A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this ad-heavy site encompasses entertainment news, social networking, and lots of shopping -- there's an online store that sells clothes and accessories. The celebrity and fashion content is generally OK for pre-teens, but bad language and sexual topics sometimes pop up on the message boards. The site's tone can be a bit obnoxious in spots.
What's it about?
Fashion and gossip take center stage at ALLOY, an entertainment site created by the media and marketing giant of the same name. (The company produces teen-targeted books, magazines, movies, and more.) Interactive features like polls, quizzes, and games put a multimedia spin on traditional teen-mag topics like style, relationships, and horoscopes. Users can create profiles, find friends, and discuss issues on the message boards. There's also an online store that sells clothes and accessories.
Is it any good?
Packed with content, Alloy could keep some teens entertained for hours with its interactive elements and endless stream of celebrity gossip and fashion features. That said, it's a pretty shallow site that's sometimes too snarky for its own good. "Oh No She Didn't!" rips on unsuspecting strangers who've allegedly committed crimes of fashion and encourages readers to weigh in on a scale from "eww" to "of course." The entertainment features -- including interviews with both A-listers and up-and-coming artists -- are a better option.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the features that focus on "bad" fashion. Who decides what's "in" or "out?" What would you do if you liked something that wasn't in style or that your friends said wasn't cool? Where's the line between harmless fun and mean-girl behavior when it comes to evaluating style choices? Read our tips for battling stereotypes.