What is a blog carnival?
It is a crowd-sourced online magazine, occurring at a regular interval, usually rotating hosting blogs for each edition. Bloggers submit their best posts from a particular period or on a particular topic to the next editions’ host who accepts (or rejects) the entries, and edits the blog post that contains nicely arranged and introduced links to all the entered posts. Thus, it is a well-defined, well-archived, regular, rotating linkfest. Usually all the included bloggers link back to the carnival from their blogs (as well as other online sites, e.g., social networks) thus bringing attention and traffic to the host, as well as to all the bloggers whose work is included in that edition.
The carnival as a bloggy phenomenon got its name from the very first one, Carnival of the Vanities, which was started by blogger Sid in Chapel Hill, NC on his blog Silflay Hraka back in 2005. Today, there are more than 10,000 carnivals on a variety of topics, most of them live (they do sometimes die off), and all compiled on the Blog Carnival site.
Why should you participate in blog carnivals? Because this is the best way to build a community around a particular topic – the quickest, easiest way for people who are harboring similar interests to find each other, decide if they like each other, to boost each other’s rankings and traffic, and, if needed, to organize together for some kind of action. In best cases, you will meet some of those bloggers in person and forge new friendships, or even scientific collaborations.
A number of blog carnivals have science, nature and medicine topics. While several have lasted a year or two and then quietly died, a number of them are still live and kicking.
On the front page, we include an RSS feed for all the blog carnivals on Scienceblogging.org so it is easy for you to keep up with them all.
Here is a sample of sciencey blog carnivals that are currently running: