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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that ellentube is a video server and upload portal for the Ellen DeGeneres Show, a joyful, comedy-driven celebrity talk show in its 12th year. With 18 million "likes," ellentube mirrors the show's 39 Emmys and four million per episode viewers, including the goodie giveaways. Both show and site are essentially designed for adults but pulse with youthfulness and remain reasonably family-friendly and appropriate for all ages. Advertising for laundry soap and cruise ships pervades, and video ads before each clip cannot be skipped. Kids can peruse show segments and user videos without creating an account but need to register with an email and report being at least 13 to upload their own.
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What's it about?
On ELLENTUBE, kids can peruse about 20 video categories including cats, talented kids, scares, and celebrity interviews. User videos are mixed in with show-based segments to give you that celebrity fix or bring a tear to your eyes: Ellen-Justin Bieber bathroom stunts, Zony and Yony performing "Shake It Off" in striped tights and motorcycle helmets, or the secret of happiness from a 7-year-old. Just like on YouTube, viewers can "big-screen" the videos, but they can't skip video ads at any point. Video uploads are limited to 1 GB or less and no more than seven minutes. Recommended file formats are MP4 (up to 10 MBPS), AVI, WMF, and MOV.
Is it any good?
If you love the Ellen DeGeneres Show, then ellentube is your way to join the fun even if you don't have the afternoon off or a digital video recorder. Ellen's penchant for spotlighting and supporting unsung heroes or those in need makes everyone feel good about themselves. Her constant pranks, self-effacing jabs, and generosity are showcased in this video collection that effortlessly balances everyday people with talented children, political figures, and mega-stars. Looking for that 15 minutes of fame or just bragging rights? The site also is the viewer upload portal for video submissions with email registration. Although cute toddlers and wily animal snippets vary in quality, they feel real, unassuming, and natural. A six-week tips-and-tricks video contest called You're Welcome Wednesday was a bit tricky to find, and the prize -- though generous -- is definite product placement introduced by the TV show. A search revealed current submissions for the contest trending toward a less commercial orientation.
A hilarious segment showing Ellen in the lead role in 50 Shades of Grey might be an emblematic red flag for some families who want to keep their kids out of the limelight and away from popular culture for just a bit longer. Also, for some reason, the site sucks major bandwidth way more than other video sites, such as YouTube, so don't expect to have a quick session or effectively multitask. An especially mind-numbing lunchtime slowdown, jerky page loads, and repetitive ads, especially that same one you get before every single video, makes it hard to say that the obvious and plentiful pluses completely outshine the downsides.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact on a child's life when he or she becomes a "star" at an early age. Does it create once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that would not be as valuable if they were older? Do they develop a reasonable set of expectations for life?
For older kids, explore the way marketing and advertising are woven into the site. How would the experience be different without advertising? Which particular products are chosen, and which demographic is being targeted?
Dance! Take dance classes as a family or just rock out to some favorite tunes on a relaxed family night.
- Subjects: Social Studies: cultural understanding
Arts: acting, movement, playing
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, producing new content
Emotional Development: empathy
Communication: multiple forms of expression, presenting, speaking
Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, honoring the community, respect for others
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
- Genre: Video Sites
- Pricing structure: Free