Cyber Doors Open for ‘Little People’

Posted on May 19, 2010 by .

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Togetherville is a new social media platform for kids.

Togetherville is a new social media platform for kids.

Social media platforms are taking over the Internet and everyone wants to part of the action – even the little people.

The Internet can be a scary place though, especially for minors whose innocence can quickly be preyed on by hordes of sickos laying desperately in wait. The general feeling is that kids should stay as far away from the Internet for as long as possible. Easier said than done. With more than half the American population logging on everyday, it is be near impossible to keep the kids’ grubby finger off your keyboard.

Don’t fret. There is a solution to this cyber nightmare and it comes in the form of Togetherville. Togetherville is aimed at kids aged between 10 and 13 and the parents (grown-ups) in their lives. Founder Mandeep Singh Dhillon says Togetherville is “the first platform that really integrates young children’s ability to use the Web with their grownups close by.” Anonymity is not allowed on the site.

Kids sign up as themselves, without even an avatar to use. Parents control every aspect of the experience, right down to who is allowed to be a child’s friend. The site encourages parents “to create neighborhoods of the real people in their child’s life to be around their kid as they grow up online.”

The free site will let kids play games and watch videos. They can also create and share artwork. The chat feature doesn’t work the same as a normal one would. Kids cannot type something into the chat box. They have to instead choose one of the prescreened “quips” that the staff has come up with. This will reduce the risk of a kid accidentally revealing personal information. Videos that are available have also been screened before being added to the site, and deemed appropriate for the age group.

Another feature is that parents must be Facebook members to sign up their children for the service. Parents sign in with their Facebook user name and password. Children’s information is never sent to Facebook so the only way information about a child can get onto Facebook is if the parent or another adult enters it–just as is the case with offline activities. Parents can also chose to allow adult or teenage Facebook friends to interact with their child but all of the interaction takes place on Togetherville, not on Facebook.

What do you think about Togetherville? Let us know your thoughts below.

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