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February 20, 2006


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Thanks for hosting!

I wrote this in my post at my site but thought it was appropriate to post here too:

The Carnival of Personal Finance is up at Free Money Finance. For those of you who want to get to the good stuff or don’t have any interest in what’s going on among personal finance blogs, you can skip the next few paragraphs while I go into a small rant. I have no idea if others feel this way and I’m sure if they did, they would probably refrain from saying anything because the last thing they would want to do is offend some of the top personal finance writers when a mention from one of them could do their site a lot of good. I’m in a slightly different position in not having to worry about that plus I feel that for the most part I’m on pretty good terms with each of them as individuals. That being said, I have an issue (even if I am the only one) with carnivals and the Money Blog Network.

Now before anyone gets the idea that I’m complaining out of jealousy, let me state when they were forming their network and there was a bit of moaning, I clearly stated that they had every right to form the network and if I had been in a similar position, I would have leveraged it just as they did. Let me also say that I have no problem with the placement of my submission. In fact, I think it was placed higher than it probably should have been. I also have no problem with them promoting each other sites among each other, but I do feel it is wrong when they favor each other in carnivals that are supposed to be for everyone. There seems to be an agreement when one of the members of this group holds a carnival, they place each other’s posts at the top regardless of the quality (or whatever other factor they decide to use in posting the entries).

All of the members are obviously quality writers and are regarded as among the top personal finance writers because of that, but quite frankly two of the three top posts were mediocre at best and had obviously been placed there because of group affiliation and not quality. It is my hope that they change their agreement so that they let the carnival be what is is supposed to be (a place to share quality articles as opposed to a place to promote their network) and clearly state how they decided to break up the entries in the future (okay, rant over).

Here are my thoughts on this comment:

1. As carnival host, I can put up the carnival however I like. I can choose which posts to put where, which ones to include, which ones to exclude, etc. That's what being the host is about. Different people have different ways of doing it (by theme, by date, etc.) and if you're in a carnival, you have to deal with it. They're the host and they put in all the work, and they decide ALL the details.

2. I usually go out of my way to include everyone in carnivals. Even the posts that were late, weren't EXACTLY personal finance (but close enough), and incomplete in their submission were/are included (forcing me to hunt down trackback URLs, etc.). If anything, I think I'm as fair as anyone.

3. I ALWAYS post a link to EVERY carnival I'm in to drive traffic to that site in return for their hosting. I know you didn't bring up this issue, but it should be stated since you seem to be good at criticizing and not very good at recognizing community participation (which, after all, is your alleged issue).

4. You need to get over it.

5. I'm done talking about this subject.

I'm sorry I offended you for mentioning something that I see is unfair. Again, I have no problems with your group, just with what I see is favoring your group at the top whenever one of you hosts the carnival. Maybe I'm the only one that feels this's my opinion and I felt I should mention it.

I agree the host does have discretion in posting how he feel fit and there is nothing that I can do if you all decide to continue to post this way with each other. And as you said "Different people have different ways of doing it (by theme, by date, etc.)" - but these themes don't usually mean favoring a few over the rest. The criteria usually applies to everyone.

I also know that you do an excellent job of including everyone in your carnivals and that you link back to them. I commend you for this. If you had read my full post, you would have seen that I've been struggling with the best way to do this and I chastised myself for not doing a good job of it (even before your carnival went up).

I'm completely over it. I said my piece and said I hoped that all of you would take the time to reflect and decide to change this pact you've made in relation to the carnivals. That's all I asked

Sadly I got this sent in a little to late, but here is the post from Aridni. It teaches you about calculating your net worth.


First, thanks for doing the work to put this together.

Second, (at risk of getting blacklisted) I agree on many points with Jeffery. Granted that you have the right to put a carnival together any way you like. However, the link cartel that the MBN guys have going is a bit off-putting and I think slightly disingenuous. It is done for the benefit of the member blogs, not the readers. If you're fine with that, fine. It is favoritism, but it is your prerogative.

Third, why shy away from a dialog on this? (points 4 and 5 in your response) Five great blogs have entered into a semi-silent agreement to favor and assist each other over all others. It is a defensible action, but one that seems far shadier because it has been kept silent.

I am perplexed at 1) your response to Jeffery's comment and 2) your retributive action of deleting him from your blog roll.

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