Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Reflections on Hosting the Philosopher's Carnival

I wasn't really sure what to expect from the Philosopher's Carnival, but overall it was an enjoyable experience.

In total, there were 41 submissions, 20 of which were not on philosophically-relevant topics. Most of the remainder of these were submissions by blog owners of their own posts, and these were in general not very impressive. So, I chose to emphasize that part of the purpose of the carnival that aims "To showcase the best that a wide range of philosophy blogs have to offer, in one convenient location, for the benefit of philosophically-inclined readers." As a result, I spent much of the weekend before the carnival searching for recent posts in the blogs on Chalmers' philosophy blog list, picking out the best posts I could find to add to the submissions that others made.

After reading blogs all weekend, I didn't feel much like writing lengthy introductions to the posts I had found, so instead I just found an acceptable arrangement of the topics. I'm not sure whether others would prefer such introductions. Nevertheless, I think that a collection of 40 interesting blog posts without introductions is substantially preferable to a collection of a dozen blog posts with introductory prose. I hope that other readers of the Carnival agree, and I hope that future hosts of the Carnival will adopt a strategy similar to the one I used.


  1. I've just discovered your blog thanks to DuckRabbit. I have a grad degree in philosophy as well and look forward to hours of enjoyable reading on your site.

    By the same token, please come to visit my new little blog: Wisdom of the West where philosophical discussion is also being waged, though in a somewhat different manner.

  2. I second your suggestion, and seriously hope that it is adopted by future editions of the Carnival. Here is one reason:

    As you mention, most submissions come from people sending in posts from their own blogs. In fact, the main Carnival page encourages this. In theory, this is not so different from how conferences and publications work: you send off your own paper, others peer-review it and decide whether or not it is good enough to present to others.

    But somehow with a blog it seems different. I can never seem to get my own posts submitted because somehow it feels wrong to submit my own posts. In light of the preceding thought, this may be completely irrational. But for some reason doing in this in the blogosphere (as opposed to the official peer reviewed framework) seems self-promoting.

  3. Hi,
    I'm Noah, the host of the current carnival. I took your advice, both out of necessity (one funny post submitted) and because I think you are right. The best should be showcased but the best is not always submitted (come on Roman, do it for us poor saps who are outside of academia and need something interesting to read.)

    To this end I used a Google Search trick I think is very useful for Carnival hosting: This creates a custom search engine that searches all the links on a selected page, e.g. Chalmers' Phil. Blog list. This way you can search for a topic within lots of blogs easily.

    Hope you enjoyed the posts I found.