Ever been confused about all the carnivals and memes out there? Scribbling Mum (pictured) is on hand with this primer about them.
When I first started blogging over a year ago I wondered what the heck people were talking about, inviting me to join in with their ‘carnival’. Did I have to dress up? Would there be cake?
I can remember getting my first ‘meme’, being thrilled, but spending way too long thinking about how you’d pronounce it if you had to say it out loud. Was it mee-mee or memé? When I asked this of the seasoned blogger who’d tagged me she was like ‘Em. Not sure. Weirdo.’ and ran away.
And who was this McLinky they spoke of? As a Scot, should I be offended at this apparent stereotyping?
I now I find myself being a teeny bit more structured and have been noticing just how many of these regular activities are out there to inspire, share and get involved in. But rather than start a gigantic tracking spreadsheet, or set myself reminder alarms on my phone, I thought sharing this would be a good start.
So, here is what I have learnt so far.
‘Carnival’ = A carnival is a group of articles written by different bloggers, each giving their own take on a similar theme. These are planned events usually with a schedule so you can see the topics, or who will be hosting them, well in advance.
‘Linky’ = It’s simply a blog tool that allows readers to leave a list of links in a blog post. The ‘Mc’ has recently been dropped due to the negative associations with wee jimmy hats.
‘Meme’ (correct pronunciation still to be confirmed) = A theme for a post that can be started by any blogger. They write a post and then ‘tag’ some other bloggers at the end of their post. There are usually some rules that come with it but nothing serious and, unlike chain letters, there are no associated curses if you politely choose to decline.
So, what’s out there right now to check out and get involved in?
These are a great way to get writing inspiration and I find it fascinating how differently we can all interpret the same word or phrase. If you’ve lost your mojo then try re-visting some older posts on these sites. It can be a great way to spark your interest again.
• Sleep is for the Weak’s Writing Workshop – Josie’s highly popular slot gives you prompts, in the form of single words, sentences or thought-provoking questions. Posted every second Monday and you link up your post on the Thursday of that week.
• Mama’s Losin’ It’s Writing Prompts – US-based Kat posts a prompt every Tuesday and you link up to your post on the Thursday. You can also register very easily to get just the prompts emailed direct to you every week.
• 3 Bedroom Bungalow’s Dear So and So… – This is pure genius from Kat, I’m a big fan of this. Every Friday you can link up your own ‘Dear So and So…’ letters that you’re scribbled. They can be short, lengthly, heartfelt or just a plain old rant.
• Notes to Self Plus Two’s I heart me – J Notes prompts us to think about ourselves not the kids, not work, not the daily grind. Every Friday we are given a “me” pondering question, ponder over the weekend and link up on Monday.
• Mummy From The Heart’s Reasons to be cheerful – Michelle gives us our weekly shot of positivity and invites us all to do the same, linking up every Thursday evening.
• Metal Mummy’s Movie Meme – Hannah’s just started this one and it’s a weekly movie related theme to interpret as you want. A new prompt every Tuesday and you can link up all week.
• Jenny’s Alphabe Thursday– US based Jenny Matlock simply gives us a letter of the alphabet to play with. Posted weekly every Wednesday evening (I know, I know, it says Thursday right? It’s a US time difference thing) with the linky staying open until Friday late afternoon.
• Thinly Spread’s Something for the Weekend – Christine invites us every Friday morning to link up any posts we’ve written which give us all some ideas for things we can do with children at the weekend. Could be something crafty, somewhere to go, something to bake, a game to play, some kitchen science, some garden ideas – all ideas welcome.
Don’t be put off, worried, in you don’t think you’re much of a photographer. These are all about exploring, sharing, having a go, capturing a moment. It takes all sorts. Go on, give it a whirl.
• Sticky Fingers’ The Gallery – Tara gives you a theme every Friday and you’re invited to share your post the following Wednesday. You can post with words, without words, one photo, many photos; the choice is yours.
• Mocha Beanie Mummy’s Silent Sunday – Jay’s weekly link up pretty much does what it says on the tin. No theme, no words, just a photo of your choice, post and link every Sunday.
• Cafe Bebe’s Flashback Friday – Karin has just started this as a way to have a good dig about in your photo archives, dust them off and share the memories associated with that snapshot in time. No theme, you can link up every Friday.
• British Mummy Blogger’s Bi-monthly Carnival– I’ve got to put that 1st on the list right? Our very own BMB carnival is hosted by a different willing volunteer every two weeks who decides whether there is a theme, or just a big writing free-for-all-fest.
• Notes from Home’s The Friday Club – Ella puts a whole heap of work into co-ordinating these weekly themed posts so that, rather than adding a Linky, bloggers are inserting links to other posts in the carnival into their articles. If you’re interested in participating then check out the full instructions to ensure you get your post submitted to Ella in time for Friday publishing.
• Nuture Store’s Play Academy – Cathy runs a themed monthly carnival based around different ideas for children’s play and learning. There’s also a weekly linky every Friday where you share lots of play, craft and activity ideas ready for the weekend.
And finally, there’s Mummy’s Little Monkey’s weekly Blow Your Own Blog-Horn which quite simply lets you link up to your blog every Friday and shout ‘Check me out, I’m The Shiz.’ My words not hers.
So there you have it. I know I won’t have covered everything, my apologies for those that I’ve missed. Please leave details of any more as a comment and I shall duly slap my forehead and shout ‘Of course! How could I have forgotten that one?!’
Now, go forth and participate people.
— Caroline (Scribbling Mum)