Just a test of remote posting and whether it works currently.
Carnival of the Capitalists went on hiatus almost a year ago, and I had not really expected it to return, much as I often missed it. What a year to skip, too, on the topics of business and economics.
I’ve discussed restarting it, here and elsewhere, perhaps with a different official headquarters, but had not pursued it. Then I had an idea that reinvents it and enforces brevity in the time I devote to it.
I have been using Twitter heavily, substantially overlapping what I might otherwise emit via blogging, while going beyond it. Long ago I started a Twitter account for CotC, which mostly lay fallow as did CotC itself.
So… Each entry in a weekly edition of Carnival of the Capitalists will be a tweet in CotC on Twitter. A digest of those will publish here weekly via Twitter Tools, so you may see the collection as a single post at one time. You may also follow CotC from your Twitter account to see the component link entries as they happen, or you may check the CotC Twitter page to peruse them.
I figure a description and automatically shortened URL should not need more than 140 characters. Keeping it there, I can’t be verbose and the carnival won’t be an outrageous time sink. If I want to write longer posts aside from CotC, that’s my problem. I’d like to think you’ll see some appear here, once I get back into the groove.
And entering? You may e-mail the traditional way, email@example.com, but you may also direct an @ reply on Twitter to @CotC followed by your link and an associated text. If you enter via Blog Carnival, it goes to the e-mail address, and you may find that convenient.
Topics? Haven’t changed. I would love to see a bit more on the philosophical side, and I expect entries to swirl around recent and current financial, economic and business events. This is the business and economics carnival. That’s a huge range. In general, all the old information on this site is obsolete or superceded, but relevant topics remain so.
You don’t have to be the author to submit. Blog posts are preferred, but especially good mainstream articles will be considered. Substantive and original are still preferred, but exceptions are not out of the question.
Submissions will not automatically be included, or included in the week that by rights they ought to have been in.
The weekly CotC post should publish Monday morning, automatically, ready or not, with whatever I have gotten into tweets during the week. The first will be Monday, January 12, 2009, and will be largely experimental, a beta if you will, since I have not tested the weekly digest function yet, and am a bit late announcing this.
Will it fly? I’d like to think it’s a good time for this sort of thing, done in a way that breaks with the past. I’d like to think that adding Twitter to the mix will expand the audience and generate some excitement.
Obviously I did not come roaring back with a big “back from hiatus” CotC, doubling as a fundraiser, which was to tell me how interested people were in CotC and whether to continue it or not, whether or not to open this site up to ads as I would avoid with enough reader support, and specifically help me pay my gas & electric arrears to keep them from being shut off August 20, rendering us homeless when we’re otherwise largely stabilized.
In keeping with the preceding, if you ever appreciated Carnival of the Capitalists and/or would like to see it return, or would simply like to be charitable, feel free to hit the PayPal donation button over on the right. Anything I receive will go to the utilities until no more is needed for that. It’s for sure there will be no return of CotC in any form if I am camping on someone’s couch, or camping more literally.
There also hasn’t been a post in answer to the question posed in the comments about Blog Carnival, which I expect to return to using officially (submissions through it still get to the right place) if there is going to be a return of CotC.
There haven’t even been plain old posts, not even quick links, as I’d intended to do regularly. The trouble with quick links is what if those are good ones for an edition of CotC and I “waste them” as regular posts. Or vice-versa. I could post a ton of stuff, if not timely, from all the links I bookmarked toward the assumption I’d do a CotC Real Soon Now… if I can find them after a couple of computer reorganizations.
It seems lame to me that the family kept me so busy that any of the activities I had in mind to help keep the family housed and together were neglected or somehow viewed as less important than, I dunno, whatever would somehow keep things together, and the routine family maintenance. It’s no accident that I am typing this at 2 AM, somehow actually awake and coherent enough, for which I’ll pay later.
Will there be a CotC? Maybe. Definitely, if there’s an outpouring enough to make me insist on the time for it. Will there be posts? Probably, especially if there’s not a CotC, especially if I end up with ads that make it worthwhile for me to squeeze in time for a bit of content. Especially since it’s not exactly tough to generate that, if I make a point of it and start by mining what’s already accumulated. Especially since we live in fascinating economic times I itch to say more about.
So watch this space and I’ll try to be back soon. Heck, if you donate enough and would like me to write about a topic, perhaps that could be arranged…
Unless something trips it up, I will post a “back from hiatus and now what” (and yes, fundraiser) edition of Carnival of the Capitalists this week. I’m looking at Gmail for the first time in forever, and of course there’s not a huge amount there. If you send in an entry ASAP, it will be considered, or might make it for the next one, which should be sooner than this one, if not exactly next week.
Since this is an extra huge, catching up edition, the rules on posts being recent, and there being only one per blog, are completely out the window.
The address is firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can simly e-mail me at email@example.com if you’d like, for this one.
Feel free to suggest posts by others, not written by you, and mainstream online media articles as well.
There is a certain amount of irony in my having organized and run something called Carnival of the Capitalists for so long as an uncompensated volunteer. Even when it only took a couple hours a week, well… it took a couple hours a week.
It’s been on hiatus, and that is one of the reasons. I want to bring it back in some form. Recently I had a fundraising drive of sorts at Blogblivion, which had a gratifying response, albeit driven by the assistance of big name bloggers. A couple of people mentioned their donations were for CotC or expressed interest in seeing it return, so doing so is partly for and inspired by them.
I’ve been accumulating links, which might otherwise get posted standalone, rather than as part of a collection, and while I haven’t looked, presumably some have come into the submission address. I’m ready to try it again, but I’m not sure it can or should ever be exactly the same.
There will be one edition to start, designated a fundraiser. I will also be looking at the option of advertising here, but if there’s enough direct support, the need for that will be mitigated. You needn’t wait for that, if you have ever appreciated Carnival of the Capitalists during its run from late 2003 to early 2008. Even tiny amounts help. The “make a donation” button at the top of the right column is the place to go for that, and thank you for your support. If you contributed previously, thank you again. No need to repeat yourself.
As noted, I’ll entertain the possibility of advertising, or some form of sponsorship. If you’re interested, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is much to say about blog carnivals, CotC, blogging, social media, and so forth, but that can wait for the CotC edition or other posts.
The main thing is that CotC has to go TANSTAAFL in the future, if there is to be one. Even if there isn’t going to be a CotC, this site has to go that way. I won’t make a living running CotC or blogging here on business and economics, but I have to make something.
As part of revitalizing this place, I’m finally working on the blogroll. There will be a Hostroll, specifically the blogs where CotC editions have been hosted, or of the people who did the hosting, if they’ve migrated. There will be a Linkroll, which is like a blogroll, but might not include only blogs.
I will add to them a little at a time, and will try to announce the additions in posts like this, but without all the explanatory text.
BusinessPundit was started by Rob May in earl 2003. Carnival of the Capitalists was a concept he proposed in rough form, and from there we fleshed out the details, launched it in October 2003, and I ran with it. As the founding founder, Rob hosted the first edition. So duh, BusinessPundit goes on the Hostroll, notwithstanding its recent change of ownership.
I’ll add one or two a day to the Hostroll as I get a chance, and add or point out Linkroll entries at a slower rate.
It made me feel better that one person expressed interest in CotC actually happening, though I am a bit dismayed there weren’t more. Perhaps I should have asked who doesn’t care? But I assume most of them wouldn’t be visiting and wouldn’t see the post.
In any event, I do not plan to cancel it entirely, tempting as that may be.
However, this is a hectic and stressful week, and it’s hard to take a few hours out to work on CotC when I don’t know where rent and food money are coming from in a couple weeks. Even if I put ads on this site to justify my writing CotC and other content here, what I have in mind wouldn’t have an immediate payoff.
So stay tuned and an edition will be up when it’s up, even if that means it’s only a couple days between editions. It’s late enough in the day now so I won’t have time if I start now, not unless it’s an amazingly smooth and unharried evening in which I can come in here at 9:00 and focus on that.
Anyway, there you are. I also have other content lined up for this place, which is also getting nibbled by bears.
Does anyone actually care whether I get around to doing a post full of links and calling it Carnival of the Capitalists this week? Really?
There were a few entries and I plan to do one, but it’s been… interesting. Not sure when it will be up, but I’m not feeling too enthusiastic just now. More worried about other things.
I’m so thrilled, too. Nobody really seems to be interested in it anymore. I’ve been preoccupied. There were all of 14 submissions, most of which didn’t make me say “great post!” but some of which will do. I probably have a few more I’ve bookmarked. Shouldn’t take long, once I’ve done errands ahead of the snow and muck.
Seriously, though. Traffic is still sinking. Entries plummeted this week. Nobody apparently wants to host, apart from me and, after the dust clears from the baby’s arrival, Rob. I’d blame it all on the change to a static location, but hosts were getting scarce before, traffic was absurd, and entries had fallen and disproportionately not so great.
I might be willing to have people host on their own blogs, combined with the new screening of entries, if there’s vehemence about the new “not a carnival but a weekly feature of this blog” arrangement, and if more good hosts would come forward. However, I think people aren’t volunteering to host because they aren’t reading CotC and aren’t seeing the requests, and aren’t interested in seeing the requests. If it were hosted elsewhere some weeks, it would probably only be some weeks, and it’d be here, done by me, the rest of the time.
Oh well. The next few weeks are likely to be especially tough, and after a while it’ll settle out one way or another, if I don’t suspend it before then.
Apparently there is some confusion about how Carnival of the Capitalists has changed in an effort to save it, and perhaps benefit from all the effort I’ve put in over the years.
Blog carnivals as a concept have run their course, in the original definition.
A well-done periodic collection of quality links is not necessarily obsolete, though it’s easy to find and filter stuff these days, compared to, say, 2003 when CotC started.
Carnival of the Capitalists does have some brand recognition, presumably some value, and some modest no-matter-what following. It had developed a quality problem, and had long been bleeding readers.
The theory was, it was worth saving, but would need to change.
Goals included getting more traffic by staying put and being better, getting built-in traffic by staying put on a site that self-generated traffic, not relying on heavy hitter links each edition, and being able to monetize site traffic that happens to include CotC. More ambitious possibilities included being linked or picked up by a mainstream publication, after stabilizing and growing again.
Changes in Content and Submissions
Submissions through Blog Carnival will be phased out. The official e-mail address is different: email@example.com. Entries are expected to be hand-generated and include a link and a brief description/justification for inclusion. Anyone may enter a great post they liked.
Inclusion or exclusion starts with whether or not it’s on-topic and so forth, but beyond that is completely arbitrary and up to the host, who also hand-picks posts that were not entered. Items that are included, while we encourage the obscure and the might not see otherwise, can include articles or posts from mainstream publications or their adjunct blogs.
Entries are pre-screened by me, so the host only sees the better ones, or ones about which I am on the fence.
Entry cutoff remains 3 PM eastern time Sunday.
On-topic still means the same. Some other elements are technically more flexible, like whether you could submit two posts, or have two included, though the preference would still be for one, and they are expected to be especially compelling.
Changes in Hosting
CotC no longer migrates from blog to blog.
Each host acts as a guest editor, with the post published here.
Hosts get to put their imprint and spin on an edition, and are promoted heavily. So far, a large proportion of out clicks each edition seem to be people checking out the host, so that actually seems to work, for relatively modest values of traffic.
As mentioned, I forward the host pre-screened entries. This is complete by sometime Monday morning, and usually Sunday evening. I forward them regularly during the week.
The publication day is now Tuesday, rather than Monday, allowing longer for the host to finalize an edition and, if needed, locate and include more good links. Plus Monday was too crowded with carnivals and, well, being Monday.
The host logs in directly to this WordPress account and saves the post as a draft.
I review it, tack on an intro or ending as needed, making sure the host has been appropriately credited, publish it and check all the links, fixing as needed any that are wrong, malformed or missing from their anchor text.
I announced it for CotC Twitter followers.
I announce it on the mailing list.
I update the edition lists, past and future.
I no longer update at Blog Carnival, because it’s been changed to not a carnival, except in brand name and as a matter of history and spirit, perhaps.
My big concern centered on whether it would be worthwhile for people to host, and whether I would attract any hosts. I believe the answers so far have been “reasonably so” and “not really any harder than it had become under the floating carnival model.” It’s just that it had become challenging.
I’m not so concerned about attracting entries, because we are less reliant on and less likely to use them, and instead of random blogs, it’s always on a known quantity blog of decent page rank (the only PR5 I have that isn’t a retired blog). Entries may be excluded freely, but it’s more meaningful when they are included. There has been a reduction, because people mostly failed to follow along when I changed things, and are less prone to drive-by submissions on Blog Carnival when no new upcoming edition has been listed. The overall quality of what we get has improved.
I’d like to keep it going, even with a continued few hours of work a week involved. It’s just that doing the entire thing myself adds to the time involved, and it’s reaching a tipping point. If the new concept doesn’t attract guest hosts most weeks, it’s going to have to end, or become an irregular feature by the same name at this blog.
Are there any questions I didn’t answer?
Political Calculations has a great discussion of blog carnivals as an early form of social media. I couldn’t have said it better. Included is a comparison between the current traffic charts and Ironman’s CotC traffic experience back in 2005.