Carnivals are a good way to help develop your personal blogging community although I recommend you stick to those that are of most relevance to your interests or blog topics. If you are participating in carnivals merely for the backlinks they provide, whatever the topic, you have to be careful that your posts are of interest to your readers.
The reason I like the All Women carnival is that you do not have write about a given topic nor divert from your normal subject area. You submit one of the blog posts you have already written. This can be a particular post you have written for the carnival or a favorite from the prior week. You can experience the link love without compromising your blog. There is one condition to entry - you must be a woman. As if you did not realize that without me telling you!
Because entrants choose their best posts, they make for good reading. As well as submitting posts you can also volunteer to host the carnival. A different blogger hosts the carnival each Monday. For an example, here is the latest hosted by Imaginif
All Women Carnival - Why the Blog Not. I wonder if hosts are expected to be women too?
Leigh of All for Women and crazy meezer and Patricia at Mad Goat Lady have just started a novel site Aussie Swaps - a swap is where people secretly send a gift to each other. They plan to have several swaps throughout the year to mark special occasions, such as Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, and are starting off with a Secret Santa. This is a site for Aussies but I thought some of you may be interested in the concept.