Australians hope new on-line service will attract global audience

The Australian Children's Television Foundation is launching a new on-line service for kids, called KAHooTZ, at the Second World Summit on Television for Children....
March 1, 1998

The Australian Children’s Television Foundation is launching a new on-line service for kids, called KAHooTZ, at the Second World Summit on Television for Children.

Targeted at six- to 16-year-olds, the product consists of a CD-ROM that contains a library of animated fonts, textures, animated clip art, drawing tools, background images, sound and music bytes, an audio editor and motion and sequencing controls. With these tools, kids can create their own messages. The messages are then posted on the KAHooTZ server, which is accessible by all members. Kids using the service will be able to participate in real-time chat sessions with other subscribers.

‘What we’re offering in one package is the ability to author your own dynamic Web site,’ says Paul Nichola, head of new media at the ACTF. ‘You can create your own audiovisual, multimedia experience and send it to somebody or publish it to the [KAHooTZ] world.’

The CD-ROM that contains the tools for kids to create their messages will be free. Subscription to the service, which will enable kids to post their messages to other members and to receive messages, will cost AU$49.95 (approximately US$33) a year. The release will be supported by a media campaign in Australia that will include print, radio and television advertising.

‘We’ll be moving very quickly to repeat that campaign in the international areas, with the U.S. and the U.K. being top priorities,’ says Dr. Patricia Edgar, director of the ACTF.

The ACTF’s partners in the project include Hewlett Packard, which is creating the software and providing the server hardware, and Telstra, the Australian telecommunications company. Telstra will market the product in Australia and internationally. The Web site address for the service will be announced at the World Summit.

The seed for KAHooTZ was planted in 1995 when the ACTF was the recipient of government funds that were to be used specifically for multimedia projects.

‘What dawned on me was that the most powerful part of the Web is what it does in terms of people. It seemed to be about people reaching out,’ says Nichola. ‘If we could somehow create beacons in this noisy environment, if you could somehow identify another member of this thing that you were a part of, you would feel very connected.’

What’s unique about the service, Nichola believes, is that it will be entirely driven by the users.

‘We wanted to give the power back to the user and let them take charge of their involvement,’ he says. ‘Basically, [KAHooTZ] is a self-perpetuating community based on the participants putting their own into this. And whatever they put in, they’ll get back from others who are participating.’


.dMarch 1, 1998

.bAndrea Davis


.hCD-ROM Roundup

ï Name,

Publisher &


ï Barbie Cool Looks Fashion Designer

Mattel Media,

El Segundo, California

ï Platforms

ï Windows 95

ï Release Date

ï March

ï Storyline

ï Kids design their own clothes for Barbie and her friends, with over 80 different fabric patterns and over 35 colors to choose from. Completed outfits can then be modeled by Barbie and her friends in one of five settings, including the beach, the office and the mall.

ï Target Audience

ï 6 and up

ï Estimated Street Price

ï $44.99

ï Name, Publisher & Developer

Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell

Humongous Entertainment,

Woodinville, Washington

ï Release Date


ï Storyline

Kids help Freddi Fish and her pal Luther search for clues, explore ancient ruins, sing songs, play games and question an unusual cast of suspects in an effort to catch the thief and return the Great Conch Shell to its rightful home.

ï Platforms

Windows 95,

Windows 3.1, Macintosh

ï Target Audience

3 to 8

ï Estimated Street Price


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