Sunday, August 31, 2008

How to Submit a Post to a Carnival

There have been some questions about how to submit a post to a carnival using the Blog Carnival submission forms. While this is not a feature of Facebook, many of our Genea-Bloggers Group members on Facebook are regular contributors to blog carnivals, and this tutorial is written to help those new to our group--and new to blog carnivals.

First of all, what is a blog carnival? According to the Blog Carnival FAQ (frequently asked questions) page, a blog carnival:
is a particular kind of blog community. There are many kinds of blogs, and they contain articles on many kinds of topics. Blog Carnivals typically collect together links pointing to blog articles on a particular topic. A Blog Carnival is like a magazine. It has a title, a topic, editors, contributors, and an audience. Editions of the carnival typically come out on a regular basis (e.g. every Monday, or on the first of the month). Each edition is a special blog article that consists of links to all the contributions that have been submitted, often with the editors opinions or remarks.

The Blog Carnival FAQ page is full of helpful information and should be a must-read for all those considering participating in a carnival. It explains who Organizers, Hosts, Bloggers, and the Audience are, as well as their roles and responsibilities within the carnival.

The Genea-Bloggers Group currently has seven opportunities each month to participate in six genealogy-related carnivals (although there certainly may be more out there on the Internet): the Carnival of Genealogy (posted twice a month), the "I Smile for the Camera" Carnival, the Cabinet of Curiosities, the Canadian Genealogy Carnival (brand new!), the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, and the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture. All of these carnivals use the Blog Carnival submission form.

There are currently three places that list all of these carnivals and when the submission deadlines are. The first is on my blog, AnceStories: The Stories of My Ancestors, under the Calendar of Events category. The first post of each month on my blog is always a Calendar of Events post, and among other things, I list all the carnival due dates for that month along with links to their respective submission forms on Blog Carnival:

Each time a carnival is posted, I go back to my Calendar of Events post for that month, and change the link to that carnival's publication post:

Thomas MacEntee has a Genea-Blogger Calendar using the Google Calendar application on his blog, Destination: Austin Family. He gives a tutorial on how to merge the Genea-Blogger Google Calendar to your own, which I personally find very useful, as I use Google Calendar and its handy e-mail reminders exclusively for my personal organizer. I know others use it and find it helpful as well:

Over at the Genea-Blogger Group page, Thomas also posts upcoming events that pertain to our group such as carnivals, memes, Scanfest, and other events of interest:

By clicking on "See All" under the Events title in the right-hand menu of the Genea-Bloggers Group page you can view a list of all the upcoming (future) events, as well as view a list of past ones:

When these upcoming events are posted, you will receive an invitation to the event, which allows you to RSVP. You can also RSVP directly from the event's information page:

Now that you know what a blog carnival is and how to locate upcoming ones, here are the steps for submitting your post to the Blog Carnival using a PC and either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox as your browser (if you have a Mac and/or use a different browser and would like to add pertinent instructions, please e-mail me, and I'll add them to this post):

1. First, write your post, making sure you are staying to the topic for that particular carnival. Go ahead and publish the post on your blog.

2. Look at the published post on your blog. On both Blogger and WordPress, when you hover your mouse over the title of the post, you will see the link to the Permalink URL in the taskbar at the bottom of your screen:

This Permalink URL is the permanent link that links specifically to that post, and not just to your blog address in general.

3. You can copy that link in several ways. If you are using Internet Explorer, you may wish to click directly on the title of the post. The page will reload, and then will show only that post and no others. Go up to the address bar, hover the cursor over the address, and right-click with your mouse on it. Choose "Copy":

If you are using Mozilla Firefox, all you have to do is right-click on the title of the post and choose "Copy Link Location":

4. Once you've copied the Permalink URL, go to the respective blog carnival submission form. I have used the current Carnival of Genealogy submission form for this example:

In the "Article to submit" field, simply right-click and choose "Paste":

5. The page will automatically reload and will most likely automatically enter the title of your post as well as the name of your blog and its URL. If it does not do this automatically, then enter the information manually:

6. Enter your name and e-mail address:

7. Choose a category from the drop-down menu bar. Sometimes the theme is listed, sometimes not, depending upon whether the Carnival Organizer has entered that information. (If you receive a message that says it no longer is receiving submissions, then you have passed the submission deadline and will have to wait until next time to submit a post. Oftentimes there is a three- or four-day wait between the submission deadline and the carnival publication date. It takes time to successfully write a quality carnival publication post!) You can add a short description of your post in the "Remarks" section:

8. Enter the security code and click on the Submit button:

9. If you have filled out the form correctly, you will see the following page. If not, go back and make sure you've entered all required information correctly:

10. You will receive a confirmation e-mail verifying that you have successfully submitted your post to the carnival:

11. Stay tuned to the carnival host's blog to see the carnival publication post. Enjoy seeing your post listed and reading other bloggers' submissions!


Brett Payne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brett Payne said...

It's lucky that I chose something different for my "Show & Tell," because I have one that looks almost identical to the sampler of which you have just given us a sneak preview. I look forward to reading your article, and comparing the rest of the text with mine.
Regards and best wishes,
Brett Payne

Thomas MacEntee said...

Very well done and I am flattered that you referenced the Genea-Bloggers Calendar on Google!

Colleen said...

Nice article, but what I want to know is, how do you get "snapshots" of what you're seeing on the screen so as to post it to blog or site for others to see the same screen?

Miriam said...

Brett, great minds think alike! ;-)

Thomas, I hope you don't ever delete the Genea-Bloggers Calendar on Google...I can't live without all my Google gadgets!

Colleen, use your Print Screen button, probably located in the upper right corner of your keyboard somewhere. Mine says Prt Scr with SysRq under it. It requires using the shift key with it, of course. Nothing turns on or beeps or anything to indicate I've actually copied the screenshot. I then open Paint Shop Pro and go directly to Edit in that program's toolbar and choose Paste. The image appears and then I can crop, edit, enhance it, etc. If you have some other photo-editing software (Adobe Photoshop or Elements, etc.) it should be similar to Paint Shop Pro.

Thanks for your comments, all!