The Carnival Of Education's First Year -- What's Not To Like?

The first anniversary of the EducationWonks' weekly Carnival of Education (a look at what's going on among education blogs) provides a good opportunity to take a look at its several highs and occasional lows.

I'm hoping they won't ban me for this.


The upsides of this weekly roundup aren't hard to see.

With the Carnival, the Education Wonks (Mike is my favorite) provide a one-stop, centralized look at what's going on in the edusphere. The range of posts is pretty broad, topically and by political orientation, the categories are generally helpful, and being included generally gets the original poster a few extra clicks that week. It's regular, it's done in a positive, upbeat, and welcoming way. Kudos and congratulations. I only wish I'd thought of it.

But there are some ways in which I think the Carnival could be improved in the future.

First off, the Carnival at times includes WAY too many posts for anyone to get through. Even with the categories, which are relatively new, it's just too much. The fact that the Carnival has to be shipped around from site to site tells you how much work it is to put together. It's almost as much to read through.

Second, every post included in the Carnival (I think this means every post submitted to the Carnival) is treated as if it is above average. Other than the much-appreciated editor's picks, there's no discrimination as to which are better or worse posts. There are no rejects, there is no first place. It's very education-y, but not very blog-y. What about the worst post of the week? Now that I would read.

Third, the Carnival strangely includes non-blogs but doesn't cover mainstream news stories or commentary. Why link to the Eduwonk or the Gadfly -- two nonblogs (written by professional advocates, no comments allowed) but not a Washington Post editorial? I am a crazy man about this, but I think that blogs without posts should be banned or shamed into submission, and that if you are going to include a broader range of education-related content you should reward and recognize some of the great writing that's being done by working writers our there.

Fourth, the Carnival often highlights posts that do little more than recap and point to a newspaper article. What's with that? There's no value added -- no analysis, no opinion, no insight.

All that having been said, I still like the Carnival and admire the Wonks for what they're doing. They aren't, of course, responsible for the overall quality or lack there of on the education blogs, which are clearly still in their infancy compared to political, media, and industry blogs.

Here's to a great second year.

Previous Posts:
Leave No Blog Behind
The Sad State of Education Blogs
The Best Education Blogs
What Makes A Good Education Blog -- And Why Aren't There Any?


Blogger EdWonk said...

Hi Alexander,

Thanks for taking us up on our invitation for constructive critcism of the C.O.E.

You've given us quite a bit of food for thought! :-)

It is through such critiques that we strive to make the Carnival better in order to more effectively serve readers and contributors.

We do, in fact, decline to publish submissions on a regular basis due to a variety of reasons such as: gratuitious profanity, nudity, and lack of education-related content.

However, guest hosts of the Carnival have complete editorial control over content and presentation, so the policy may vary widely!

And what is a "ban?"

2:23 AM  

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