You might wonder why I'd do that, and you'd be right because I'm not really an avid fan of the super-connective highways and byways of the internet. On Friday I got a email from Elodie at Small Rivers asking me if I wouldn't mind trying my hand at signing on and blogging about it. There was even a promise of remuneration according to how well I'm ranked in various ranking outfits I'd never heard of, so am probably terribly ranked and the best I can hope for is tuppence ha'penny, or the euro equivalent.
Given that someone is interested in what I think (!), enough even to mention dosh (!!), it's only fair to give it a try. Still, it's also only fair to make sure that one can sign up and activate an account even when one is not either possessed of off-the-chart IQ, or feeling in tip top shape. I am neither so this is going to be a challenge.
I managed to sign up - that's the easy bit. Choose a name, a password and your email address and Bob's yer uncle. After that, I have to say, it gets a bit dodgy. You can identify yourself by Facebook, Google, Blogger etc., but only one of them even though it asks you to add another identity as though you could go all the way through your social networking sites and create a plethora of identities on your Small Rivers account. I could only add Facebook. I'm not even sure why I would want to add Facebook. As you can see, I'm not really sure what this River thing is all about.
It gets fuzzier... or soggier to continue the river theme. You're asked to create a new river. Now, I've been reading up on Google Wave recently, and all these water-flow names are supposed to mean something. I've yet to really understand what, though. Nothing looks anything like its name, and suggesting a connection between a wave/river and a list is tenuous to say the least.
So, you first have to get over the name which, in my case, hasn't yet happened because I'm annoyed about the concept of river lists which have nothing to do with rivers either big or small and a lot to do with tags. Why didn't they call it PinPoint, or something evocative like that? 'It does what it says on the tin', type of name. All this watery imagery just makes me want to go to the loo or grab my body-board.
There's no 'Small Rivers for Idiots' tutorial either, so not only do I not understand what it's about, but I don't know how to go through the process of potential enlightenment. 'Create a new river' it says in a box. I click on the box but a red message tells me I need to add input. What input? Your guess is as good as mine. These are the instructions: 'Initiate a portable content network and clip it on your content'. Hmm... Does that sound any clearer than mud? If you squint, and peer at the box, you'll see in faint grey, it tells you to provide a descriptive title to the river. Like what - Muddy? Tidal? Deltal? Rapidal? Full o'Fishal? Ox-bowal?
In the end, I tried River Writing. You then come to a window in which you're supposed to add a description. As my river title is self-explanatory, I leave it blank. Maybe that window is for people who entitle their river with some totally unrelated but artistic name and then have to add a description to remind themselves what it's for. Like, for example, a Gordon Brown river would be called 'UK RIP'.
What am I supposed to do then? Add some code to a website or blog. How do I do that without having access to it's admin rights though? I can do it here, because it's my blog, but am I supposed to go all over the place looking for places I can plant my pin?
I'm quite exhausted wondering what it's all for, and I think I'll renounce my tuppence ha'penny because, frankly, I haven't a clue, still, what a sodding river is, apart from being something I sit by to eat a picnic and refresh my toes in the summer .
Warning: do not try a river trip if your vessel is full of barnacles.
(I'm pretending I know what I'm doing here...)