What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this site is designed to introduce tweens to social networking and other Web 2.0 technologies in a safe environment. To that end, text fields in chat, messaging, and profiles are filtered, so users can't disclose any personal information, curse, or make sexual comments. Users can upload and share photos and videos only if parents fax in their written permission. The Buzz has lots of links (with bumper messages) to outside Web sites where users can download software and applications.
What's it about?
Created as a safe space for tweens to explore Web 2.0 technology, TWEEGEE.COM combines news, games, videos, and social networking into one colorfully animated portal site. The Buzz is one-stop shopping for pop culture info and the latest tech trends, and if news about the latest chat applications isn't enough, the site also has an entire section of instant message icons and other downloads. The games section features selections from popular sites like Miniclip plus some Tweegee exclusives, and gamers can sneak a peek at the latest offerings from PlayStation, Xbox, and other systems in The Cinema. In addition to creating profiles, registered users can also build their own Zone -- a simple Web site with a subdomain name they can choose.
Is it any good?
Tweegee.com's Zones are a great place for tweens to flex their creative muscles. There's a wide palette of options for customizing the Zone, including design elements, polls, an event calendar -- even a statistics tool that measures visitors and unique visitors. The filtered chat feature -- which also governs Zone content and most other text fields -- has an excellent vocabulary, so safety shouldn't get in the way of self-expression.
But The Buzz leaves something to be desired; most of the stories are fluffy stuff that tweens can find elsewhere, and some of the product write-ups seem more "advertorial" than news. Also, visitors who stop by The Cinema won't find much variety as most of the videos are promos for video games or violent "classic" cartoons, although the Tweegee tutorial and safety videos are definitely useful.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how tweens can use the Web to express themselves safely. How did you decide what to put in your profile and your Zone? What kinds of photos and videos are safe to upload, and what's off limits? Families can also talk about how it's important to check with a parent before downloading or installing any programs.