At BlogHer Business 07 in New York I met many interesting people. One of them was Anastasia Goodstein, author of the book "Totally Wired: What Teens and Tweens are Really Doing Online". She told me that she will be in Burlingame, CA on Monday, April 16 (7pm) at Books Inc. for a book signing (ABC7news coverage) . The event is sponsored by Girls for a Change - a Silicon Valley mentoring program. When I looked at the site, I realized that I had seen two of the girls from that organization speak (yes speak) at a BlogHer 06 session. They were so composed and knowledgeable - the program must be working.
I thought it would be interesting to ask Anastasia Goodstein a few questions about her book. Listed below are the Q&A questions with their answers. We are also having a book give-away, so please visit the post on the Silicon Valley Moms Blog for information on how you can win a copy of the book.
Interview with Anastasia Goodstein, author of TOTALLY WIRED
1. How is the Internet effecting the social rituals of tweens? What are they doing on the internet?
Tweens are just beginning to really use the internet to socialize with peers. They're still very much into playing games online or on CD-ROM. Depending on how strict parents are, many tweens can begin to use instant messenger and chat with friends online. I've definitely heard from middle school teachers that 10-13 year olds are on MySpace -- they're just lying about their ages. But there are also a new crop of virtual worlds popping up for tweens that are marketing themselves as a safer alternative to MySpace, which is 14 and up. These include Imbee.com, Club Penguin, Whyville, Nicktropolis and several virtual fashion sites like Girlsense and Gaiaonline. Zoey's Room is also a great non-profit site for tween girls that's both fun and educational. The challenge is that most commercial sites don't really have a full proof way to keep out adults who may want to sneak in -- that said, the fact that they are marketing themselves as sites for kids and tweens, means they are working on it. I think tweens like these virtual world where they can earn/win virtual money, again it's the game-like quality that appeals to them. And girls love dressing up their avatars -- it's like virtual paper dolls!