Monday, May 24, 2010

Family Based Social Networking - Pros and Cons.

Gigaom released a video interview Tuesday with CEO Mandeep S. Dhillon about his new family-oriented social networking site Togetherville.

Currently in open beta, Togetherville is intended for children ages six to 10, through 13, and their parents. With an interface similar to Facebook, kids can express themselves through educational games, art, and music. Children and parents are required to use their real identities (although not searchable via search engines) and friend only people they know and trust in real life. Also, the parents are the ones in control of who the children can friend.

Some pros of the site include the real life social network, the relatively safe environment, and parental control while teaching children how to effectively and positively network online. The site is an interesting concept, however, parents can only control their kids' social networking behavior for so long before they branch out to Facebook or any other mature networking site.

Whether the site breeds a generation of positive and careful social networkers remains highly doubtful. However, it does add another means of socialization and learning amongst families and close peers. Internet attorneys will be focusing upon the implications of social networking targeting a younger and more innocent audience.

Authored by Taren Fujimoto, edited by Erik Syverson.

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