Friday, April 29, 2011

Carnival relevance?

Recently I have been thinking about the use of blog carnivals. Do they get read by enough people to be considered useful? Do the people who read them actually click through to blog posts they wouldn't have otherwise? Presumably people who read carnivals regularly read a number of blogs regularly, too. So does the carnival add anything for these readers? And what about people who aren't regular readers of featured blogs? Are there any? Do people who don't usually read about the subject matter learn about it through carnivals?

Is there a point in continuing Carnival of Evolution? Sometimes I get the suspicion that readers are a very select group of people who would read these posts about evolution anyway, in which case I don't think the carnival has much to offer. What do you think?

I have been trying to get CoE hosts to think of new ways to spice up the monthly edition, with limited success. And yet I wonder if that makes any difference at all to anybody. Are more people reading more blog posts on evolution due to CoE? That's really the core question, because that would and should be the purpose of the carnival.

I'd like to know what the answers are, and to that end I tam thinking about making a questionnaire and get it featured on the June edition of CoE. However, I often find that such polls end up not really answering the overall question, so I am asking you what those questions should be. If you can think of specific question to ask CoE readers that will get to the relevance of CoE, please post them here or send me an email.

If you have ideas for how to increase the relevance of carnivals, please feel free to share them here as well.


  1. I don't know about everyone else but I have never heard of 100% of the blogs featured in recent times, not to mention the attention from sandwalk makes this feature utterly important.
    BTW last month's Carnival was great, I may try signing myself up for a month in the future.

  2. Thanks for sharing that, William.

    Do you think it would be valuable to promote CoE and blogs on evolution etc. in high schools and junior high?

  3. Do you think you could find away to do that? As a high school student I think it might be a waste of time. There is a lot of bloggers that don't follow mainstream blogs that you could probably get to.

  4. Hi Bjørn,

    I'm glad you asked this question, because I have been having the same thoughts about my own carnival but haven't figured out how to broach the question with the readership.

    Truth is, most of the submissions are mined from the most recent month of the blogs that I follow and sent to the carnival host for the month - only a few are actually submitted by other bloggers. I've not wanted to equate lack of interest in submitting with lack of interest in the carnival itself, but more and more it seems the carnival readership is largely the readership of the blogs from which the submissions came from. It's getting harder and harder to see the relevance.

    I'll be interested to see the thoughts posted here and will likely ask a similar question to the followers of my carnival.


  5. I find the carnival useful, because, while evolution is a part of my field (genetic engineering), it's not a central part of my reading, and it forces me to look at blogs that I otherwise wouldn't follow - it's tough enough to follow those that are central to what I do! Is there a way that is could be 'marketed' to others where it is fringe, but still important?