At the end of last year I was on a mission to find online venues that enable me to connect with other bloggers possessing similar writing and reading interests. Initially, I imagined a singular location online, a panacea for all my blog networking woes. I eventually accepted the fact that there is no such place for me, particularly because my blog and blogging interests do not fall into an easily definable niche.
I write about a variety of topics that illustrate one of my main beliefs, conditional cognition. I do my best to stick to that, but I don’t always clearly point out the conditional cognition at hand. Sometimes the reader needs to put a little thought into it. How fun would life be if you never had to think? Maybe that’s the teacher in me talking. Nevertheless, I hope to have regular readers that appreciate engaging in discussions and mulling things over a bit. No need to drain the brain, but at least get some sparks going. Check out the best of conditional cognition to see what I mean. If you’d rather view a video to contemplate conditional cognition, then enjoy the clips to ponder (preview some in the margin on the right).
Although I couldn’t find the “holy grail” of listings or communities, I did come across a blog directory of links that group posts by topic or theme:
blog carnival. It’s literally a conglomerate of blog conglomerates: a site “where someone takes the time to find really good blog posts on a given topic, and then puts all those posts together in a blog post called a carnival.” Here’s blog carnival’s take on what they’re all about:
We think blog carnivals are a great way for bloggers to recognize each other’s efforts, organize blog posts around important topics, and improve the overall level of conversation in the blogosphere. Carnivals come in edited “editions”, just like magazines or journals. The fact that carnivals are edited (and usually annotated) collections of links lets them serve as “magazines” within the blogosphere, and carnival hosts can earn their readership by providing high quality collections.
Since blog carnivals include lots of posts on specific topics, they also serve as a place to connect with those who are expert (or at least highly opinionated!) and those who are interested in that field.
On the blog carnival website, it took me a while to scour through the lengthy directory to find active carnivals that satisfied my blogging needs, since a number of carnivals were dead or falsely advertised in their carnival descriptions. Perseverance paid off in the end and I found several carnivals that fell into categories of blog posts that I enjoy writing, reading or both. Yes! 🙂
I was happy to find this site, but things got even better. A couple of posts that I submitted to carnivals were selected and listed alongside other posts with similar themes. Much to my delight, my most popular post, I’m Not Bob Marley, earned the honor of Post of the Month for the 24th edition of the Everything Worth Reading Carnival. The next month, the 49th edition of the Brain Blogging Carnival included my Rewinding, Resetting And Redefining Artificial Intelligence post.
In addition to finding blogs with subject matter that interests me, I connected with other bloggers who wrote and read similar stuff. Although it can be hit or miss, blog carnival ended up enriching my blogging experience. However, I’m always on the look out for new ways to expand the blog world in which I live, so if you know of any other sites or networking strategies, please share.