Policy bloggers network / carnival ..

I met David Osimo yesterday in Brussels and it’s interesting to see that there are now a few bloggers who cover policy. This area has always been of interest to me and there is an informal network of policy bloggers developing across both sides of the Atlantic (and beyond). This is an interesting time to be thinking of the policy implications for government and society in general considering the ideas of Open Government. I have covered this issue in a number of places for instance

Building a government for the 21st century

FTC complaint against Mobile marketing – An analysis

Europe in a digital world and Web 3.0 – The European Union vision

I also follow the work of US based bloggers like Andrew Krzmarzick and many from USA like Andrew do likewise with my work

I was considering of creating a network like a carnival of the mobilists – i.e. an informal, decentralised network of bloggers worldwide interested in this issue.

Anyone else interested in this?

Or can you suggest blogs who could be interested in the wider implications of technology to policy and government?

I helped create a very successful / open network at Oxford University for mobile applications and in my view – networks start small – often with a coffee or with a blog post and then it is a lot like ‘herding cats’ as I said in my keynote at forumoxford ie you create an ecosystem, let the best ideas flourish and keep the ‘admin’ to the minimum

Blog Carnivals benefit bloggers immensely – and there are many around – we hope we can create one.

What is a blog carnival?

A blog carnival can be compared to a real life carnival – which goes from site(blog) to site(blog) every week – amongst a set of blogs which are related

An example explains this best:

Suppose Ajit, Simon and John each have blogs in this a space

Now, on ‘week one’ supposing the carnival is on Simon’s blog on a specific date(Monday).

The cutoff date is Sunday night before the date

On that day, we all submit one entry to Simon

Simon chooses the best entries edits it and creates a blog post as a

synopsis for the best thinking and links to the posts(see examples


Everyone else then links back to Simon’s blog

The next week, the process repeats at someone else’s blog

This simple activity has a number of unique advantages

A). Blogging is long tail and incestuous. By that I mean it matters more that your blogs are followed within your own peer group than in general blogosphere by Joe public. A carnival creates a simple – decentralised community ie a virtual network of blogs. Entries linked by a common theme

B) every participant is motivated. They get back links. They get peer visibility. They get blog traffic

C) it is an open ecosystem. Anyone can join at any time – there is no compulsion to post every week. As long as there is enough of an ecosystem – we are fine ie enough of good entries for a given week(or maybe even for a fortnight)

D) It becomes best of breed since people will submit their best entries to get best exposure

E) It leverages the way google works. From a google perspective, not all inbound links are equal. Ideally the site linking in matters a lot. Not only should it have a high page rank(ideally) but it should be on the same subject. Hence, sites selling cars which link to auto insurance sites is good but sites selling organic food linking to Motor insurance is not (and thats why ‘link farms’ don’t work)

g) It raises exposure in one’s peer group – which is what most people want rather than to Joe Public i.e. wider blogosphere


Carnival of the mobilists

Hosted at Xen Mendelsshon’s blog


My entry to Xen’s carnival


Xens Carnival entry(synopsis of all entries_


My back link entry to Xen’s carnival entry(others also link back to Xen)


main site


Any questions welcome ..


  1. david osimo says:

    Thanks for the mention – great to meet you!
    if interested in this, you should definetely go to the UK barcamp