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 fan club/social site costs $29.95 a year to join -- there's no free content at all. Kids pick a username and password and provide their first name, gender, and birth date. Parents get their own password and access to the parental control panel, which lets them enable or disable interactive features, including chat, requesting buddies, posting comments, and making a kid's profile public. The site says that the chat uses monitoring and reporting software, "but we do NOT control what is being said" (IM and texting are coming soon). Comments on photos, videos, etc. are reviewed before they are posted. Kids can upload photos of themselves. The site does push -- no surprise -- Miley products like fashion accessories and video games.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Fans who can't get enough of Miley Cyrus from her Hannah Montana TV show, CDs, and video game can join "the ultimate Miley party" at MILEYWORLD.COM -- if their parents are willing to fork over the $29.95 membership fee. Thirty bucks buys a year's worth of access to all things Miley: photos, videos, sound clips, plus a membership packet in the mail...not to mention a chance to buy coveted Miley concert tix before they go on sale to the public. There are a ton of social networking features that parents can turn on or off: kids can create a profile, write blogs, comment on videos and photos, find buddies, and chat. There's also news, contests, downloads, trivia challenges, and some silly but cute games.
Is it any good?
The busy pink and purple site can be a bit buggy -- features can be slow to load, there are some browser compatibility issues, and Miley's diary wasn't working at all. Still, kids will enjoy behind-the-scenes footage of Miley, whether she's shopping, rehearsing, or autographing a fan's forehead. Parents will appreciate the chance to control how interactive their kids get -- but maybe not the site's price tag.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about online safety and what's appropriate to share online. What information should you include in your profile? What should you leave out? How do you know if you can trust someone enough to make them a "friend"? What would you do if someone was bothering you? Families can also talk about why posting a kid's photo online might not be a good idea.