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?