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type aThis weekend, I attended Type-A Parent Bootcamp sponsored by Disney Parks at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Type A is a blogging-for-business conference that teaches bloggers how to work with brands, how to find new avenues of monetization, how to brand themselves, and more.
My KidzVuz co-founder, Rebecca Levey, and I gave a presentation on pitching brands for new business (rather than waiting for them to pitch you), called “From Pitch to Paycheck.” I certainly hope that attendees learned a lot from us about preparation, identifying targets, telling their story, organizing their efforts and more, since I know I learned a ton from the other presentations I saw and from the conference in general.

Here are my top five takeaways: (more…)

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Idina Menzel with Me and Rebecca Levey at the press conference announcing the contest!

Idina Menzel with Me and Rebecca Levey at the press conference announcing the contest!

Yesterday, I was at a press conferece with Idina Menzel.  Yep.  That’s me and her – right there with Rebecca Levey.

We were together to announce some special events at this year’s Kids Night on Broadway. And to ask this question: Is your kid Broadway’s biggest fan?

Because KidzVuz (my website for kids) and Kids Night on Broadway want to find Broadway’s biggest (kid) fan, and we’re having a contest to do just that.

I was a HUGE, theater geek.  I still am, actually.  But I never got a chance like this one:  KidzVuz and Kids Night on Broadway are giving away two family four packs of tickets to see a Broadway Show!  Amazing, right?  It’s the Broadway’s Biggest Fan contest – and it’s a contest for kids only (6-18) and it’s easy to enter.

But don’t take my word for it.  Here’s what the stars have to say about it.

What’s Kids Night on Broadway?  It’s an amazing, nationwide program where, when you buy a full price ticket to a Broadway or regional participating show, you get a ticket for a kid 6-18 – free.  Yep.  FREE!!!!

So get your kid on KidzVuz — and you and your whole family could be enjoying a Broadway Show as part of Kids Night on Broadway!

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My Stressed Teens


Being a teen is stressful.  There’s all that homework.  All that uncertainty about your social status.  At least  teens are sure of one thing: their parents know NOTHING, nothing at all.

Well,  CNN came to my apartment to talk to my family about stress.  I guess because, well, we’re stressed.  Between running a company and running a household, I’m pretty much a lunatic, and my kids have basketball, and dance, and NYC High School test prep and homework, and my husband – the job, aging parents, riding the subway every day, a dog who seems to throw up at least once a month…and always on the white carpet. We’re like the poster family for stress.

But when reporter Kelly Wallace started talking to my kids, and the cameras started to roll, they didn’t seem stressed at all.  My son and daughter were poised, and articulate, and lovely.  Maybe the cameras should be rolling around here more often.  Check them out, on CNN Parents. Teens: Generation Stressed

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Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

Facebook logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So last week, Facebook announced that it’s changed its rules about how it handles the accounts of 13-17 year olds.  Instead of only allowing those account-holders to share their posts and information with just their own friends, and friends of friends (as it has always been)  they will now be able to share with everyone (as twitter, instagram, etc already allow.)

The response has been pretty hysterical, with headlines like “Facebook  Teens Exposed to the Entire World.” in the UK.  And “Facebook loosens privacy restrictions for minors amid cyber bullying concerns” (is there a correlation? I don’t think so) on the ever hysterical Fox News.

As the co-founder of KidzVuz, a website for kids 7-13 that is COPPA compliant, and super serious about kids’ privacy, I’m going to surprise you:  I think the loosening of the restrictions will end up being a good thing.

But notice I’m saying it will END UP being a good thing.  In and of itself, exposing kids’ private information to the world at large is not so good.  (Though the default setting will still be to share with only friends and friends of friends; you’ll have to actively opt-in for public sharing)  Kids this age don’t have the best filter when it come to what and what not to share.  They’re teenagers, after all.  And yet I still maintain that ultimately, Facebook has done us all a favor.

Look, it’s not Facebook’s fault that the law is ridiculous.  It’s not Facebook’s fault that the FTC has decided that 13 year olds are able to agree to Terms of Use.  That they no longer need to be protected from behavioral tracking.  That they are allowed to post videos of themselves for the world to see.

I mean,  who decided 13 was the age when a kid becomes an adult?  Is everyone at the FTC an Orthodox Jew?  Are they down there in Washington thinking “Well, they’ve had their Bar Mitzvahs! They’re adults!”

The truth is, kids need to be protected well past the age of 13.  Cyberbullies. Online predators. Themselves.

My hope is that Facebook’s acknowledging that the law allows them to allow kids to put themselves at risk will wake people up.  And right now, when teens are leaving Facebook in droves for newer, hipper online climes, that acknowledgement will do less harm than it might have.  Maybe when a giant like Facebook takes full legal advantage of a ridiculous law, people will notice, and do something to change the law so that it protects kids better and longer than it does right now.

Maybe the next time I go to a Bar Mitzvah, I pray for that.

 

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So KidzVuz.com is videos by kids for kids.  It’s a place where we tell kids: Have Your Say! But sometimes, we grownups get a chance to say something ,too.  And last week, I got to put my TV producer hat back on for the first time in several years and write and produce a video about KidzVuz.  Of course – I still let the kids Have Their Say and show you what it’s all about!

Check it out!

 

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KidzVuzLogoVerticalSo it’s been nearly three years since we Rebecca Levey and I started working on KidzVuz, and nearly 18 months since we launched.

There’s a lot that surprises you when you start a website for kids.  Like the fact that it means you’ll be working nights and weekends pretty much from the day you launch.  Or the fact that having a tech start up isn’t all that different from having a baby.  It’s fun getting it started, it’s painful getting it launched, it burps and spits up a lot in the beginning, and then – hopefully – it goes out in the world on its own.  All grown up and ready for prime time.

But mostly, I learned a lot about and from the KidzVuz kids.  For example,  I had expected tons of videos about tech.  After all, a video review website for kids would naturally attract tech-savvy – even tech obsessed kids, right?  Wrong.  Our number one category is…(drum roll please) BOOKS!  Yep.  Kids, reading and talking about it. I love that. (more…)

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app splash Drum roll please!!!

Today we are officially announcing the launch of the KidzVuz app, the only video submission app designed especially for tweens.

I’m beyond excited.  Why?  So glad you asked! (more…)

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