in my banners. I have purchased them [pretty cheaply] through http://www.istockphoto.com/. I'm also a sucker for fonts.
Deb asked: Why did you choose the avatar of the girl blowing bubbles? When I started blogging, I wasn't sure I wanted a picture of myself on my profile. I had this avatar saved on my computer and always loved it. It's fun, whimsical, animated, and somehow represents a childlike quality of not taking life too seriously.
After I started commenting blogger's posts, I realized that it stands out among a sea of avatars displaying women's faces. I saw this as a good thing; that bloggers would remember that avatar and maybe be curious enough to visit my blog.
Karen asked: What types of blogs do you enjoy reading the most? I have thought about this question quite a bit since I first read it. What attracts me to certain blogs? Is it the content? or the blogger? or both? or something else?
I think it is mainly a combination of the content and the writer. I enjoy humor, so anything written with wit and can make me at least smile, if not outright laugh, will have me coming back again and again. I also enjoy reading about people's lives on a deeper level. I enjoy knowing that someone is being real and showing vulnerability. Maybe it's because I can then relate to them.
I appreciate good writing, so that's always a plus. I also like variety. I enjoy reading blogs that can talk about their kids one day, a personal struggle the next, and their upcoming vacation after that. And this may sound superficial, but the actual "look" of the blog affects whether I want to read it or not. I don't like pages that look too crowded, or have too many ads, or doesn't flow well. There's just too many distractions for my personal preference.