Wednesday, March 07, 2007

My First MySpace for Kids 8 - 14

When 8-year-old Kevin Robson underwent a bone-marrow transplant, he was separated from friends and family for five months. That didn't stop him from sledding, dancing and playing Connect-4 with them every day. Kevin kept in touch as a tuxedoed avatar at, a safer social-networking site for preteens (free, but advanced features cost $5.95 a month)—no personal information is ever posted, and language filters monitor chat sessions. Club Penguin is just the tip of the—sorry—iceberg of new community sites for children 8 to 14. Our favorites:

Imbee: Resembles MySpace in that kids create blogs, post photos and share music. Differs in that only friends you've verified knowing offline can see them. Free to join, but parents must provide a credit card (

Webkinz: Buy your child an $8 to $10 stuffed animal that comes with a code number. Enter that code online to see her pet's avatar, care for it and play with other critters (

Whyville: An educational virtual world with nearly 2 million "citizens" and its own economy. Play games and chat, or visit city hall and museums. Free, but there is third-party advertising (

Nicktropolis and Disney XD: Two brand-heavy sites by the 900-pound gorillas of children's entertainment. At Nickelodeon's, avatars chat, play Nick-themed games, watch Nick videos and hang out in SpongeBob's World. At Disney XD, kids watch, well, Disney videos, play Disney-themed games and customize their own pages ( and

source MSNBC

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