Need critiquing, a page I wrote on my blog about C.S.A.

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by seedspreader, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    http://shadyoakfarm.com/blog/?page_id=23

    Please check it out... I know it needs a little formatting work, but I am going to begin advertising on my website that we are accepting shares on a CSA and I want to link it to this page.

    Does it explain it well enough? Does it flow smoothly. It's ok to be brutal, I won't enjoy it, but I will appreciate it.

    Those of you who HAVE CSA's if there is something I SHOULD be saying and didn't or vice versa please point it out.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    very good article bob. i don't have any experience with CSA's so i cannot offer input there. so i will just have to nit pic and be brutal, lol. (not really)

    it seemed to flow well. i must admit, it was difficult to read the text. i know page space can be limited when you have to leave room for other things like links and ad space and the like. if you could increase the size of the font, i am sure it would be an even better read.

    i would also try to do something like adding bullet points for the lower section. it would make each reason stated stand out a little better.

    :)
     

  3. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    I made it bigger, it may be too big now... LOL.
     
  4. pepper

    pepper Well-Known Member

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    M~i~ss~i~ss~i~pp~i !
    excellent!

    pros:really well put foward, humour well used, good type size. easy to read.

    now i think you need to personalize it a bit, as in talk about you or your farm. like when you say "payment in march april when seeds are ordered" makes it sound like all farms not your farm? [i'm on my 2nd wave of transplanting then, seeds are saved from last year or ordered jan-feb.? gotta love 8b & hoop houses...]

    don't be hesitant about describing your operation, & are you going to include honey/value added products at no charge? offer them for sale at the pick up place? offer them in the newsletter? offer a egg share? honey share? ect.

    ->pepper
     
  5. cindyc

    cindyc Well-Known Member

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    for some reason, the headings of your different "seeling points" (edited to add... umm... that would be selling points... proof read, THEN punch the button. Sorry...) Anyway, the headings are overlapping the first sentence of the following paragraph slightly (they are actually on top of each other). At least it shows up this way from my computer? :shrug: Maybe a hard return after your subheadings?

    My organic farmers (and you will have to double check your laws, but I think this is national, not local) tell me that you cannot even USE the WORD "organic" if you are selling food, anywhere in your advertising, unless you are CERTIFIED organic (a sort of pet peeve of mine, because I think that is silly!) Even if you don't SAY you are organic, but just allude to it, you could get into trouble. You can change the wording to say "Natural" if you are not certified organic, and get your point across without having the "organic police" come down on you. The fine is quite hefty for this I am told.

    You might consider a bullet point synopsis at the bottom of the page or something so that people who don't want to read that much can get the "gist" and decide to read further.

    Besides that, just advertise a link to your page on Local harvest. Most of the people who join a CSA are looking for local foods, even if the don't yet know what a CSA is. I found out about CSA's that way. Don't think I will ever go back to "grocery store food" if I have a say in the matter. :)

    Good luck...

    Cindyc.
     
  6. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    Bob,
    :warning: brutal comment, but only one with a suggestion:

    I didn't even get as far as reading the text. The font is awful (IMO) and difficult to read. That alone was a major turnoff and caused me to exit the page without reading.

    try coding:
    <font face="arial, tahoma, helvetica, sans-serif" size="3"> TEXT HERE </font>

    These are very readable fonts.
     
  7. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    You can not specify "Certified Organic" if you are not. You can use the term "Organic" if you sell less than $5K a year.

    I personally like the terms "Naturally Grown" or "Grown as Nature intended" better than the term "Organic"
     
  8. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i notice that some of the "text blocks" seem to be overlapping into others. during my couple three web site attempts, i noticed this happening as i tried to resize this and that. maybe you could cut and paste the text or just retype it into one text block and eliminate the bulk of them.

    maybe you could reconfigure the blocks to allow the text to go full width under the radio buttons and such. i imagine the links on the right are in a column that extend full page? maybe your intro paragraph could be half width and the body of the article could be full page width under the links.
     
  9. doohap

    doohap Another American Patriot

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    Try, if possible, to choose a point size for your body copy of approx. 12 pt. (MAKE ALL TYPE THIS SIZE)

    Increase the space between lines to 14 pt. (or double spaced). I think this will help.

    Make the headlines and subheads BOLD and 14 pt.

    Make headlines all caps

    Leave ALL the type white, except the linking text.

    Maybe you could try this?

    I worked in print production for many years. Have NO knowledge of CSA operation.

    Good Luck and Many Smiles,
    doohap
     
  10. doohap

    doohap Another American Patriot

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  11. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I thought you were talking about a group wanting to secede, as I always understood CSA to stand for Confederate States of America. Oh, the conclusions we can jump to.
     
  12. jersey girl

    jersey girl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I also found it very hard to read the text. What I could read seemed very informative. I do agree that you need to be more specific about what you are doing. I will go back and try to read it later, after the text is fixed.
    You are on the right path though.
    Joanie
     
  13. lgslgs

    lgslgs Well-Known Member

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    I liked the content, but it was a bit of work to get through it because of the font and the white on black lettering.

    I would have enjoyed reading it more if it had been trimmed down so I could see the main points at a glance - but I would also like to be able to read the detail if I chose to. Sort of like:

    main idea
    sub point one
    Lots of text and detail
    Lots of text and detail
    <maybe a thumbnail photo>
    Lots of text and detail​



    That looks pretty horrible, but hopefully you get the general idea.

    I really do like the level of content that you are providing, but at first glance (before I get caught up in the content) the layour makes it have the appearance of something that may take more reading time than I'm willing to invest.

    That illusion goes away when it has the appearance of sections with headers - especially when there might be an eye catching photo of a carrot or radish or something thrown in. Or if you have kids, a couple of well lit photos of them happily pulling produce out of a CSA box.

    Lynda

    Actually, the layout on this page: http://shadyoakfarm.com/blog/?cat=5 is really nice and quite readable. The only quibble (and it's a minor one) I'd have with doing the CSA page like your cat=5 page is that black isn't the first color I think of when I think of fresh produce. :)
     
  14. doohap

    doohap Another American Patriot

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    Not horrible at all, Lynda ... good illustration of what you're saying ...

    And I agree, by the way.

    I like your suggestions for clip art of some sort, but don't get hokey :)
     
  15. Muskrat

    Muskrat Well-Known Member

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    I think what has happened is that the article was originally typed in one size, and the computer spaced for that size. When the font size was increased, the spacing was still the same.

    The following is my opinion and might well change before I finish typing it:

    I would take a second look at the introductory paragraph. I read it and I still didn't know what a C.S.A. is. The description as it reads could be of F.D.A. agents who visit the farmer to see what goes into the food. Try 'In simple terms, people buy shares in a farmer's crops' or however you choose to phrase it. I know you say it later, but I wouldn't have read that far.

    Why ask those particular questions at the beginning? You ask them and say the answer is an emphatic 'No'. Why would it be emphatic? And is it even an unemphatic 'no'? In the last sentence of the paragraph you connect the C.S.A. and national security so you've refuted your response. The questions need to connect within the article. Let them be the hook so people will ocntinue reading.

    Why not change it to a positive? 'Is it a revolutionary diet? Yes. Instead of eating dyes, preservatives, and insecticides, you'll be eating fresh-from-the-farm food raised as nature intended.'



    As you can see, my writing is nothing to brag about, so the value of this critique should be judged from that. :)
     
  16. charles burns

    charles burns Well-Known Member

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    I like a written piece to go Zing, I like it to go Zang. I like a written piece to go Zing, Zang and maybe, Shangalang. I like a written piece to wake me up in the morning with a cup of coffee then slap me in the face. I like to see a written piece climb a high tower then fall off backwards into a lukewarm bowl of lentil soup.

    It's too long. It's too much information. The style is questionable - 'The answer is an emphatic No!' (as Mr or Ms Muskrat points out) is so stressed it makes no sense as an answer to the opening paragraph.

    'How it works?' (why the question mark?) is soon followed by the word 'shares'. That's me out of it. I don't want to have to employ the services of a stockbroker to buy vegetables. The word 'shares' should not even be hinted at at this point. The first sentence after 'How it works' can only be 'It's simple!' Because if it isn't, I'm gone.

    I'm thinking that whole paragraph should be something along the lines -

    How does it work? - It's simple! You order your veggies before they are grown! Expect to enjoy fresh produce over the next sixteen weeks - some local growers even deliver!

    Also-

    'There are many reasons' - that paragraph can go, I know what my reasons are, I'm not interested in yours.

    'Health reasons' - that paragraph can go, next you'll be telling me to give up smoking.

    'Future reasons' - can go, I'm just not that interested.

    'It's just better' - can go.

    Try replacing these paragraphs with a short, light, lovely, 'Improve your lifestyle' type paragraph and a 'support your local grower' type ending and a place where I can go and find out more details - the next page maybe. There you could go into specifics a little more. If you must. Remember though, one wrong word and I'm out. Think about every word carefully, especially words like 'shares'.

    Lastly, you have the word 'that' in there where it's not needed. 'That' is a word nine times out of ten you can lose to better effect. If you don't lose those unnecessary words it reads badly.

    The font is not worth discussing because you mentioned you were working on the format and ...ummmmmmm, I would disregard all opinions of the piece thus far except for the Muskrat post. And this one of course.

    One more thing, what the hell is a cavendish banana?
     
  17. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    if you click on the "cavandish banana" highlighted text, it is actually a hyperlink that takes you to a web discussing the cavandish banana.

    is one supposed to start a sentence with "and"? :shrug:
     
  18. Muskrat

    Muskrat Well-Known Member

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    It isn't grammatically correct, :nerd: that's just the way I think. I have read that it is acceptable when using the conversational expository, which I don't even know what is.
     
  19. charles burns

    charles burns Well-Known Member

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    ......ahhhh, the Cavendish banana. Thank you.

    I suppose the article was interesting in a dentist's waiting room kind of way but don't you just love the words 'cavendish banana'? it was worth wading through both articles just to discover that pairing.

    Of course one can start a sentence with 'And'. Read the sentence before it and then the sentence beginning with 'And'. Does it work? I think so (that's why I wrote it that way). If they are the right words use them, even if an English teacher from the early nineteenth century tells you it's grammatically incorrect and sends you to the headmaster to be flayed.

    'It isn't grammatically correct, that's just the way I think'. - What a perfect way to put it. If people didn't adhere to this philosophy there would be no great literature methinks.
     
  20. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    I am going to leave it unchanged for a bit longer. It's interesting seeing all the different perspectives.

    I don't think most people in my area know what a C.S.A. is or why they should want to be involved in it.