I’ve been invited to test a new networking system called SmallRivers. They describe themselves as “a tool for bloggers to network content and audiences“. At first glance, I thought it was simply another blog circle, linking from one site to the next. But it’s actually more useful than that.
Rather than just a directory of blogs, SmallRivers allows you to choose the network (a form of category) that you wish to post a specific post to. So when someone goes looking around, they can flip through the various networks of interest, see actual posts on the specific subject they asked for, rather than being stuck with rather broad categories attempting to encompass the full blog content.
SmallRivers are calling it a “portable content network” and are focusing on the posts rather than the overall blog. So if you have a blog with a broad range of subjects, you can clip the content to enter the network that it fits into, rather than trying to come up with a category for everything you’ve written.
For the gaming community, I can see this making a big difference because you can clip the right network for each game that you post about.
There is an existing network for Online Gaming with 9 users already feeding it content. There’s also a network for Blogging so I’ve clipped that network for this post – because this particular post isn’t about Online Gaming, even though the majority of my blog is. You can see the network by clicking on the light blue widget and see other posts about Blogging.
I’ve also created a network for EQ2 and added the Harvesting FAQ to it. You’ll see there’s a blue widget on that post that goes to to the EQ2 river – it’s only me at the moment but hopefully some other gamers will start adding their EQ2 posts to that network and it’ll become a resource.
That’s what I like about it – most blogs don’t have a narrow focus but people browsing through SmallRivers can find the specific posts of relevance to them … as long as people clip the right network for each posts.
It’s nice that I can choose an existing system to login via (Facebook, Twitter, Google, Blogger, Yahoo and OpenID) rather than create yet another login to remember.
Right now it’s a bit quiet – no doubt why SmallRivers are approaching bloggers like me to try out their system and write about it. But as it gains in popularity, I can see it being useful, if the posts in the networks remain on topic. I think specifically for a narrow subject such as EQ2 (where, I hope, there isn’t such temptation to spam “buy my gold” posts in hopes of gaining attention) it could become a useful way to find content from people who write on a large number of subjects.
If you have a blog with varied content, this is worth a look. It is a free service, currently in “alpha” and there are already quite a few networks (rivers) to browse through. My one concern is that the popular networks will end up full of advertisements instead of good content.
You can click on the widget above to see other content in the Blogging river or visit SmallRivers for other rivers and more information about the system.