I don't know about you kiddos, but my tween is dying to be a part of Facebook. I have to say, I have spent countless hours on Facebook and found lots of old/new friends. It has been a ton of fun! However, that said, I am not comfortable letting my 10 year old (almost 11 year old, sniff, sniff) have free reign on a site that doesn't have a lot of protection for children. Seriously, it is geared toward adults, not kids.
I am a member of Mom Central online. It has been a great experience. I get to test products (like a cooking class with the Sneaky Chef and the new Uncle Ben's Whole Grain Rice, YummEE with a capital E) and do some other fun things. As a Test Drive mom, I was given the opportunity to check out Yoursphere with Catie. It is a website specifically geared toward tweens and teens. They put your child's safety first. This allows them to particpate in an online community and the parents can know that they are safe. This is a 3 month test drive and we have weekly assignments, including a required 2 blog posts a month.
For my first post, I would like to tell you a little bit about Yoursphere. Before they allows kids to participate, parents must set up an account. Once their accounts are set, the parent then sets up accounts for each child. Yoursphere will run a background check on you for safety reasons. That also assures you that whoever has access to Yoursphere has also been cleared of any possible "issues". One of the perks of having the account as a parent is that you can check your childs posts and activity. I love that, except for since it is only your child, you don't get to see things in context, but if you have a questionable post, you can ask your child.
On Yourshere, your child can join Sphere's. A sphere is a group with a common interest. Catie created one about cats. Kids post pictures and comment about different things related to cats. There are all kinds of spheres!
There is a game world, if you child likes to play or watch you play the Facebook apps, they will love Our World. I will talk more about that in my next post.
Yoursphere keeps close eye on the posts to avoid bullying. To do this, they have goodwill ambassadors and of course technology. Your child can get rewarded points for good behavior too. Plus with your access, if you happen to catch them saying something they shouldn't, you have the ability to delete the comment or go so far as to freeze the account, until you see fit to unfreeze it.
There are contest's and games and all kinds of fun things for your tween/teen to do and it is in a safe fun environment.
Feel free to check it out www.yoursphere.com When you sign up, be sure to add the code YSMC-0004 When your kiddo signs up, drop me a comment or email and give me their username so Catie and be their friend.
(FYI, they are going to be doing a remodel of the home page here pretty soon, so the look and content of the homepage will be changing.) I love the fact that they listen to what the test drive moms have to say.
This post was done because I think that Yoursphere is so cool, I want your kids to try it out too. But, I also need to let you know that I wrote this review while participating in the Yoursphere Test Drive program by Mom Central on behalf of Yoursphere. I received a free lifetime Gold membership on Yoursphere.com, Yoursphere t-shirts, and a $50 American Express gift card to facilitate my review.
Until we read again...