Monday, July 09, 2012

Social networks specifically for minors

Since ABC’s “Secret Millionaire” introduced Internet entrepreneur Hilary Decesare Sunday night (see TV blog for July 8), I thought I would peek at her company, “Everloop”, which appears to be a kids’ social network (for under 13) with kids’ apps. 

The basic link is here

“Loops” are “small communities” or rings, rather like  specialized friends’ lists in Facebook, Myspace, or Google+ (which may be concentric or overlapping), set up to enable publication to known lists of persons with respect to specific subject matter areas.  They come from the common phrase “in the loop”.  The site uses the phrase, “get loopy”.  I wondered about the “pranks you can play on your friends” – is that concept based on Ashton Kutcher’s “You’ve been punked!”

The site has plenty of facilities for easy parental monitoring and prevent cyberbullying. A good question would concern age-verification technology (in reverse), to prevent inappropriate adults from joining. 

But some people (like Michelle Obama, the First Lady) will ask, do children really need to be online to socialize at all?  Can’t they just interact in the real world?  That brings back memories of “backyard baseball” (really softball and sometimes whiffleball) back in the late 1950s.