Whilst I enjoy posting on Expertscolumn there are several issues about the format of the webpages it delivers to viewers that make the correct formatting of poetry impossible. This article, an open letter to Expertscolumn, is a copy of a message I have sent to the Expertscolumn admin using the 'contact us' link. I'm posting it as an article as well to see whether other people on here agree with me.
So without further ado, here is the open letter:
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From: Bruce Officer
To: Expertscolumn admin
Date: 30 May 2012
Sir / Madam,
Your website makes a point of allowing the posting of poetry, that being one of the category choices in the drop-down list when you submit a new piece, but there are two problems with the site that make it difficult to post poetry successfully.
The first problem is the minimum word count of 200 words. Many good poems are under this limit. There are good reasons for factual articles having a minimum word count - I can't imagine being able to say anything worthwhile on any factual topic in under 200 words - but poetry is different. The essence of good poetry is brevity - painting a picture with a few well-chosen words. The current minumum word count on the Expertscolumn website means one either has to pad the poem itself or add an often superfluous "author's note" to the bottom to reach the 200 word threshold. Could you please consider reducing or even abolishing the minimum word count for pieces submitted to the poetry category?
The second problem is the narrow column width available for text, especially at the top. For poetry, it is essential not to break lines of the poem across several lines of the screen, at least not more than a few times. The screen width available for the text is too narrow at the top of the page to allow that, with the black and green column on the right taking one third of the screen width then the adverts embedded into the text column narrowing it further. Would it be possible to only have embedded adverts down just one side of the text, so that lines of poetry don't have to be broken all the time?
I hope you will give these two suggestions serious thought.