Figment

Common Sense Media says

Teen writers express themselves on supportive social site.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
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9
10
11
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site sends the message that writing is for anyone who wants to try it, regardless of age or experience. The messages within stories vary.

Violence

Some mild violence in stories about death, crime, vampires, etc.

Sex

Some stories include references to sexual situations, but they are not very graphic.

Language

Some stories contain profanity, including "s--t" and "f--k."

Consumerism

The site doesn't have ads, but users can buy books through links to Amazon and other vendors.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A few stories mention smoking and drinking (including cautionary tales).

Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. Writers are encouraged to use their real names, and profiles can contain photos, links to blogs, and other personal information. The site collects personally identifiable information from account holders, and electronically collects non-personally identifiable information from visitors to the site.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Figment provides a creative outlet for teens who like to write. They can post their own stories and read works by other young authors. Writers are encouraged to use their real names, and profiles can include location, links to blogs, and other personal details. The site's policy about user-created content states that "bigoted, extremely violent, or pornographic content is not OK," but acknowledges that context and storyline can influence the appropriateness of content.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • presenting to others
  • writing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • thinking critically
  • defining problems

Creativity

  • imagination
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • self-assessment
  • academic development
  • motivation

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • presenting

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

A peer community with shared interests builds synergy in teens. The site will appeal to those who want to write and offers a variety of ways to get started and get excited about the experience.

Learning Approach

Teens can practice writing and get peer feedback. An Educators section gives teachers the tools to set up writing workshops wherein teens can share with their classmates or the world. 

Support

Navigation is easy, as is getting started. Figment encourages the use of social media, so kids can engage with a community of like-minded peers.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion
  • presenting to others
  • writing

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • thinking critically
  • defining problems

Creativity

  • imagination
  • producing new content

Self-Direction

  • self-assessment
  • academic development
  • motivation

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • presenting

Kids can learn to develop their creativity and writing skills. Figment gets teens thinking about the writing process and what makes a book a good read. Teens post their works-in-progress and get feedback and encouragement along the way from peers. The site creates the space for teens to experiment and gives them the satisfaction of completing the process. Figment puts teens in the driver's seat, allowing them to write, connect with peers who share their interests, and read and comment on others' writing.

This Learning Rating review was written by Lynne Glasner

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Kids say

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QUALITY
 

Journalists Jacob Lewis and Dana Goodyear created FIGMENT as a platform for creative self-expression, with a social networking twist. It's easy to get started creating a story, and the site offers options for cover and page design. Users can "heart," comment, and review stories as well as "follow" other writers à la Twitter. Overall, the criticism stays constructive; it helps that the site doesn't allow anonymous users to post. In addition to readers' creations, the site has a blog that features advice on writing from authors like Kathryn Erskine, who won a 2010 National Book Award. Overall, Figment is an excellent place for young writers to express themselves and work on improving their craft.

P.S.: Wondering who owns the rights to these stories? Figment notes, "Posting to the site grants Figment the right to display your work (until you decide to take it down), but does not mean you are giving up your ownership of your work."

Online interaction: Most of the feedback on stories is positive, with users offering encouragement or constructive criticism. It feels like a friendly, supportive community.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about teens and their "digital footprint."  This site encourages writers to use their real names. What are the advantages of doing that? What are the potential drawbacks? Parents can encourage teens to think about their digital footprint when sharing stories, photos, and other personal content.

  • Families can also talk about respecting others' creative work online.

Website details

Genre:Creating
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Figment was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byLoverNumber101 September 9, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

EPIC!!

I LOVE THIS SITE!! Its fun to read stories, enter contest, and post my writing.
Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 June 11, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

The Perfect Writing Community

I've been on other websites for publishing stories, and I have to say that Figment is probably my favorite. Unlike some sites I have been on, I get constructive criticism on Figment-which is exactly what I'm looking for. It's the perfect writing community; so far the people I've seen have been really supportive, yet able to give (nice) criticism to help writers improve. And there are contests, groups, and more to do on this website. The site suggests that users be at least 13+ to join, and so far I haven't seen anything very inappropriate for anyone over the teenage age.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old March 27, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Great way to get your writing out there

I have gone through many writing sites and this is the best I have been on. It's easy to use and view other's works. That being said, it is of course possible to post inappropriate content, and their are no age ratings, but most of the authors I've seen make it as appropriate as possible or include a warning in the description. The moderators do a good job of pulling people off who just mindlessly insult people, and it's very easy to contact them
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages

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