The senior VP of Nickelodeon Online, Nick’s newly converged Internet company, says the move marks Nick’s focus on multimedia applications of its various Web sites, rather than just using them as vehicles to promote the TV brand. ‘What jumped out at us was that kids like to multitask,’ Swan says of a Viacom leisure study. ‘So with convergence, we saw it as something our audience is already doing.’
One of the first initiatives involved setting up a Web site for The Amanda Show (Amandaplease.com), and allowing kids to discover it on their own via characters on the kid Carol Burnett-like TV variety show referring to Amanda’s Web site in scripted dialogue. ‘We never told kids `go to the site,’ we just left it up to them to go look-it’s more subtle. And that’s a cool way to converge the two mediums,’ Swan says.
The new Internet company combines existing Nick sites at nick.com with links to nickjr.com, nick-at-nite.com, tvland.com, teachers.nick.com, gas.nick.com and the toy
e-commerce site redrocket.com. ‘We are trying to build a kids on-line community,’ Swan says. The newest initiative, MyNick, a component of Nick.com, launched in late October with a plethora of interactive goodies such as Clickamajigs (one-minute, original videos), Disco Chimp (an interactive character) and Obnoxor5000 (lives up to its name by grossing kids out). Another Web character lets kids create bad haircuts on-line.
Future plans include e-commerce along with the existing redrocket.com site, and Swan says Nick is exploring e-wallet options.
The nick.com site is also on top of the new Web privacy legislation, and will launch ‘an iron-clad parental verification registration’ to comply with the legislation that takes effect in April, and ramps up to more stringent regulations over the next two years when it comes to Internet sites gathering information from kids ages 13 and under. Swan says Nick will employ fax verification of parental consent since digital signatures as they now exist aren’t a secure enough method.
Before joining Nickelodeon Online, Swan was GM at Nickelodeon Latin America, where she launched the channel. Prior to that, she was senior VP of channel development at Nickelodeon International. She has been with Nick since 1993.