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 section of MySpace allows visitors to record and listen to songs, create profiles, collect friends, and discover new music. Professional recording artists and entertainment companies also use the site to promote commercial efforts.
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What's it about?
Billing itself as "The Ultimate Online Karaoke Experience" MYSPACE KARAOKE consists of karaoke versions ofsongs recorded by people from all walks of life and all level of talent. A wide array of song choices areoffered up as accompaniment, all of which include follow-along lyrics to guide the way. The "performers" -- of which thereare thousands -- have their requisite photos (or videos) featured prominentlywith each performance, and you'll find images of friendly families alongsidescantily clad school girls. Users who createtheir own recordings collect fans as well as feedback, much like the friendswho fill a user's MySpace page.
Is it any good?
Karaoke. You either love it or hate it. MySpace Karaoke is fascinating in much the same way an accident site or train wreck is to rubberneckers. Sure it has some entertainment value, but because much of the entertainmentisn't high quality, it becomes a bit much to bear. Teens, however, will bedrawn in by the chance to critique others and to provide anonymous feedback, arating, and virtual "applause." Ultimately,the site is a perfect place for even the most introverted to express theirsinging talent (or lack thereof).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whythey think people need to participate in online karaoke? Is it because theytruly believe they're talented? Or simply because they have a need to be seenand heard? And why is the public so fascinated with seeing others perform -- especiallywhen the performances aren't necessarily very good? Also important is adiscussion about what the performers get out of the feedback -- positive ornegative -- they receive.