Today’s Guest Contributor for our About Blogging column is the wonderful Kailani of An Island Life. Kailani is the creator of the Carnival of Family of Life. With her expertise, we thought she would be the perfect blogger to walk you through an introduction to Carnivals, Memes and Mr. Linky. After reading her great post today, make sure you drop by and visit her and of course, join in on the Carnival of Family of Life.

Carnivals, Memes and Mr. Linky

As you have probably already found out, blogging has it’s very own language . . . meme, carnival, Mr. Linky, etc. What does all of this mean? Today we will try to explain some of these terminologies so that you can join in on the fun!

What is a blog carnival?

A blog carnival is like a magazine — a periodical containing a collection of articles, stories, pictures, or other features. Just like a magazine, each carnival focuses on a particular subject – family life, health & fitness, business, finance, education – the list goes on and on. There’s even a carnival called the Festival of Trees! There is truly a carnival out there for almost every topic. When you have a moment, stop by the Blog Carnival site and check out their comprehensive carnival list. It’s amazing.

And just like a magazine, each edition is usually published on a regular schedule, often weekly or monthly.

The reason it’s called a blog carnival is because it often moves around. Like a carnival which travels from town to town, blog carnivals often go from one blogger to another, to share the work load, and to get additional exposure for the carnival. However, there is usually an administrator or founder who initially sets everything up, recruits participants, schedules future hosts, and basically keeps everything running smoothly. For example, I created the Carnival of Family Life about a year ago and we just published our 50th edition!

The great thing about carnivals is that you can come to one place and find lots of great posts dealing with a particular subject that you’re interested in. The authors benefit by getting exposure to their blog as well as links from the carnival edition. Think about it as one big linkfest! It’s a win-win situation!

What is a Meme?

First of all, how the heck is it pronounced? Is it meme which rhymes with dream? Is it like memory? Or is it all about meme? I honestly had no idea. However, according to Wikipedia, the original way to pronounce it was rhyming with “theme”. In the US, it is usually rhymed with “gem”.

Memes originally started as various internet quizzes that required active participation by the blogger. It’s often a series of questions that a blogger answers in hopes to share some personal perspective or experience on random topics.

There are two ways to participate:
1. When you see a meme on a blog post that you’re interested in, you may copy the questions and post the answers on your blog.
2. You can be tagged. This is where the blogger who is doing the meme will name other bloggers that he/she would like to include in the fun. The blogger who was “tagged” will usually participate by posting their answers on their own site.

In either case, it is always good blogging etiquette to link back to the original blog.

Over the years, memes have evolved into a regular – often weekly – event. Some of the more popular ones are Tackle It Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday and Thursday Thirteen. Each weekly meme has certain rules that need to be followed. However, once your post is published, you will usually go back to the original site and submit your link informing everyone that you’re participating. You can view a great example of this here.

Linking up is usually done by using Mr. Linky. Mr Linky is a way for bloggers to leave their links to show that they’re participating in that particular event. This makes it easier for other participants to find you.

Mr. Linky offers both free and paid accounts. To see more information on prices and perks, you can visit the upgrade page. It’s a great way to keep track of everyone visiting your meme and makes it easier to return the favor. And talk about great customer service! Whenever I have a question, the developer will usually respond to my email immediately.

Participating in Blog Carnivals and Memes is a great way to gain traffic to your blog and make new friends along the way. And thanks to the brilliant Mr. Linky, linking up is quick and easy!

Now it’s your turn. For all you carnival and meme veterans, what are your best tips and favorite carnivals and memes?



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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 military mommy April 30, 2007 at 12:58 am

I’ve just recently started blogging, but I created a carnival called “Memory Lane Monday” as a place to walk down memory lane and remember where you came from. My latest post is up now and I would love it if anyone would like to join in the fun.

Thanks for the great post. I love to hear about new carnivals and meme’s. It gives us a way to still post on our “off” or “busy” days. :)

Have a great Monday!
Michelle

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2 Scrapping Servant April 30, 2007 at 1:44 am

I have two memes that I do on my blog weekly called Thursday Things that make me go MMMM, and Friday for Friends, I don’t know if I made them up, or if they are already popular as a different title. Maybe I’ll start tagging others to join in :o) Thanks for the info .

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3 kailani April 30, 2007 at 1:54 am

Thank you for such a great introduction. The timing is perfect since the Carnival of Family Life will be celebrating it’s one year anniversary next week! New friends are always welcomed to join us!

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4 Carrie April 30, 2007 at 2:34 am

If there are any homeschoolers out there, I have a meme called Show & Tell Saturday to show off something you did in your homeschooling each week. It’s fun, come join us!

I think of things like Tackle It Tuesday, Works For Me Wednesday, and Show & Tell Saturday to be more carnivals than memes. They are all based around the same topic, after all – and we’re not just jabbering about our favorite 80′s songs or answering silly questionnaires, after all. :)

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5 mjpuzzlemom April 30, 2007 at 8:09 am

Two of my favorites:

Menu Plan Monday

and

Slow Cooking Thursday

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6 oh amanda April 30, 2007 at 9:12 am

I just can’t pronounce it any other way…I will always say Me-Me because they are always about ME ME ME! ;)

Really, thanks for all the good info!

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7 Liz Monkeykisses April 30, 2007 at 10:29 am

I also am not a veteran but a rookie.. I however have started Family Fridays!!! It started last friday and I had a few show up and it was awesome!!! Thank you for posting this as I will take this knowledge to make my Carnival better!

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8 Linda April 30, 2007 at 10:37 am

I always thought it was pronounced “ME ME”…as in, here’s all the information you NEVER wanted or needed to know about ME…ME!!!!

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9 melody April 30, 2007 at 11:46 am

This really does break it down for the new blogger. Good job on the article.

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10 Jennifer, Snapshot April 30, 2007 at 12:54 pm

I also enjoyed participating in the Carnival of Family Life when I first started blogging. It’s a great way to find some new blogs and introduce your blog to new readers as well. I don’t participate in many carnivals these days, but it is a nice way to build community, if you don’t really feel a part of any particular blogging circle.

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11 Sallie April 30, 2007 at 5:23 pm

Great article.. tagging is new info for me for sure. I’m glad to see what it is now. I was worried about starting my meme — Train Up A Child Thursday — since I wasn’t sure if it broke some blogging etiquette rules or something but it’s cool to know I just kinda jumped in and started it right without knowing it..LOL..

God bless,

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12 Heather April 30, 2007 at 11:11 pm

I’m like Linda…I’ve always thought ME ME in my head with that word. Oops! My bad!

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13 Trista April 30, 2007 at 11:57 pm

You all can head on over to my blog to participate in my carnival that’s now over 2 months old.

It’s called Tasty Thursday. It’s a recipe sharing carnival, but the recipes have to be “TRIED AND TRUE”, not something you just found online and posted.

I have gotten now 7 recipes that I rotate in our weekly menus from the weekly participants!

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14 Tammy :):):) May 1, 2007 at 9:11 am

Great article! Especially loved the info on what a carnival is. Could never really wrap my head around that until you explained it.
But, Mr. Linky is still questionable in my mind… what, exactly is it easier than? I have a word press blog that the comments are just as easy if not easier. Maybe it is easier for, say, a blogspot’er, since you have to usually jump through so many hoops to leave a comment on those sites. And forget about Live Spaces… I don’t know that you can use Mr. Linky there… maybe the image one… maybe.
I really want to go check ou the new memes folks have mentioned! Everyone is welcome to link up with mine: Milestone Monday~ a place to share your child’s or your own milestones, big or small, that you don’t want to forget. And I’m not picky on when it happens… could have been last week! Just link and I’ll look!
Have a great week everybody!

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15 Kristen May 2, 2007 at 9:25 pm

This is very good advice. I never really knew about the memes and only got involved with Carnivals as of late. I actually have been to Carnival of Family Life, so it is nice to hear from Kailani.

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16 Robin Sampson June 29, 2007 at 9:52 am

Thanks for the ceal explaination to these blog terms. I made a image you might want to use at http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/memes-lists/

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17 Sarcastic Mom November 12, 2007 at 1:15 am

Just found this while looking for Mr. Linky b/c I’m starting my own Weekly Meme!

It’s called Weekly Winners.

See http://sarcasticmom.blogspot.com/search/label/Weekly%20Winners

for info.

Thanks!

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18 Panayotis November 18, 2007 at 3:14 am

interesting

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19 Wendi June 18, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Thanks. I am new to blogging and have a lot to learn!

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20 Black Cat August 8, 2008 at 11:19 pm

This was very helpful. Thanks:)

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21 Clynne May 18, 2009 at 5:55 pm

In the US, it is usually rhymed with “gem”

I’m not sure where Kailani got such a wrongheaded notion — in the US, it is pronounced just like it says on wikipedia, namely, to rhyme with “cream.”

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22 Katie May 26, 2009 at 7:04 am

Mine is The Way to a Man’s Heart, hosted on Fridays at Frugal Femina (www.frugalfemina.com). It’s for recipes.

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23 Lynette May 30, 2009 at 1:27 pm

I still don’t really understand.
The description is good, just not as “detailed” as I need it.
Why do you “follow” these memes? What do you mean by “follow”?
I love blogging and want more people to join me, just don’t understand this stuff. I don’t have enough to write about everyday or make sure I do something on one subject EVERY week.
AHHHH…anyone want to be my MENTOR ON BLOGGING??? I would mention you in my blog several times….is this a new idea?

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24 Vicky January 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Did you know that there is an alternative to Mr.Linky? You could check http://www.inlinkz.com

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25 Kendra at New Life On A Homestead February 15, 2010 at 10:34 am

So, I’m starting a fun new meme on my blog this week called Fess Up Friday, where women everywhere will join together and in one proud voice share their deepest housekeeping secrets. I thought it would be fun to see the not-so-perfect things that other wives and mothers are doing every now and then! Check it out!

http://newlifeonahomestead.com

I’d love to have any of you along!

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