Color me behind the times for not noticing this sooner, but while I was catching up on blogs yesterday I happened across a post about a new site for kid-friendly video surfing. The Totlol site is “a community-moderated video website designed to be enjoyed by those between the ages of 6 months and 6 years.”
What does that mean? It means that it’s kid-safe YouTube; the videos are all, in fact, from YouTube. This is just a community providing a kid-safe filter so that you don’t end up accidentally showing Junior something you’d rather he not see. And you needn’t worry that some all-knowing parental figure is making choices for you, either—Totlol works by polling and analyzing the responses of its members.
According to their About page, here’s how the process works:
1. When scouting parents search the YouTube database via a Totlol interface.
The scouting interface lets parents search and watch videos just as they used to do on YouTube.
When they find a video that they think is appropriate and relevant they can choose to submit it.
2. When submitting parents are asked to review the title and tags associated with the video and to provide a review of the content.
They are also asked to specify the main language of the video and categorize it.
This information, together with the original YouTube information is presented at screening.
3. The screening part of the process is where the community plays the most significant role.
Each Totlol user is invited to screen videos submitted by others and to answer screening questions. The answers are collected and analyzed by computer.
Only videos that pass the grade are then available for the viewing tots.
The end result is that you never have to worry that searching on The Wiggles brings up something other than your child’s favorite Aussie foursome, and you can let your computer-savvy little one surf with a bit less supervision and a lot less worry.
Ordinarily I’m unimpressed by what feel like arbitrary filters, but the community aspect of Totlol makes it a much more viable offering, I think. What’s not to like about a place where my kids can keep themselves amused for precious minutes while I do frivolous things like fix their lunch or sort their laundry? Exactly.