I tend to think of myself as a fairly informed person when it comes to web technologies, services, blogs, etc. I ran websites back when ‘The Web’ was still called ‘The WWW’ and the webserver of choice was from CERN. So did I ever feel silly when I was reading ThroughBall and realized I didn’t know what a blog carnival was. Even worse, the SoccerSphere has TWO of them and I had never even noticed. Sheesh! Sometimes I wonder about my feeble ol mind.

You mean you haven’t heard of a blog carnival either?

A blog carnival is meant to highlight quality blog content on a regular basis related to a specific topic or area (i.e. soccer). Bloggers submit content for each carnival ‘issue’ (think online magazine) and the host selects the best submissions to include in the next carnival which is hosted on their site. Note that most carnivals publish excerpts or summaries of submitted posts and link back to the full post on the author’s site. The carnival rotates among blogs which regularly submit content so people are directed to blogs they may not normally read to find the next issue of the carnival.

D over at DCenters started up the American Soccer carnival back in April and there have been two issues published so far at DCenters and ThroughBall (the third will be published July 31st at The Fool’s Perogative covering the topic ‘The Way Forward’). The American Soccer carnival deals with a specific topic for each issue is planned to be published twice a month.

A second Football/Soccer carnival with a broader scope was recently started by A Funny Old Game. While Americans are welcome to submit (round ball only! 🙂 ), I expect this one to have a decidedly international flair (which is good!). This carnival is slated to publish weekly.

The number of Soccer Blogs has exploded in the past year and a number of very talented writers are posting excellent content every day. SoccerBlogs.net is an excellent resource to try and keep up with it all, but it can’t hurt to have additional ways to highlight quality soccer blog content.  The SoccerSphere really outdid itself during the World Cup and I expect it will continue to shine as the professional seasons get underway. By supporting and contributing to these carnivals, we’ll have another way to highlight the best soccer blog writers for newcomers who may be exploring the soccer blogs for the first time as well as seasoned veterans. Something that seems to happen less with soccer blogs compared to other blogs is cross-linking, so anything that encourages people to link to and comment on other quality content in the SoccerSphere is a good thing.

Thanks to blogcarnival.com, keeping track of the soccer carnivals is easy. You can submit stories for the next carnival, read the archives, and find out where the next carnival will be hosted. I’ve added both carnivals to the sidebar of On The Pitch and I encourage other soccer bloggers to do the same. The more we spread the word about the soccer carnivals, the better and better they will get. However, the carnivals won’t work unless people submit articles to them on a regular basis, so get typing! The next deadline for the American Soccer carnival is July 26th and for the Football/Soccer carnival it is July 30th.