[Photo by Omar Omar.]
Here’s one more thing you need to know about How To Host a Blog Carnival.
Some of the Math Teachers at Play carnival hosts have asked about setting a theme for their carnivals. That can be either a good idea or a bad one, depending on what you mean by a theme…
Don’t Limit the Entries
If you try to set a theme for the entries to your blog carnival, you will probably have trouble. Let’s say you want to highlight posts about assessment, an interesting and highly relevant topic for math teachers. But what if a blogger submits a game for learning trig identities? Would you leave that out because it doesn’t fit your theme?
[Aside: Has anyone ever heard of a game for learning trig identities? I'd love to read about it!]
There will always be some submissions that won’t match your topic, or else you will have very few people who send something in. Getting entries for a blog carnival is a big enough struggle, so you don’t want to make it any harder.
If you want that sort of themed collection, I suggest you gather posts that you like as you browse the internet and then pull them together in a regular blog post, rather than trying to do it with the carnival. I’m sure many people would enjoy such a themed post and appreciate your going to the trouble to collect everything. It’s a great way to make yourself known (because bloggers tend to check out people who give them links), and it might turn into a long tail draw for search engine traffic, bringing you new visitors for many years.
When I say blog carnival theme, however, I’m talking about what you yourself write: the introduction, the transitions, and the text that surrounds the links submitted for your carnival.
For instance, I have seen carnivals ranging the gamut from a bare list of links to a fictional story woven around the articles. I don’t think I would ever put so much work into a carnival as to come up with a fiction story, but I do try to add more than the bare bones. I try to say something short about most of the entries, and I add pictures and tidbits of information, puzzles, quotations — anything to coax a reader through all the way to the end.
Let’s see if I can find a few examples….
[Photo by merfam.]
- A bare bones InstaCarnival
- A fictional carnival: road trip
- Founding Fathers theme
- A simple theme: ABCs
- Another fiction story: the haunted carnival
- Inaugural Ball edition
- Playing on the host’s blog name
- Autumnal equinox
- Christmas ornaments
- Math humor theme
…or just about anything you feel inspired to write about. This sort of thing takes a lot more work than just pulling everything together in a relatively simple list, but it can make for a highly entertaining read.
So, how will you sweeten up your blog carnival?
[Photo by merfam.]