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 2-way broadcasting network lets anyone create a live online show and interact in real time with other registered users. Dubbed “Talk Back TV,” the site looks like television but has the spontaneity -- and unpredictability -- of a morning radio program, complete with co-hosts, callers and live, on-air antics that occur with that combination. As hosts (both professional and amateur) broadcast their live show, “callers” with webcams can join the show and become visible via screen-in-screen while they interact with the hosts. A live chat with comments from other viewers scrolls simultaneously during the show. There’s a lot going on at once, and there are definitely many opportunities for unmoderated interaction and content that's iffy for kids.
Is it any good?
Billing itself as the first live, 2-way broadcasting network, this video-based site is a hub of professional and amateur "ShoCasts.” Throw a webcam into the studio of any morning radio show, and you have the basis for this site. The twist here is Shovio also provides a forum for anyone with a webcam who wants to film their own live show from their own kitchen, bedroom, back porch, etc. Former radio broadcasters and regular folks alike create talk-based programs where any registered user with a webcam or keyboard can pop in to visit and interact with the show hosts, much like callers do on traditional radio programs. Most of the hosts take their roles seriously and strive to look and sound like pros, but the audio and video quality, homemade backdrops and literally “in-house” studios give most of the broadcasts a less-than professional feel. Add in the rough-around-the-edges callers, silly on-air co-hosts (with monikers like “White Trash”) and the voyeurs who frequently choose to leave inappropriate comments via live chat, and the result something that’s better left to adults.
Online interaction: Registered users can interact with each other via live chat function, and any registered user with a computer and a webcam can create a show. Whether it’s a professional or amateur broadcast, hosts, callers, and guests interact in real time, so there’s potential for some iffy content, negativity, and inappropriate content.
Talk to your kids about ...
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, would-be broadcasters, journalists, and authors have instant access to the world via videos, websites, and blogs. Does this access and visibility diminish the efforts of those who have taken traditional routes and worked their way up or completed courses of study?
How accessible media is today. Creating and sharing digital media is a tremendous tool for expressing oneself. Parents can ask kids what type of broadcast show they would like to see or create
Why kids might be interested in participating in a live online broadcast. What is appealing about seeing your image, hearing your voice or reading your comments live? But just because it’s possible, doesn’t necessarily make it a good idea for everyone. What online tips should you know before participating in any public online activity?
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