A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Viddiverse is a "video social network" for kids and teens featuring age-appropriate videos they can like and share with each other. Kids can watch any videos without signing up but need to register to upload their own original content. To create a profile, you enter a nickname and a password, gender, age, and, if the user is under 13, a parent's email address for verification. The mix of slick media-produced content and homemade kid videos is pretty tame; however, some parents may not love the occasional potty humor.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Kids can upload and view clips on VIDDIVERSE and follow other users; parents can monitor a child's posts and online connections. Programming on Viddiverse, which was created by a former Nickelodeon U.K. executive, is a mix of syndicated videos, geared toward 8- to 13-year-olds, and kid-created clips that users can customize with special effects such as borders, text, emoticons, and fun sounds. Videos are divided into categories: shows, music, games, sports, and entertainment.
Is it any good?
Kids can check out more than 20 shows, many of which are animated, on Viddiverse, edit and share a five-minute-or-less video they've made themselves, and share their faves with friends. That's a lot of stuff for one website, but they do it all reasonably well. Its video-editing tool provides an easy, fun way to add borders, sounds, and other elements to original short films, and Viddiverse works hard to be a COPPA-compliant, safe online environment. Parents have to approve access for kids 12 and under and can sign in with their email address and a password at any time to check kids' site activity. They also can prevent kids from posting videos or comments if they're concerned about potential misuse.
For example, the site says that user-submitted videos are screened for nudity and language issues before they go live -- yet videos and comments seem to appear instantly on the site. Viddiverse states that live moderators are notified whenever content is posted, so it may be a quick but not immediate process. However, since they bill themselves as the safe alternative to video sites such as YouTube, more clarity would be helpful here. Overall, Viddiverse has created a welcoming place for kids and tweens to network safely; now it just needs more of them to show up and add to the vibrant community.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss the amount of time kids should be watching TV. What kinds of limits can you set on TV viewing, even if it's educational?
Parents can choose whether or not their kids can upload videos and post comments. What kind of words or information should you always avoid when commenting on something online?
Kids can create and upload videos on the site. What kinds of things should you never show, such as a home address, in a video to prevent safety concerns?
- Subjects: Science: chemistry
Arts: film, music
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, producing new content
Communication: conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression
Tech Skills: digital creation, evaluating media messages
- Genre: Video Sites
- Topics: Adventures, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Pricing structure: Free
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