As a creatively-focused web nerd and as a parent of two young boys under the age of 2, I try to keep my family engaged with what is happening online, including interacting with, sharing and viewing of safe content. Having sat down to try and find this safe content with my boys a couple of times now, I can tell you it is not easy to locate. If you search long enough for YouTube content that is appropriate, it always returns search results with wonderful gems to share, but, they are usually sitting right next to something questionable - if not - down right offensive.
I was amazed to see how little has been done to help curate they sea of online video content in a way that makes it easy, interesting, and fun for parents and kids to experience together. Online video and simple interactivity can be a great source of entertainment and learning for the whole family. Someone just needs to care enough to make it so.
how it works
I will spend my free time sourcing, identifying and curating the safest, most educational (and most FUN) YouTube videos I can find. This ongoing list of videos will be served up in a simple little interactive package that I can sit down and play with my boys. I call this package “KideoPlayer.” e.
And since I’m doing this online (and the web is as social as social can be) you get the benefit of all my hard work. Yay!
how KideoPlayer is interactive
KideoPlayer is based on POKE’s UPL8.TV framework (@neonarcade’s brainchild) It allows for easy video surfing by using your keyboard (spacebar) to “skip” forward to the next interesting thing. UPL8 is also cool because you can search YouTube using the URL field. For example, entering http://upl8.tv/hamster+dance basically rolls your own rediculous hamster dance mash up channel. Pure poetry.
Ok, back to kids…
KideoPlayer works the same way. Only different. :) It seems that YouTube’s G-Rated filter has some flaws. You see, KideoPlayer can’t reliably search only “Safe” areas of YouTube right from the URL bar as some questionable content still sneaks through. As such, we’ve built in a work-around.
Typing http://kideoplayer.com/babyeinstein still executes a search. The only difference is that it searches “locally” — only sifting through the library of videos that I am curating. Neat huh? Just by typing that you’ve rolled your very own “Baby Einstein” channel. From there, you can keep using it like the regular KideoPlayer features, and use the spacebar to get to the next Baby Einstein video (in this case). Bear with us! As I tag more video from behind the scenes, these search queries will get more and more robust.
As parents, it is up to us to be informed about what and how our children play and to make appropriate choices on their behalf. Fortunately, there are many tools and resources that we as parents can utilize to be better parents in the information age. Perhaps someday, this will be one of them.e.
In the meantime, enjoy! Oh, and remember parents - watch with your kids and slap the spacebar for the next clip! e.
Tom and your friends at POKE
Read more on UPL8.tv here.
Submit videos you’d like to see on KideoPlayer here.
KidoPlayer is picking up steam! To read my original posting on KideoPlayer, click here.
Funny little tidbit: When I first picked out the name KidoePlayer, I did a Google Search for it and there was just about 1,000 returns for names similiar. Just today I searched for “kideoplayer” on Google and found near 11,000,000 mentions! This is fantastic!
To run the Google search and see the KideoPlayer mentions, click here.
Thanks everyone (friends, new friends and family) for helping get the word out. The mentions online and the traffic seem to be doubling every day. Please, if you love the site - give us some feedback. We’d love for it to keep growing.