Greg Skinner (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a communications consultant and marketing columnist who specializes in the kids’ market. He also admits to having an unhealthy obsession with the World Wide Web. KidScreen asked Skinner to do some browsing on our behalf and report on some of the interesting kids’ sites as seen from the eye of a near-kid himself.
Content. It’s hardly the simple issue one might expect, as any random surf will reveal. In their eagerness to be first out of the gate, a lot of locations have crammed everything, anything, and ultimately nothing, on-line.
Web sites don’t necessarily have the substance even if the sheer volume of their material is deep. For the most part, kids find Web sites to be fairly black and white-that’s to say they’re either boomin’, or they’re boring.
Outstanding locations have a good understanding of their target. They know the type of interaction they want their site to elicit, and understand that the body of material located there is a fundamental tool in achieving their goals.
Their ultimate objective is to make the word ‘browser’ a misnomer. Kids want to be blown away, period. But if they’re simply browsing then they haven’t connected with the site on the right (mental) level. The nature of the location’s material can easily make it or break it, so if they come back and nothing has changed, then they’re pretty much gone for good.
The Net provides an opportunity to push the existing boundaries and gives the freedom to start challenging and redefining those set by the established media. But, regardless of the dynamics involved at any site, its foundation must be built on in its content.