Buuuz

Website review by
Susan Yudt, Common Sense Media
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Social site based on shared interests has iffy controls.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

The site prohibits hate speech and spamming.

Violence
Sex

The Terms of Use states that content "must not include any obscene or pedophile content."

Language

There doesn't seem to be a language filter on messages.

Consumerism

There are no ads, but users have to pay after a three-month trial period. The explanation of fees in the Terms of Use is confusing. The RSS feed links to outside sites.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this social networking site's Terms of Service prohibit obscene content, harassment, and other bad behavior. However, because there wasn't much activity on the site, it's hard to tell whether users follow these rules. Also, it's not clear if the site is intended for teens or adults -- or both. Some of the RSS feeds (which can be deleted) are from sites that aren't kid-friendly, like PerezHilton.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

Social networking site BUUUZ is designed to connect people based on common interests. First, create an "island" dedicated to a topic -- for example, "food." Then, add keywords like "recipes" or "restaurants," and each time a Buuuz user sends out a "message in a bottle" that contains those keywords, it will show up next to your island. You can send out your own messages to spark a discussion -- it's basically like starting a new thread in a community forum. The site also has RSS feeds that will send stories to your islands based on their keywords.

Is it any good?

The trouble with Buuuz is that you can create an island, send out a message, and wait eons for any signs of life. In the meantime, there's nothing to do, since you can't browse a list of users or topics. Also, getting started on the site can be confusing -- sure, there's a help section, but having to watch nine tutorial videos is quite a chore ... and probably a sign that the site should be more intuitive.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about safety with social networking sites and how it's important to be extra careful on this site since your messages are sent to everyone who shares your keywords. How do you know what's OK to include and what's off limits? What should you do if someone is making you feel threatened or uncomfortable?

Website details

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