Friday, September 23, 2011

Start-Up Watch COD: Everloop is out to make social remarkably safe for kids

Sometimes I wonder how parents are able to sleep at night, given all of the dangers that are out there for kids. Particularly online. Oh, I get it intellectually – you teach, weigh risks and benefits, trust, and monitor.
But it has to be darn hard to make your peace with certain activities. And one of those is social.
The statistics for online predators being what they are, it’s clear that the potential danger is real, though largely avoidable. But the younger your kids are, the more risk there is that their trusting natures and budding self confidence can cause problems.
Everloop is a social media community designed to give kids the benefits of social while enabling parents to use tools that mitigate risk.
The uniqueness of Everloop begins when a kid chooses to join. All children are associated with a verified parent, so you know that the individuals interacting with your kids are also kids.
That parental association results in the parent having access to a control dashboard that helps them define the parameters of how their kids interact online. As a parent you can decide whether your kids can IM or email friends, appear on people searches, meet new people and more. And it also allows you to keep a copy of their interactions so that you can monitor their activities in a way that is comprehensive yet respectful.
As part of the service, several layers of monitoring and protection are also part of the mix. Technology monitors for inappropriate activities and conversations. Bullying is a one strike and you’re out offense. Kids can report anything that bothers them. And good natured chaperones also scour the site looking for problems they can address.
The results is an online world that is considerably more appropriate for kids, and one that can keep parents in closer touch with what their kids are doing online without the need to hover over them 24-7. Here’s a vid that gives the safety features a onceover.
Of course, safety alone does not community make. Ultimately, Everloop is designed to be loads o’fun at whatever level of sharing a parent selects. It’s free to join, with a great deal of free activity available.
  • Let’s start with decorating your profile. Did someone say…stickers? Kids get an enormous amount of freedom to develop and modify the look of their profiles. Included in that process of virtual stickers – some free, some that cost credits that can be earned or purchased.
  • Loops are a safer alternative to open communication in which kids set up networks of preapproved friends with which they can communicate.
  • Games abound on the site, some simple in keeping with the lower end of the target, and some rather more difficult – certainly offering sufficient challenge to keep kids interested. New games are added frequently to keep the site fresh.
  • Fun and educational videos are also available – all preapproved to ensure a safe community for all.
  • Best of all is Goobing, which is playing good natured pranks on friends. For example, your bestie might log in and find their profile TP-ed. Hilarity sure to ensure.
It’s pretty clear that having a social network for under 13s could be a really valuable thing. While others have certainly tried and are trying, I am going to be watching Everloop closely.

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