Assistance Dog Blog Carnival "button" - purple

After Gadget is the home of the Assistance Dog Blog Carnival (ADBC)!

This page provides information about what a carnival is, how our carnival works, and how you can participate! There are also links to past and future carnivals.

What Is a Blog Carnival?

Wikipedia has a good general definition:

A blog carnival . . . is similar to a magazine, in that it is dedicated to a particular topic, and is published on a regular schedule. . . . Each edition of a blog carnival is in the form of a blog article that contains permalinks to other blog articles on the particular topic.

Carnival posts are generally collated by the author by soliciting relevant contributions. . . [S/he then] collects links to these submissions, edits and annotates them and publishes the resulting round-up. . . . Many carnivals have a . . . principal organizer, who lines up guest bloggers to host each edition. . . . The carnival travels, appearing on a different blog each time.

Where Does the Assistance Dog Carnival Take Place?

The ADBC is held quarterly, guest-hosted by a different AD-related blog each time. After Gadget is the official home/principal organizer, but it takes many people (hosts, bloggers, readers, people to spread the word), to make it successful. A list of some past and future hosts is at the bottom of this page, with links. If you would like to host some time, post a comment letting me know.

Who Can Submit Posts?

Anyone who meets these criteria can submit a post:

  • You have a blog (or someone who will let you post on their blog);
  • Your post relates to the topic of guide, hearing, or service dogs (including psychiatric service dogs, autism service dogs, medical alert dogs, and any other task-trained assistance dog), even if your blog is not typically about assistance dogs;
  • Your submitted post relates to the theme for that particular issue.
  • Note: You do NOT need to be an AD partner (or puppy raiser or trainer, etc.), to contribute. Any blogger, regardless of whether you are affiliated with the assistance dog community or not, can submit.
  • Note: Although it is not required, you are strongly encouraged, if you do submit a post, to make the post and your comments section as accessible as possible to people with diverse disabilities.[1]

In other words, posts can be about puppy raising, service-dogs-in-training (SDiTs), assistance dog programs/schools, retired SDs, perspectives on ADs from people with disabilities not partnered with ADs, or anything else relating to the topic of assistance dogs. Posts from personal blogs as well as from AD organization blogs are welcome.

What Is the Assistance Dog Carnival About?

Topics vary with each edition. The host for each edition announces their theme at least a couple of weeks ahead of time (preferably a month or more ahead, to give people with disabilities that make it difficult to meet deadlines more time). Along with the announcement for the theme, the host provides the deadline for submissions and expected publication date. Examples of past themes include The First, Decisions, Reactions, Difference, and Achievement. I tend to like themes that are broad and can be interpreted many different ways, because that gives bloggers creative freedom and makes for a diverse group of posts to read. On the other hand, a more focused theme can make for a more cohesive reading experience. It’s up to the host to decide which they prefer.

Who Is Hosting Upcoming Carnivals?

How Can I Volunteer to Be a Future Host?

Please use the contact form to send me a note, and I will email you! I will also be happy to answer any other questions. Thanks to everyone who has commented, volunteered, and is otherwise contributing! And please, spread the word! Write about the carnival on your blog, post links, tweet, etc. Thank you!

What Does a Host Have to Do?

The work generally starts at the end of the month before “your” carnival goes live. For example, if you were hosting in October, here’s what you’d do:

1. By the third or fourth week in September, you decide what the theme will be for your carnival (the topic you want people to write about). This is the part people often enjoy the most about hosting.

2. You post a “call for entries” on your blog. This should include
  • the announcement that you’re hosting the ADBC for this round
  • the theme
  • the deadline for submissions
  • how bloggers should get their posts to you — usually the best way is to have people comment on the call for entries post with the name of their blog, name of the post, their name (as they want it to appear in the carnival), and the URL for the post (<— this last one is very important!)
  • the date when you expect to publish the carnival

Hosts are also requested (but not required) to

  • Link back to this page (ADBC home page) in their call for entries and their carnival post
  • Send me (Sharon) the link for your call for entries so that I can publicize it
  • Spread the word about the carnival and call for entries, this could include tweeting the link for the call, posting it on Facebook, and emailing people who they think might be interested in submitting
  • Post the call for entries three to four weeks before the deadline for submissions closes to allow people enough time to write relevant posts. For example, if you were hosting the October edition, you might put up your call for entries the last week in September, give a deadline for submissions of the third Sunday in October, and post the carnival on the last Thursday of October.
3. When the deadlines has passed and you have your entries, you read them and compile a post that includes a short description of each post and links to it. When you post that, that’s the carnival going live. Congratulations!
4. Optional but encouraged: Tweet, post on Facebook, and/or email people to ask them to come check out the #ADBC on your blog!

Also, sometimes life happens and things get delayed. That’s OK. If you’re ill or otherwise swamped, just post a note on your blog and send me a line that you’re leaving the submission period open longer.

Where Can I Read Previous Carnivals?

-Sharon, Barnum, and the muse of Gadget

[1.] Don’t Lose Readers and Comments Due to Inaccessibility!

Did you know that many people find “Word Verification” (also known as “CAPTCHAs”) difficult or impossible to use? This is true for many blind, low-vision, deaf-blind, cognitively impaired or neurologically affected people and other people with disabilities. Please get rid of this feature on your blog! Here is more info from a post on this topic.

There are also OTHER steps you can take to improve the accessibility of your blog.Here is one resource for learning about some basic things you can do to make your blog more accessible. Back to post.


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