In case you’re out of the loop, Woozworld is a virtual community for teens and tweens. Kids of all ages, really, can head to the Woozworld site, create an avatar, and start building things. The point of Woozworld is to teach kids about commerce by allowing them to create stores and other ventures. Surprisingly, Woozworld is very popular with teens and tweens around the world. Now, Woozworld has just launched WoozIn – a social network for teens and tweens that’s supposed to adhere to strict child safety standards.
Now, let’s be honest for a moment, kids (of any age) can sign up for a Facebook page without much of an issue. Unless a child’s parents are anti-Facebook (or a kid gets busted with a Facebook page), these pages aren’t hard to set up. But, those kids who have protective parents are probably not anywhere near Facebook, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a market for those kids who don’t use “adult” social networks. That’s where WoozIn comes in.
What WoozIn Does
Essentially, WoozIn is a lot like Woozworld, only it’s a social networking platform. Kids can sign up for WoozIn, create an avatar, fill in some information, post to Wallz, add Friendz, and do all kinds of other cool stuff that ends in a “z.” So, how is WoozIn any different than Facebook? Well, for starters, WoozIn meets the Child’s Online Privacy Protection Act standards. In addition, WoozIn doesn’t really allow kids to post personal information to a WoozIn page.
Sure, teens and tweens can post photos from Woozworld to their heart’s content, but no scandalous photos will be permitted on WoozIn. What’s more, site administrators determine which topics are appropriate for kids to learn or read about. The hot “topicz” that are displayed each day have been carefully selected. Signing up for a WoozIn account is also free, but you can bet the site will display some ads every now and then.
If WoozIn sounds like the perfect anti-Facebook for your teen or tween, there are just a few things that you need to know. First, anyone can sign up for the site after choosing an age (all a person has to do is lie about their age to get into the site). Second, kids can post YouTube videos, and these may be inappropriate.
So, what’s the most important thing that parents can take away from learning about WoozIn? This site can’t, won’t, and shouldn’t replace good parenting. You still need to make sure that your kids are adhering to your rules, and you still need to monitor all WoozIn posts and chats.
Aside from these minor drawbacks, WoozIn promises to be a popular social site for both teens and parents. As more and more parents veto Facebook usage, sits like WoozIn are bound to pop up. The only thing that I’m not sure about is the name of this site (is is supposed to sound or look like LinkedIn?). Then again, I’m not a teen. Will you let your kids join this site as a peace offering for keeping them away from Facebook?