Last October, during one of those blog-hopping journeys I occasionally indulge in, I stumbled upon an invitation to participate in a “blog carnival” on “Language and Place”. Through it I learned what a blog carnival was — a curated list of links to blog posts on a given theme, which moved like a traveling carnival from one host to next — and, finding it an intriguing concept, I decided to participate. An old post on my German learning experiences figured in the first edition of the carnival that came out in November 2010. A few months later, in April, I hosted edition #5.
Now, after an year of travelling around the world, this carnival is back to its creator, Dorothee Lang. The anniversary edition, modelled around the theme “Streets, Signs, Direction”, features 31 entries presented ingeniously along three dimensions: a poem, an itinerary, a geographic map.
With age, the carnival begins to show its value as a concept. So much of individual writing on the Internet is buried under a tangled web that search engines can barely reach; a carnival like “Language-Place” offers a theme-based portal to navigate such writing. Like an anthology of essays, it offers a menu of tastes to savour and discover, leading you to voices you may otherwise have never heard of. Over time, the archive of links carves out a historical journey spanning lands and peoples, creating a more enduring repository of stories and events than real-time networks spawned by Twitter or Facebook.
The best way to grasp its potential is to begin at the carnival home page and go through the editions. Spend an hour doing this. You may be surprised by what you discover.
The Museum of Language & Place, like other museums, has rooms and exhibits. Unlike other museums, however, this one lets you move directly from one room to any other. Each room has one exhibit; there are 18 exhibits and 21 rooms. (I’ll let you discover where the remaining rooms lead to.)
Entry is free. All you need is curiosity. And time.
Enter the museum through Room 1. (And as you navigate through those rooms, remember that you cannot take in the Louvre or Uffizi in a single visit.)
Edition #5 has something else too. (You can’t buy a DVD these days without getting those extras, Making of documentaries, Behind The Scenes snippets, can you?) It comes with a short Q&A with the previous four hosts of this carnival. Read more about it in the hosting experience.
P.S. Edition #6 of the carnival will be hosted by Michelle Elvy at her blog Glow Worm. Michelle is an independent writer and an editor of the 52/250 flash writing initiative. She lives on a sailboat.
The theme of edition #6 is: “language and place on the edge”. The issue is planned for late May, submissions will be open from around 15th April to 15th May. Further details here.