Friday, August 03, 2007

Little Sister

Last month, in connection with coverage of WeeWorld here on Virtualpolitik, there were some interesting comments from readers, including the head of the Whyville site. So today's story in The Washington Post, "Playground Networking, Now Online," about the acquisition of Club Penguin by the Disney corporation seems to indicate that media conglomerates are realizing the value of pitching Web 2.0 products to younger audiences. Of course, despite its corporate sponsorships, Whyville is very different, because it aims to encourage scientific thinking and civic action and has never gotten too far from its CalTech pedigree.

The Club Penguin story has also been a top item with news feeds like KidScreen that cover the Zeitgeist of the pre-pubescent consumer. With 700,000 subscribers who pay a monthly fee, this social networking site for the young seems to guarantee a direct revenue stream while also potentially being a rich mine for marketing data. I found the Parents Guide at Club Penguin to be an odd series of documents that didn't really explain the factors that are causing children to desire online communities.

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