Money and Finance Blog Carnival Tricks Exposed!

by Silicon Valley Blogger on 2006-12-218

This story is about the bloggers’ practice of participating in blog carnivals, which are posts at other blogs that represent collections of articles of a similar theme for the purpose of highlighting informative articles for a given week and aimed in part to generate traffic, meet other bloggers and to hopefully educate and entertain. So the question that is posed here is: aren’t all blog carnival posts reviewed and edited prior to getting published?

Niiiice! Since I have a sense of humor, I found this post as amusing as it was informative. It’s great to be mentioned by a fellow blogger, even though it may be in a way where I feel like I’m being teased for being caught with my knickers down. In this case, Political Calculations pointed out how some of us may be caught up in the “alternate universe” of automated blog carnivals.

Uhhh, actually he’s right. And the joke’s on me.

I always thought something was strange, especially when I had earlier tried to contact the king of one man finance and money making blog carnivals — Bryan Fleming — via his Wealth Building World blog about a mistake he had in one of his posts and I was met with the stone cold chill of abject indifference. Unfortunately, there was no response and no attempt to fix the inaccuracies either. And I thought the Wealth Idea Builder was just having a bad day.

Just for the record, the members of Bryan C. Fleming’s universe of blog carnivals include:

* Festival of Investing (hosted at Investing World Today)
* Personal Growth Carnival (hosted at Bryan C. Fleming)
* Wealth Building Ideas (hosted at Wealth Building World)

And when I saw that strange double mention which had my submission listed twice, I knew with utmost confidence that I was helplessly caught in the palm of a non-human blog carnival.

The evidence is clear.

On the Festival Of Investing December 12, 2006 Edition at Investing World Today, a clip of the article list shows…

Trent presents Chip Mergers, Maybe. Deals, No. posted at Stock Market Beat.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents A First Look At Asset Allocation posted at The Digerati Life.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents A First Look At Asset Allocation posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “My apologies for the double submission — I had entered the wrong email address and wasn’t sure if my post would make it to your carnival so I resubmitted. I am sorry for the inconvenience and hope you will consider my post. Thank you very much! – SVB”

presents Five Investments Everyone Should Make posted at Personal Finance Advice, saying, “Some non-typical investments that everyone should seriously consider”

Oh wait! There’s more! Check out the Festival Of Investing, December 19, 2006 Edition at the same place with some usual suspects…

Trent presents Is DELL Cooking the Books? – Stock Market Beat – Our beat is the stock market. Our job is to beat it. posted at Stock Market Beat.

Mister Juggles presents Satan’s Portfolio posted at Long or Short Capital.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents My Stock Portfolio Update posted at The Digerati Life.

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Money 101: My Basic Financial Plan posted at The Digerati Life, saying, “Sorry for the mixup — I just realized you wanted my best article for the year so perhaps you can use this one instead of the previous one I submitted. Thank you!”

Nina Smith presents Netflix and a Living Wage posted at Queercents, saying, “Netflix pay its workers at its forty-one hubs around the country about $9 per hour. Is this a living wage? And could Netflix afford to pay them more?” presents Marketing Research Defined posted at Game Producer.

Dan Hung presents A Simple Breakout and Trend Reversal System posted at The Curious Investor.

So mystery solved — thanks to Ironman at Political Calculations for pointing out how everything on the web now has a bot counterpart and that if you’re interested in submitting your articles to someone out there, you could very well be just sending it off to something out there. So submit at your own risk; the more you know, the more you will be at peace, even when your articles are listed with various embarrassing errors or quotes you’ve made that may get you talked about. And on the flipside, would submitting gibberish to these sites work? Somehow, I’m not quite convinced you’ll get away with it.

Yes PC, that was priceless all right. One damn fine, priceless virtual wedgie!

And Bryan — hope you’re okay with me spreading the love… I still remain your loyal carnival supporter/participant.

Copyright © 2006 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Enough Wealth December 21, 2006 at 4:03 pm

I’m more amazed that you would even find this surprising – I fully expect most “carnivals” to just be a listing of everything that has been submitted in time. And for this process to be automated is just a logical next step.

What does amaze me is the effort some carnival hosts make to actually review the submissions, highlight their favourites and add some commentary to pull the carnival submissions together!

I don’t think the use of “carnibots” is a really bad thing – bloggers will generally only submit posts to a carnival that are on-topic and their “best” works. Any blogger who submits gibberish or off-topic posts would get an extra link to their blog, but is also likely to loose readers by doing so.

Silicon Valley Blogger December 21, 2006 at 4:10 pm

Most of the carnivals I’ve visited seem to be done by hand — as you say with editor’s choices and stuff (and most likely because these are traveling carnivals assembled by hosts who don’t do it on a regular basis). I just thought it was quite funny how it turned out when I double submitted! Robotic or otherwise, carnivals are great and I enjoy it both as a reader and a participant. There are also still quite a few folks who may not be familiar with the concept and what goes on, so I thought to address the topic for fun. 😀

Lazy Man and Money December 21, 2006 at 4:56 pm

For what it’s worth, I spent a minimum of 5 hours on the Carnival of Investing this past week. I don’t think I added a ton of commentary, but I read as much as I could understand (some of the technical stock analysis was a little over my head).

If I had my way, the host would just choose the 10 articles he liked the best and give some commentary as to what he liked from those posts.

Maria December 22, 2006 at 10:08 am

I agree with Lazy Man and Money, even though I’m new to Carnivals, I have a hard time reading through every single submission and sometimes notice that they are repeats. I don’t want to submit my articles to a Carnival that may not notice that another blogger had the same article.

Ironman December 22, 2006 at 7:54 pm

Very well done, SVB! I’ve linked this post to the year-end edition of On the Moneyed Midways.

Enough Wealth – We’re not opposed to automating the process of putting a blog carnival together, but the technology still isn’t there to prevent bonehead host errors (like double, triple or quadruple submissions).

Our issue with the “Bryan C. Fleming” productions is that the host, “Bryan C. Fleming”, didn’t even exercise a minimal level of editorial oversight. It’s one thing to put a minimal amount of effort into your own sloppy work, but its quite another when your own lack of effort potentially embarrasses a contributor who’s not only put together a well written post, but has taken the time to submit it to your carnival and to do so according to the specifications you’ve set.

Maria – there are just a handful of carnivals that operate like you describe, but they’re few and far in between. We’ve found that the best hosts will select just seven to twelve relevant posts (for a one-topic carnival) or will organize the carnival into sections (with five to seven posts each). The more posts in a carnival, the more important organization becomes.

As for OMM, we do aim to pick up what we consider the best and/or most interesting post(s) from each money or business related carnival, and allow for those better-than-average posts that appear numerous times to represent a carnival having a bad week. We do know that since a lot of the carnivals go online on the same day (Monday) that the hosts are not aware that a contributed post may be appearing elsewhere multiple times.

We also don’t believe in surprises – you should be able to decide without clicking whether you want to visit a post or not based on our description of what the post is about. Sometimes you can do that from a just a post title and more than half of the time, you can’t. Good descriptions matter.

Okay, I’ve gone on too long! SVB – great post (and I also liked your top picks of posts from other carnivals in your most recent post – particulary Satan’s portfolio!)

Silicon Valley Blogger December 22, 2006 at 8:12 pm

Ironman, thanks for your honest insights and trackbacks. Perhaps one day the bugs will be shaken out of the auto blog carnivals and they’ll be able to produce “cleaner” lists. Then all the carnivals will live together in harmony! 😉 At any rate, I’ll watch what I email anyone when I submit a post just so I’m sure I don’t put my foot in my mouth!

rocketc October 24, 2007 at 7:13 pm

I am so naive. Glad i read this post, because I had no idea that a automated carnival existed.

Your double posts are pretty funny.

Umendra Singh March 25, 2009 at 4:42 am

Good Information, Finance is the set of activities dealing with the management of funds. Finances is a practice of manipulating maintaining and managing the money.

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