How to Host a Blog Carnival, Part One

I am here to recruit you to become a Change of Shift Blog Carnival Host!

Yeah, ok, I am not all about the hard sell, but in working on this edition I thought I would capture the process I have found for making my carnival hosting duties a bit easier. It is all about organization.

Although this is my devised step by step plan, I would love to hear all you other bloggers who have hosted as well. So, pipe in and let us know your tricks of the trade!

How to host Change of Shift: A Step By Step Guide

The Prep Phase

  1. Volunteer–That’s right, take the plunge! Email Kim at Emergiblog and ask to host! Whew that step was rough!
  2. Watch your email. If you are like me, the date will creep up and all of the sudden you will start getting email with ‘Change of Shift’ in the subject line with submissions in the body!
  3. Set up a folder in your inbox. I label it for CoS and make sure all the emails get priority movement there so I don’t lose them or delete them.
  4. Send an email to each submitter so they know it was received. This is something I started this edition and have gotten to know some new bloggers because of it.
  5. Promote your edition. Mention it on your blog. Talk about deadlines, and of COURSE mention it on Twitter!

Reviewing and Publication Set Up

  1. Open all entries from email list in order received in same web browser window with tabs. I use FireFox and have quite a few tabs open simultaneously. Opening them in order of emails received allows me to cross reference and ensure no entry is missed.
  2. BOOKMARK THEM. In my browser there is an awesome option to bookmark “All Tabs” which allows me to create a new folder and save all the opened entries in the same place. This saved me tons of time when my browser crashed not once, but twice.
  3. Print emails in order. That is right. I print each and every entry so I can read them, makes notes on them, and work on ordering them in a logical fashion for my final post.
  4. Re-verify that no one is missed. I actually go through the paper copies and cross reference between email and the post tabs in my browser. (Can you say anal retentive ICU nurse?)
  5. Read and make notes. I actually write the following at the top of each version of the paper post: Blog (title), Post (title), Author (screen name as posted on blog, NOT email). By having the information in my handwriting it is much easier to reference and I will be less likely to twist something around incorrectly.

Writing the Carnival Entry, Determining a Theme

  1. Review the posts, look at the emails and take a look at what everyone has done in the past, especially when the date falls near a holiday. The exciting part of hosting is coming up with something unique. The scary part of hosting is finding something unique!
  2. _I_ hope a theme just comes to me. Heh.

Tricks, Bits and Bobs for Publishing Links

  1. Open all of the entries in one browser window from your bookmarked folder that you saved earlier.
  2. Arrange the tabs and therefore the pages in the order you are writing about them.
  3. As you write out your post make mental notes of where you want to add the links. Either add in the links as you go, or do them all at once after the document is finished.
  4. SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! I know that goes without saying, but there, I said it anyways.
  5. Don’t forget to link to the next host at the bottom of your post! That information can be found on the Change of Shift archive page.

Finishing Touches

  1. Email Kim the link to the edition. She is great about promoting it!
  2. Promote the edition as well by sending Tweets.

Benefits of Hosting

  • You are exposed to new blogs and new bloggers.
  • It drives traffic to your site introducing you to new readers.
  • It promotes nursing and multi-profession harmony.
  • You get to read some really awesome posts!

I hope that this takes some of the anxiety away for those of you considering volunteering for hosting duties. It has been an awesome part of my blogging and would love to see some of you “newbies” and some of you old crusty bloggers step up!

Oh, last word of advice? Yeah, plan a few more hours then you think you will need to get the edition up. 😉