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Totlol Already Has One Convert (and Her 2-Year-Old)

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It’s not really that fair to judge niche sites if you’re not in the niche. So when we heard about new kid-oriented video-sharing site Totlol, we asked our resident mom, Stacey Higginbotham, for her take.

Stacey’s daughter *loves* web video — apparently she’s already figured out how to click the replay button on a YouTube player. And as a two-year-old, Anna fits right into Totlol’s six-month-old to six-year-old demographic.

Stacey said she would “totally” use the site to entertain her daughter. “A quick check shows content Anna would love, like Elmo and The Wiggles.” She added, “It’s hard to search this out on YouTube, especially with a wiggling toddler trying to grab the mouse.”

Anna already watches about 30 minutes of online video a week, according to Stacey, usually in 5-7 minute chunks. “It would be a lot more if she weren’t in daycare.” Stacey’s criticism was that she’d like to see filters to separate videos for different ages.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Totlol depends on parent volunteers (who have to be at least 18 years old) to submit appropriate content via a Totlol interface to search YouTube (which is made available through its newly revised APIs). I did notice that parent members looking for age-appropriate content appear to have let some bootleg versions of television shows through, but hey, that’s a different kind of filter.

Though it might be tempting to group Totlol with kid-oriented social networks, I think it makes a lot more sense than they do. Kids have a much bigger need for entertainment than they do for their own online presence. And hey, it’s less passive than oldteevee if you’re reaching out your hand to use the mouse yourself.

5 Responses to “Totlol Already Has One Convert (and Her 2-Year-Old)”

  1. Hey Liz,

    Email is actually one of the best ways to get your kid to learn how to spell. My kid loves to send mail to the others kids in his preschool (all the kids do it). Of course, now Dad has to filter out whatever comes in from TOTLOL since there are apparently no parental controls whatsoever on what they send.

    Just another challenge of being a parent, I guess. But isn’t there some law that says they have to delete my kids account if I ask them to? That part of the site just blows my mind (that they will not let my kids account be shut down). I’ve had enough of TOTLOL, but I guess they haven’t had enough of my kid!

  2. I thought you should know that this site sent my kid inappropriate email.

    After a couple months on TOTLOL somebody spammed my kid with an inappropriate email (I think all the kids on the site got the spam) and after I complained and asked the owner to shut off his account the owner never turned off his account. And I couldn’t close the account, either, because the site doesn’t let you close your account once it’s opened! So my kid’s account is still there today! Take a look at the interface for yourself, there is no way to delete an account once it’s created. It seems like this guy is violating a bunch of U.S. laws regarding children’s personal data, but since the guy is based in Canada he gets away with it.

    If you want your kid to get inappropriate email, go ahead and use the site. But just be aware that you can never turn it off. My fear is that they will always have your kid’s email address and they will always have access to your kid.