Not too long ago a Georgia blogger sent me an email and wanted more information about the Georgia Blog Carnival. Perhaps it is time to revisit the topic, so here is the answer I forwarded.
A carnival is like an online magazine. Some appear weekly, bi-monthly (like the Georgia Carnival), or monthly. There are hundreds of them in the blogosphere and they all have some sort of topic they work around. You can find them by going to the blog carnival hub at the Blog Carnival Hub, and click on the link that says browse carnivals (I think the link is in the top right corner).
Readers enjoy carnivals because you get several different blog posts in one posting that all have a unifying characteristic. For example, the Georgia Carnival has many different blog postings from many different sites. The unifying characteristic is that all of the blogs are based in Georgia. Bloggers like to read carnivals because they get to see what others are doing with their blogs, and if you are really busy it's a time-saving way of getting out and meeting other bloggers on-line. Visiting the various blogs that submit to a carnival help me to see what's new...maybe someone has a great new layout I'd like for my blog, or they have a button I like, or perhaps their opinion fires me up to write about the subject at my own site. Many people who don't have a blog visit blog carnivals as well.
Bloggers like to submit to carnivals because it gains exposure for their blog because they become part of a community. At my education and history site, History Is Elementary, I submit weekly to the Education Carnival and try to submit monthly to the History Carnival because those two on-line magazines best fit the topics I write about. By submitting to those carnivals I know what is going on in the education and history communities in the blogosphere, I develop on-line aquaintances with many in the field of education and history that would probably never happen offline or would occur at a slower pace in the "real" world.
Submitting to a carnival also gains your site a link and a mention somewhere else. This helps your blog to be seen and moves it up in the rankings. The more you are linked to the better for you. Many of the carnivals rotate host. This means for each edition of the carnival someone different is linking to you and mentioning your site in some way. This is good. While many of us write for our own pleasure it can be a lonely little blogworld if you never have any visits, you know?
So.....to get really specific about the question....how does the carnival work exactly....you choose a post from your site that you want to submit. It can be an opinion piece about anything, a play-by-play on your day, something that bugs you, anything really. Send me the permalink for the post (the url address that will take me specifically to that post in isolation), and it is the job of the current host (usually me) to take all of the submissions and present them by topics or in some other creative way in one posting at their site by the next edition date for the carnival.
I generally send out a reminder before the due dates for each carnival and I generally send out the permalink for the carnival to the bloggers that submitted a post, so they can link to it. Of course, links from bloggers who don’t have a post in the carnival are appreciated as well. In this way other Georgia bloggers are mentioning the carnival at their site, notifying their readers, and this means more people are visiting and most importantly....finding your site. :)
The next edition of the Georgia Blog Carnival will post this Friday here at Georgia on My Mind.
Submissions must be from a Georgia-based blog OR the post must concern the state of Georgia in some way if the blog is based elsewhere. Submissions can be sent to email@example.com or use the handy blog carnival submission form.
I can't wait to read your submission!