What’s a blog carnival anyway? I read about them in a chapter of Patrick Schwerdtfeger’s book Webify Your Business and so I signed up for one. But it didn’t seem like there was much going on, so I posted the question on LinkedIn:
The Best Answer came from Stevie Wilson, a seasoned journalist and editor-in-chief of the popular blog called LA-Story.com. It is about Southern California and Los Angeles as a lifestyle, state of mind and style center: “So no matter where you are in the world, you can live the So. Calif lifestyle by knowing what’s hot in LA!”
A blog carnival is where you have somewhat related blogs/sites — each contributing a post on a specific day to create a list that would be posted on every participating site/blog. I have had experience in 3-4 blog carnivals.
While often blog carnivals are narrow in scope, featuring posts in certain sectors: beauty, fashion, (or both), food, spirits, tech/gadgets or games — others can have a wider range and allow people to be creative and more diverse in their content.
Some of the negatives:
1) Everyone gets some extra content and it’s great to get a diverse audience exposure.
2) You have a chance to test out things and talk to others about what works on these kinds of posts, so that you can learn and tweak your links and blogs.
3) It’s all about the group dynamic.
Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t After all, things happen in your life that might have you missing a post or 3 (a car accident, working late, illness) but a once-a-month participation isn’t enough.
Look at the quality of the blogs, their content, their voices and how you all mesh
Here’s one additional insight from Bret Itskowitch [in response to the LinkedIn question]
“A blog carnival is a way to grow/share readership among a group of bloggers writing about a similar topic. I am a travel contributor to a group of Lonely Planet bloggers. Every two weeks someone picks a topic and hosts a carnival on their blog. Other bloggers write and post on the topic, linking to the host. The carnival host writes a broader summary on the topic and includes links to all of the contributing bloggers.”
What’s your experience been. The jury is definitely out for me — so far. Please convince me.