Seesmic

Website review by
Susan Yudt, Common Sense Media
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Friendly video bloggers; a few bad apples.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Save for the occasional jerk, users are friendly and positive.

Violence
Sex

A few off-color videos. Nudity is prohibited.

Language

Not many users curse, but there are no restrictions on language.

Consumerism

No ads.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Seesmic lets users record and upload videos via webcam or cell phone so they can have "video conversations" (blog-style -- not in real time). Users can post videos publicly or send them to friends and can delete their own videos. Most users are adults, and the community is friendly. However, the site is in its early stages and is still figuring out how to deal with the occasional rude or obscene video -- the topic is up for discussion in the community -- so users may stumble upon some unsavory stuff. The terms of service prohibit nudity and harassment, but there are no guidelines about other sexual content or profanity. The vast majority of videos are clean, though.

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What's it about?

People who want to be seen as well as heard online are heading over to SEESMIC.COM, a new Web site/application dedicated to "video conversations." Users can record short videos on Seesmic or a cell phone and upload them to the site, either starting their own thread of discussion or responding to an existing thread. Videos are posted to a public timeline that constantly refreshes, with the most active threads singled out. Users can befriend other users, send them private videos, and follow their posts on a "friends" timeline. Seesmic can also broadcast videos to blogs and social sites like Twitter, and is available in English, French, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish.

Is it any good?

Seesmic is a neat twist on the microblogging trend -- video gives the added dimension of showing a diverse array of faces and personalities. There's plenty of idle chatter, but there are also serious discussions about topics like green living and gay marriage, many of which are sparked by Seesmic-produced video segments. The site has a simple, user-friendly design, and a helpful introductory video walks new visitors through the basics. Like many of its microblogging contemporaries, Seesmic is a great place to visit -- but just maybe not for kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about potential drawbacks of posting videos online. Would teens feel uncomfortable knowing that thousands of people can see them? How do you know what's OK to post and what's not? Families can also talk about online communities. How do you know if you can trust someone enough to make them your "friend"? How would you deal with someone who's rude or offensive?

Website details

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