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Parental concerns are important

eMarketer points out how important parents' views of social networking are to this social-Web business. It cites the research of Parks Associates as showing that "virtual world advertising in the United States will increase tenfold to $150 million by 2012 from the 2006 level. That spending could be cut, however, if parents deny permission for […]

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Social networker age verification revisited

Parents often ask us why on Earth social-networking sites can't just block teens altogether – verify their ages or something? After all, it's all over the US news media that attorneys general are calling for age verification. Well, we have been replying for months that it just wouldn't work (e.g., see "Verifying kids' ages: Key […]

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US sites, foreign social networking

When the user-driven social Web meets the fairly evolved consumer-privacy and free-speech laws of the US (where many social-networking sites are based) meets the laws and sensibilities of the country where the US company's customers are, things get complicated. And very messy, sometimes. Take Brazil, for example. There, Google's social-networking site Orkut.com "has become a […]

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Microsoft’s moves in social space

More obvious this week were Microsoft's plans for the social Web both mobile and fixed. CEO Steve Ballmer said in a keynote at the mobile phone industry's (CTIA's) big fall 2007 trade show in San Francisco that the mobile phone is becoming "the universal remote control for your life" (see this CNET blog post). That's […]

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Social-networking sights on Asia

There's a "colossal scrum among the world's biggest social networks for the hearts and mouse clicks of millions of people in India, China, and elsewhere in Asia," Business Week reports. It adds that MySpace and Facebook are scrambling to replace "established homegrown networks and foreign sites, especially Orkut and Friendster" (Orkut has a well-established beachhead […]

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Oz kids: Pros on Web

Most Australian children go online for the first time between the ages of 5 and 10 and quickly become Net regulars, "with two-thirds of children logging on from home at least twice a week and 43% doing so daily," Australian IT reports, citing a new report from Nielsen/NetRatings. Nearly half of Australians 6-17 are online […]

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Kids’ screen time

Nearly half of US parents say their kids watch too much TV and "about a third of parents believe the Internet sucks up too much of their child's time," CNET reports. Where the Net's concerned, how much time is that? "More than three-quarters of Americans age 12 and older spend about 8.9 hours online per […]

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Family PC purchase decisions

There's help from the Wall Street Journal, where tech writer Walt Mossberg says people who prefer Windows XP can still get it on some new PCs (e.g., Dells), and there's reason to do so. He offers a host of tips on what to look for in purchasing any PC or laptop, from OS to hard […]

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Teen privacy: New standards?

It seems self-exposure, or assertively forgoing privacy, is for teens "as natural as brushing their teeth," writes Janet Kornblum of USATODAY. They seek feedback on themselves constantly, Janet quotes one expert as saying. Another told her that teens understand privacy but simply choose to be "out there" because that's how things happen. It's about marketing. […]

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New platform for self-exposure

Consider the privacy issue in light of the social networking that's becoming increasingly common on and with cellphones. "Almost 55% of all mobile phones sold today in the United States have the [GPS] technology that makes friend-and- family-tracking services possible," the New York Times reports, zooming in on one such service, loopt. In another article, […]

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