Two Trillion Reasons Why KIDO’Z Will Succeed

Phil Butler joins the SitePoint blogging team, reporting on the newest beta web applications.

kidozlogoCan the children’s browser KIDO’Z help moms and dads ensure safe surfing for their children? Or perhaps more importantly, from a development standpoint, can narrowly focused niche tools effectively provide the greatest value to Web consumers? In my opinion, the answer is yes, and here’s why.

For those of us working on the Web, the last three years, to a degree, have been about niche development and marketing—targeted ads and a whole range of innovations that have sought to engage the Web audience. From geeks to geezers, marketers and site owners have endeavored to garner page views, and ultimately customers, with a seemingly endless array of widgets, tools, ploys, wowing technology and out and out circus wizardry. But somehow, the most important and profitable niche in the world has been largely overlooked.

Mommy, Can I?

Kids are without a doubt the holy grail of a monetized Web, yet no one has grabbed a substantial market share of this estimated 2.1 trillion dollar market (US only). This fact begs the question; “What kind of application or service could grab the widespread attention of children, and keep it?” According to every expert resource there is, Moms make the spending decisions for most families, and a child’s “want” craving is a powerful parental stimulus. In a (*.pdf) study performed by the Marketing to Moms Coalition in 2007, the top 5 priorities for the Mom spending group are:

  1. Her relationship with her children
  2. Quality of education and teachers
  3. Safety –- in the physical and digital world
  4. Drug and alcohol use prevention
  5. Healthy eating and exercise

Sure, there are sites for kids all over the Web, but none that provide a hub—none so notable that we think of them in the every day—and least of all a kids browser. Until now, that is. Enter KIDO’Z, a kids-only web browser, written in Adobe AIR by a Tel Aviv-based startup. If there was ever a marketing “no brainer”, at least in my view, then engaging kids and families would be it.

A Tiny Surf Board

Of over 500 beta tests I have been involved with in the last three years, KIDO’Z is without a doubt the simplest and easiest concept to convey to others. Google taught us that minimalist was in vogue, and simplicity and discoverability are the beta tester’s dogma for description. The KIDO’Z browser can easily be outlined thus:

  • UI -– simple, elegant and flawlessly usable for the user (that would be the child)
  • Discoverability -– A child could do it (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
  • Navigation –- One slight flaw, in that navigating back to “Home” has only one button
  • Aesthetics –- Beautiful and sweet, as any kid’s tool should be
  • User Experience -– Pointing and clicking to find cool and educational stuff is fun
  • User Value -– Only the highest quality content sites, though currently limited in number.
  • Safety and Security –- Nothing exists in the KIDO’Z matrix of browser sites that is not child-safe

As the screenshots below indicate, less is definitely more in the case of the KIDO’Z browser. No typing is necessary at all, and kids can simply click through to appropriate games, websites, or videos supplied by some of the best children’s destinations in the world.

KIDO'Z browser simple interface

KIDO'Z browser simple interface

A Familiar Friend Via KIDO'Z

A Familiar Friend Via KIDO'Z

As an added bonus feature, the KIDO’Z browser also functions as a suggestive search engine. So “the little surf board that could” may well be the paradigm shift catalyst for suggestion engine relevance superiority. I know for certain that the team behind Microsoft’s Powerset (and no doubt the Google folks, too) are addressing the very nature of reorganizing search, but that is a subject for another study.

Conclusion

KIDO’Z is safe, period. Users cannot venture outside the KIDO’Z environment. One aspect that may need to be addressed though, is the capacity for parents to block sites that they do not want their kids to visit out of sheer preference. Aside from this nice-to-have feature, the KIDO’Z crew are focused on tweaking their browser based on user feedback, and adding features such as allowing users to add more sites to the whitelist.

Ironically, I’ve been talking with notable web developers of late about the value of niche tools like KIDO’Z. These “web innovators” all agree that kid browsers and search engines are viable and needed tools, but beyond their simple interest and curiosity, they can’t see much value in the concept. With everyone on the planet looking for a “Google Killer”, how can hundreds of millions of potential users and trillions of dollars not be appealing to the world’s greatest innovators—let alone investors?

Perhaps KIDO’Z and similar ideas are just too simple?

Teaching via cool video friends like Dancing Dog

Teaching via cool video friends like Dancing Dog

Free book: Jump Start HTML5 Basics

Grab a free copy of one our latest ebooks! Packed with hints and tips on HTML5's most powerful new features.

  • rtcrooks

    Very interesting article. It definitely makes one wonder why this market has not had more attention paid to it in the past.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Ross,

      Yes, I have always been curious about this niche. It seems that companies use various strategies to market to them, and there are any number of developments targeting them, but somehow no one has create a good portal for families. KIDO’Z may not be the end all browser yet, but with some help it could be refined into a very interesting and profitable tool.

      Always, Phil

  • Kristen Nicole

    Great points Phil. It’s safe, which makes parents feel better, and it’s monetizable on various levels. I think it’s just as important that this also teaches kids HOW to use the web–something that wasn’t available when I was a kid, due to lack of understanding and a non-established, non-standardized use of the web.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Great points Kristen. Especially about standardization. We all have similar methodologies for sure, but guaging effectiveness base on our own ideas and experience is not exactly a fool proff method to get the most out of our Web experience. For all we know, we each waste a hundred hours doing things that might take us 20. KIDO’Z is a good place for children to start, but more importantly, the relevance and on target effectiveness children derive may be what we all need in our computing and Web endeavors.

      Always,

      Phil

  • Michael

    I let my kids use the Kidzui product, which is eerily similar to Kido’z. Even the 2 year old can work the interface and figure out what he wants to do. I will also give them this Kido’z option to see which is preferred. Thanks for the article.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Thanks Michael,

      What a great idea! I actually was not familiar with Kidzui, but I will check it out now. So you know, I have been talking to several of the browser developers about kids versions for a while now. Flock was the most interested, but the others really seem to fail to see the value. This seems rather strange, but perhaps they are concerned with development time and etc?

      Please get back to me on your evaluation, I would find that most interesting. I think I will have my youngest test them too.

      Always,

      Phil

  • Biju

    Kids are very clever,… they would surely go with IE or Mozilla. Its impossible to stop something

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Yes Biju,

      They do tend to gravitate quickly to more and more advanced things. I think we are talking about monitored surfing here tho, even though my friend’s 4 year old uses FF and is a top Stumbler too. :) Just kidding. You have a point, and this is one reason I have been discussing this with developers. For their own good and the sake of the kids too. Thanks for your candid input really.

      Always,
      Phil

  • waynejbyrne

    Hi Phil,

    Great to see you posting here on sitepoint.

    I totally agree with you and with Kidoz I have an 8 year old little brother and I wouldn’t want him using the regular internet as yet, also to be honest he’d get bored stupid looking at google.com as a start page.

    To be honest I’m starting to wonder if a browser for adults couldn’t be setup like this ;) Cause I know some people who need it.

    Wayne Byrne
    CEO
    Iceberg

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Wayne,

      Coming from a top notch developer in his own right, this is true. I sometimes need a browser with just WP and google IM on it. Engaging kids is crucial for many reasons. I like the way KIDO’Z has done this. A guess an added bonus for them is that it probably has not broken the bank development wise either. I also like the content providers they chose and appear to be affiliated with. A key I have discussed with some major toy brands in my own vision.

      Thanks for the input Wayne – best of 2009 for Iceberg too :)
      Phil

  • http://www.mockriot.com/ Josh Catone

    Phil, how do you think Kidoz compares to Glubble, which started out as a browser plugin that turns Firefox into a locked-down, parentally controlled, kid-friendly browser, but has evolved to include a full, online family-centric social hub as well?

    I initially wrote about Glubble a year and a half ago on RWW: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/glubble_parental_control_firefox_addon.php

    And it was updated last September to include family networking stuff and a redesigned UI. I feel that it might be geared toward old kids than Kidoz, but the full family emphasis is interesting.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Good point Josh,

      I actually remember reading your article at RWW. You are right that Glubble has some nice family aspects. I guess the differences are: as you said – age specific and also the fact that KIDO’Z is actually a full (simplistic) function download able browser. I think the best bet for the KIDO”Z development along these lines is to emulate the good things about Glubble in latter developmental stages.

      Another good point to be derived from your insight is that browsers in general have the capacity to do a great deal. I suggested some rather cutting edge stuff to one of the CEO’s the other day, which of course he took under advisement. The real point of this article was to suggest the niche, beg the question??? and obviously appraise our readers of a cool little development.

      Thanks for lending your expert prodding Josh too, I should have suggested similar innovation for comparative :) I was just excited that someone or some are finally engaging things the right way.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Ben Yoskovitz

    It’s an interesting idea, but challenging to scale. And when kids watch their parents on Google (or other search engines) and cruising the broader Web, I think it becomes hard to narrow their focus too far.

    Still something I may try when my kids are a touch older!

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Ben,

      You guys are making the right point on the con side. Keeping kids targeted will require something beyond other browsers at some age and point. I think the thing here is that we are seeing some of the first real attempts to truly cater to this group. A good point though, very. If I were 7 or 8 and my Mom was on YouTube watching Nickelback music video or something, she would be hard pressed to keep me from downloading FF or other. So, the key for these companies will be innovation and continued engagement to a degree.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Kidzui Fans

    Interesting article though as a mum I find the whole idea of marketing aimed at kids objectionable “Kids are without a doubt the holy grail of a monetized Web”.

    We discovered Kidzui last year and it’s excellent, they can even email their friends in safety, although will try this one.

    Why are there no REAL kids laptops??? Packed with kid-only stuff.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Kidzui,

      I actually could not agree with you more on the marketing aspects. I stated the truism this way as a matter of fact. The surprise is that even the most dastardly salesmen should have engaged this segment long ago. I just talked to a top company Brio http://brio.knex.com/, which makes the world’s finest wooden toys. In approached them to ask about possible sponsorship of a kids search entity I am working on with (unnamed) search company. The gist of our conversation headed in the direction you are concerned about. In effect Brio never markets to children. Instead, they approach parent with great products. In summary, my feelings on current marketing and advertising are fairly well known.

      This conversation is fuel for another discourse and article really (coming soon), but for the sake of this concern, I am determined to help a new model of marketing succeed where people (and yes even kids) are only approached with A- the very best and most valuable products they need and want and B – approached in the least obtrusive and most desirable ways. This being said, I am sorry this sounded like an advocation of Spamming kids, this is as far from my philosophy as the next galaxy I assure you.

      Thanks Always,
      Phil

  • BuzzDiggity

    Seems like a thoughtful analysis. It’s good to see companies that are on a path to thrive in the coming months, rather than the doom and gloom stories we’re now so accustomed to reading. Well done, Phil.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Thanks Buzz,

      I am with you. I predict gloom and doom alot, even to some of our clients in the consulting realm lol. Like you, I have always been about the positives and possibility. This was the exciting thing about the Web 2.0 dogma. As Josh Catone pointed out in an earlieer post here tho, 2.0 may just be a tag. The ideas and dreams were and are real tho. This little browser that could is nice. Reminiscent of startups with possibility and not so much about lifestreamning and mobility either. Thanks for the nice comment and insight.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Joey

    Well if anyone knows start ups it’s Phil. I am really glad you are writing on this niche. I love the vastness and variety on the internet but that isn’t appropriate for kids. Phil you are right on point, this is a niche that is huge and never goes away and I think there is also a social responsibility to create browsers like Kido’z and Kidzui.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Joey,

      Thanks for the overstated compliment, but I will take all I can get :) We agree on all points. Kids are a special case obviously and I cannot tell you how many arguments I have been in over this. I hope we can move this Web thing right along and make it all it could be. I don’t mean lifestreaming for infants either lol.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Dan Kaplan

    Phil,

    This is great stuff. The monster challenge, of course, is distribution, but your article makes a convincing case for the utility of something like KIDO’Z.

    In my mind, however, the future may be covered in Chrome. Not being a coder, I don’t know how much room there is for highly dynamic interface manipulation in Chrome’s code, but it’s open source and has Google’s distribution mechanisms behind it.

    This is not to say that Google has figured out a good way to deploy its reach to promote its new browser, but if your assessment that user-specific niche browsers have a future is accurate (and why not?), I’d envision it emerging on a core platform with a wide range of implementations that are relatively easy to distribute.

    Them’s my thoughts.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Thanks Dan, Your inte4rest in Chrome is valid, as well as some of the other browsers out there. I am beginning to think that we have all underestimated the potential of browsers in the first place. As you can see with this simple KIDO’Z one, a person, in this case a child, can fairly effectively do what they need to and want to do without too much complexity.

      I tend to think of some of our innovations as over engineered toys. FF or IE have so many functions I never use, and they do not have some I would use. Browsers are and have always been (well at least for a decade) our conduit to the Internet. Many think Google is, or search, but in fact these interesting tools have yet to see their most innovative and efficient skin. Thanks for your insight Dan, and I too am interested in seeing where this browser rabbit hole goes.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Anonymous

    I believe that KIDO’Z is an excellent idea, Phil. The Christian networks have created a browser for their kids and I think the idea is well overdue for kids whether or not they have any religious affiliation with any denomination. ( It’s my belief that children should decide for themselves on the religious belief thing without being forced by overbearing parents.)

    It’s also my philosophy to have children remain innocent until they absolutely have to grow up.

    Thanks, Big Guy!

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      I am with you Anony. Being from the good ole days myself. I know for a certainty that we lost a great deal along the way to what many term freedom. It is a tough balance, but somehow we need to endeavor to be more precise in our life journey. KIDO’Z may not be the answer, but it is a darn site better than most.

      Always,

      Phil

  • Maggie

    Phil,

    KIDO’Z sounds like a great idea. Also, great to see more and more companies trying to address internet security for our children. They should produce a good video and submit to Teachertube – educators / schools who have tight security filtering would appreciate their offering!

  • Lisa

    I love this idea. I have a five year old and this is exactly what she needs. With a normal browser, she tends to not end up where she wants to be. Plus, she can’t read or write, so she can’t just type a URL in. Having a picture would work great for us.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      @Maggie and Lisa, Thanks for your feedback. KIDO’Z is a user friendly liitle tool, which I should not have to remind anyone, is still in early development. As for pre k and early school adaptation Maggie, it is nearly perfect already for some lessons. Again, thanks for taking the time to give input to yet another cool development team and the readers here.

      Always,
      Phil

  • http://MeitarMoscovitz.com/ Meitar

    Sounds interesting but at the same time sounds wwwaaaaayyyy too limited for anyone over the age of, say, 6. In my (probably less than completely) humble opinion on this topic, the single biggest problem in productizing things for children is that adults underestimate a child’s intelligence, curiosity, and emotional maturity. And on those levels, I’m sorry, but a walled garden as a browser is no better—and quite possibly a lot worse—than a walled garden as a web site.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Andrew, Meitar and Max,

      As Gai said, “You have raised the right questions.” The balance between safety and absolute curtailment of creativity and experiential existence is a razor’s edge as is usually the case. We cannot all like the same things obvously, and our ideas about these issues will vary. The point here is sort of indicated for me by something Meitar said about a Walled Garden. Let’s examine perhaps whether or not a parent should want their kid’s learning garden to be walled or not.

      Think of the Internet as a school house (which is what it was supposed to be in the first place BTW). This little imaginary school house sits smack dab in the middle of New York City. Obviously, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a bus ride around the corner, and a world of enriching stimuli are a stone’s throw from the little school. However, there are dar elements all around these wonderful things for our kids to discover. Do you want a wall or fence around the school house, or just an open parking lot?

      Let’s take this little parable to the next level. As far as walls are concerned, we can say that Google safe search is effectively a worn out chain link fence around a school that employs gang bangers and pushers as faculty and staff (I know someone is laughing). Firefox is effectively the same, as are any other browser you can mention except the gang bangers are replaced with equally unsavory characters within the school’s grounds. Face it, our job as parents is to guide and protect to a degree. There have to be walls, it is what is within the school we have to effect and monitor in this walled approach.

      Perhaps the greatest argument for a walled approach in this case, is the fact that the browser is a choice. If a parent wants a fully free and existential, experiential approach to their child’s education and online experience, they can hook them up with FF and a 24 inch monitor and see what happens. KIDO’Z is simply a choice for parents. I happen to think it is a good one. I let my kids experience things so that they will become adept and etc. I do not underestimate their creativity or intelligence, on the contrary, I understand it fully (after all I was a kid a million years ago). I think sometimes we feel limited, curtailed, dictated to or otherwise “limited” so much by society that we want freedoms for our kids that they may not need.

      Without going into a discourse about child development, suffice it to reiterate that choices are what the Web and the real world are about. KIDO’Z versus whatever is just choosing one schema over another. Brands or no brands, even within a protected environment, there are still the choices to be made. Child safety and enrichment is paramount, and I think KIDO’Z early development has addressed this a lot better than anyone else so far. Our kids may in deed need to be raised like the Spartans in order to deal with the ever maddening world they will face. But for many, control over the learning and rearing experiment is necessary, heck even for the Spartans. In that controlled experiment, I think they would have hung Mickey Mouse and yelled; “This is Sparta Mouse!” as they kicked the cute little rat into the pit. As you can see, yet another choice from within a particular mindset.

      Thanks so much you guys. This is an interesting conversation, and one that needs to be. The end result can only be a set of answers toward better ways to approach these issues.

      Always,
      Phil

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/articlelist/487/ Andrew Tetlaw

    I agree with @Meitar and this “The KIDO’Z Browser allows the kids to watch only approved content” sounds just like what it is: lets teach the little ones how to be the passive brand consumers we want them to grow up to be.

    The web isn’t television, and it isn’t passively consumed, and it isn’t about brands. The web is about communication, interaction, creation, and sharing between people.

    The whole -we gotta keep the kids safe by limiting them to safe corporate brands like disney- annoys the heck out of me.

  • http://MeitarMoscovitz.com/ Meitar

    @Andrew: And building on your point:

    The web isn’t television, and it isn’t passively consumed, and it isn’t about brands. The web is about communication, interaction, creation, and sharing between people.

    The whole -we gotta keep the kids safe by limiting them to safe corporate brands like disney- annoys the heck out of me.

    it strikes me as strange that limiting what kids can do on the Web is seen as “making them safer” when in fact what it’s doing is “keeping them ignorant.” I’d be much more intrigued by this product, and all the others like it, if rather than clamp down on the possibilities of communication, interaction and so on that the Web provides, they would actually further enable such interaction paradigms.

    Where are all the electronic children’s products that enable children to interact with other children in meaningful, age-appropriate ways? And why are we (as adults) so afraid of making this happen?

    There are naturally perhaps some threads of the above more suitable for a different discussion, so I’ll let that piece rest at this comment. However, I’d be very curious to hear about innovative Web-enabled products that help children do more instead of less. When there’s something that can do that well its success will have hugely powerful lessons about user experience—and probably technology as a whole—for everyone, not just children’s products.

  • http://www.historycommons.org/ Black Max

    Kids are very clever,… they would surely go with IE or Mozilla. Its impossible to stop something

    Especially for younger kids, it’s all about familiarity. Kid’z seems very easy for them to figure out and use, and that’s going to count for a lot. Once they get going on it and establish a comfort zone, they’ll continue to use it, I would imagine well into elementary school (when they get to use the big kids’ browsers at school and decide Kid’z is for kids). Naturally, this won’t apply to all kids.

    The whole -we gotta keep the kids safe by limiting them to safe corporate brands like disney- annoys the heck out of me.

    Man, I’m glad to see someone else say this besides me. Disney’s big corporate rat is the last source of “good clean fun” I’d want to have funneling its “ethics” and mindsets into my kids. Half of what’s wrong with 1st-world kids — functional ADHD, outsized expectations with no concept of work or study to bring those expectations to fruition, rampant materialism and brand consciousness, subliminal but powerful xenophobia — comes from purveyors like Disney. I’m assuming Kid’z is configurable, so I can block the big fat rat and other such purveyors of “consumer porn,” and steer my kids to sites I find respectable and truly kid-safe.

  • Gai – KIDO’Z

    Hi All

    My name is Gai and I am one of the Founders and the CEO of KIDO’Z

    First of all I would like to thank you Phil for the great article and for creating this stage for the interesting conversation that is taking place.

    @Meitar, @Andrew
    You are raising a good point and I actually totally agree with you,

    Our challenge is to create a tool that lets the kids use the power of the internet but that also keeps them safe at all times.

    Not an easy task when you deal with wide range of ages and when you take into consideration that each parent has his own definition for “what is safe”.

    We believe that we cracked this nut. We released by now only part of our full vision, we had to start somewhere and we happy from the great feedback we are getting so far.

    In the coming weeks we will keep releasing new features that we believe will make KIDO’Z even more exciting then now

    Thanks

    Gai

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/articlelist/537/ Meitar

    @Phil:

    Well, as important as this conversation really is, I’m still somewhat hesitant to bring it too off-topic in the comments on this blog post as I mentioned earlier. Therefore, instead of responding in depth to your well thought out comment above, let me just say that this:

    we want freedoms for our kids that they may not need.

    is a very slippery slope, not only for the obvious reasons but also for the gray areas in the way an entity may define “kids.” (And by “en entity,” I mean both different people as well as different institutions such as governments, schools, and so forth.)

    So with that being my only response here, I’d love to discuss this sort of thing with you further in whatever other forum may be more appropriate for it—if this one truly isn’t.

    Also, as a fellow SitePoint blogger, allow me to wish you a belated welcome! Especially after all this, I am definitely looking forward to more interesting posts by you here. ;) Hope you’ve had a happy Holiday break, if you were inclined to celebrate such things this time of the year.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      @ Meitar,

      Thanks so much! You are completely correct ouf course, in that we are talking about a little startup here and not an International mandate to reorganize Web content. I, of course, do not advocate dictating these choices so much as actually providing even more choice really. I appreciate so much all these intuitive comments and I am actually thrilled to be involved with Sitepoint, as it is, by far, the finest destination nof its type obviously. I think we are all really about the same mission, to enrich the experience of this wonderful tool we call the Web. As for “freedoms needed or otherwise”, this is certainly the rub that confronts us always.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Lars Teigen

    I think there is a place for such applications, but I don’t think we should evaluate them on the basis of being a replacement for the real browsers.

    Walled garden applications like this will never be the main browser for accessing the web. But, like Phil says, it is a matter of having the option, and the freedom to choose this approach for kid friendly browsing/internet accessing when it is deemed appropriate or just a preferred web experience.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      @ Lars and Roosevelt,

      I think this is what our mission as developers, users and residents is, instituting choices for the myriad of people out there. In the end, the ones of the most value, or the ones most needed for niches will be adopted. The voting is set in motion as soon as we put the startup candidate on the poll.

      Always,
      Phil

  • roosevelt

    Wow, kidoz does show a lot of potential. I really hope they market it well!

  • http://www.sitepoint.com/articlelist/487/ Andrew Tetlaw

    @Gai,
    Yes, frankly, it sounds like an impossible task. After all with more and more social interactivity available on the internet it’s controlling the situation to ensure safety sounds like trying to hold back the tides. I’m interested to know what age groups you are targeting and about your approval process for included sites. Will the details be transparent?

  • Luce

    What a brilliant idea!

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Luce, I am liking it more and more with the external feedback coming this way. Without jumping off a cliff, it is a good start for a little startup.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Jawad Shuaib

    Great points Phil!

    * UI -– simple, elegant and flawlessly usable for the user (that would be the child)
    * Discoverability -– A child could do it (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
    * Navigation –- One slight flaw, in that navigating back to “Home” has only one button
    * Aesthetics –- Beautiful and sweet, as any kid’s tool should be
    * User Experience -– Pointing and clicking to find cool and educational stuff is fun
    * User Value -– Only the highest quality content sites, though currently limited in number.
    * Safety and Security –- Nothing exists in the KIDO’Z matrix of browser sites that is not child-safe

    As Phil pointed out, usability and providing engaging content to children is key to success in this market. As a developer, I am also intrigued by their use of Adobe Air. There are many people speculating the end of “Web 2.0″, but as you’ve made it clear, there are several markets on the web that remain to be tapped. thanks for the article Phil!

    - Jawad Shuaib
    http://jawadonweb.com

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Jawad, Thanks for your input too. As you say, I do not think we are done with the business left undone from the Web’s last version (if there ever was such a thing). I started to tag this article, “Is There A Web 5.0 App Out There?”, or somethgn to that effect. Air is rather interesting, and I would love to hear what people have to say about that as a way for some of these startups to go.

      Thanks my old friend,

      Phil

  • Anonymous

    mmmmm for some reason i think the kids will want to use what their parents use,it’s o.k for say upto a 9/10 year old then after that forget it because they think they are growing up and will want to use IE or Firefox…….

  • Roebot

    Initially I was very skeptical gang. It reminded me of AOL’s “private” Interwebs. But after I installed, launched the app, browsed about for a bit I liked the idea for my three year old daughter. Thanks for the write up Phil. Thorough as always.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      It is my pleasure Roebot, This is the best there is as far as blogging, showing nice people cool or helpful stuff. :) Cheers.

      Always,
      Phil

  • khris

    hi phil,

    this is great news for parents. as the father of four children i am responsible for
    their safety on the internet. this is they type of solution that makes my life easier
    and takes away some of the stress associated with this responsibility.

    thanks for the post!

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Thanks for your comment Khris. Coming from a visionary of the open Web, this is a testimony to the simple idea that kids need tools directed at them. Responsability is about making good choices in the end, and though we do not all agree on open or closed systems, it is evident that there is a place for both ideals dependent on appropriateness. Thanks so much for taking the time to add input Khris.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Gai – KIDO’Z

    @Andrew

    We expect that mostly 3 to 7 years old kids will use it although we already see a trend of parents using KIDO’Z with even younger kids as a first internet experience and we know about older kids that use it as well.

    Regarding the content approval, at the end of the day the parent will have the ability to decide what content his kid will be exposed to.

    Thanks

    Gai

  • http://www.kavoir.com yangyang

    Well, the first thought that came into my mind after learning about kidoz is that how come never had anyone else thought about making one before? It’s so obvious yet so innovative!

    Just lovin’ it! I think I’m gonna download and give it a try!

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Thanks Yang,

      I am glad so many people are interested. Simple things are sometimes the best. Though we tend to focus on what appears complicated, look at all the most popular applications. From Twitter to Facebook and beyond that, nearly none of the most accepted things are rocket science. AND, it is fun to play with KIDO’Z, even if you are not 5.

      Always,
      Phil

  • rgilles

    Well, my experience with the software is not so good right now. Last night I rushed home, after reading the first post about Kidoz, to install and check it out. I have 2 young children myself, so I was excited to tell my wife about it and give it whirl. To my disappointment, it crashed my computer instantly. Thankfully, I’m an IT professional and was able to fix my boot.ini configuration to bring my pc back, but I can imagine a disaster it would be for the many out there who relies on help support when their pc crashes. I posted a message on twitter for the developpers and let me tell you, they were on it. I got a message timestamped 2:00am offering to help me. When was the last time you got a message from microsoft or mozilla for that matter after a crash caused by their browsers? For that I’m very impressed. At this present time, I have not communicate with them, but did send a message accepting their offer to help. I’ll return with my findings.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      RG, This is so good. Thanks for taking the time to relate to everyone. I myself had no problems at all, but understand conflict are inevitable for betas (you should have been me when I loaded Joost the first time). As for response and reaction, I did not mention it, but 2 hours after this post came out, the CEO wrote me perhaps the nicest mail from a developer I ever got initially. I include a little paste from that mail, which I am sure they will not mind.

      “Thank you so much for sharing your positivity, enthusiasm and belief about KIDO’Z

      In this great article, I actually don’t even know how to begin to explain to you

      how much energy and power your feedback gives.”

      It has always been my contention that the greatest startups are about the people behind them, they are in fact, a reflection of the human beings working on the vision. Money cannot buy this. As you say, Microsoft and others may heve never been so genuine. I look forward to your feedback RG. i hope the KIDO’Z crew addresses any conflicts as well.

      Always,
      Phil

  • rgilles

    I agree with you Phil and thanks for commenting back on my post. I’m still trying my hardest to use the browser. My two little ones (6 year old boy and 7 year old girl) are anxious as well and I can hear them hours later: “Are you done yet with the computer daddy?”. ” Can we try it? ” – I must tell you, the developpers reached out to me pretty quickly and that to me is priceless. I see huge potential and a big future for Kidoz in our homes. I’ll continue to post my experience here and hope it will help others and perhaps, they too will share their feedback.

  • Sueblimely

    What a time saver this would have been for me when the kids were young. Keen on them becoming used to the computer from an early age, I would create and update a pc based “portal” page for them with links to sites they enjoyed. This sufficed until they were able to surf themselves. I still do this for my 18 year old who has a disability and, although I have to be careful of safety and him visiting only appropriate sites, this helps to channel him to places of interest. I installed and had a look round Kido’z and although most of the sites are too young for him now, I can see how valuable it would be for younger ones.

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Thanks RG and thank you for sharing too Sue. We surely need more tools directed at place where there is a need. Well, I mean, so many are target where there is a WANT. innovation of any kind for the scientist in us is cool, but it is rewarding when a little something special comes along. I am sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that any of us can do without a cell phone, but none can deny kids tools that will enhance their lives even a little. I hope that the CEO of KIDO’Z is checking these comments, as I expect they will be heartened by yours especially.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Slackr

    As a dad of a 2, 4 and 6 year old I’ve watched the development of my 6 year old with interest. He’s very tech savvy, so much so that it does shock me sometimes. We have our computer in the lounge and are careful to monitor what it is that the kids are doing. Luckily at the moment they aren’t interested in anything outside of what they go searching for eg Ben10, transformers, barbie etc. From the looks of the software my kids would all benefit from it. I’ll install tonight and let you know my thoughts on the software.

    I like the concept, and would like to see something like this succeed but imagine that it is most useful for younger kids. Ultimately I know and want my children to develop a healthy sense of themselves offline (my responsibility) – because that behaviour is what they take with them when they go online. Just as they have to navigate dangers in the offline world at school, in play and the community, I want them to be able to do the same online. At some stage the walls need to be turned into fences, but there is a place for both and ultimately it is the parent beside them as they walk through this world that makes challenges ‘safe’ until they’re ready to tackle them alone.

    I quote from WSJ online: “There is no simple technology solution to protect children from bullying, pornography, sexual predation and other online threats, a new study says.” This was a major study not a little one and underscores the complexity of the issues in this area. I wish these guys all the success in the world at creating a product that helps parents address some of these issues.

    On a side note their website could use a little tweaking (grammar, navigation, content) to better inform and also build confidence in educated parents who when visitng their website might think “hmmm if they can’t spell on their own website, what are they showing my kids…”

  • Gai – KIDO’Z

    Thanks @Slackr for your comment and for the link, it is interesting article. Your comment regarding our site also been noted, we already working on it.

    I am overwhelmed from the quantity and the quality of the comments here

    The fact that different parent have different ways and beliefs is obvious,
    one of our main goals when planning KIDO’Z was to create a platform that will be flexible enough
    to support those different approaches of parents. You will be see that in action
    on our new version that will be ready in 2 weeks.

    Thanks again eveybody

    Gai

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      This is a great conversation. obviously, this is how great developments get to be even greater. There is no simple solution at least in the initial stages. I guess there may be no “all in one ” solution for the majority of issues, but it is significant I think, that KIDO’Z has provided an incremental solution for a segment. Hopefully this can be refined and replicated for other segments. Maybe the Web is better off compartmentalized to some degree? Great thought provoking ideas coming out.

      Always,
      Phil

  • Kimbal

    Hey Phil.

    This is a great idea. I checked out the browser and I’ll try it with my kids. Our biggest problem with open browsing is the ads. Our kids just click wherever they want to advertisements that we’re not excited about. I’m curious to see how this browser manages it.

    btw, not sure if it’s a Mac issue, but I could not get the browser to connect to websites. I’ll check it out again in a few weeks but let the Kidoz folks know.

    K

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Thanks Kimbal, high praise from the man who’s team created me.dium and oneriot. I am sure the CEO of KIDO’Z Gai will respond to your difficulty issues. I know that the browser does not have external url surf capability as I tested it. I hope the kids like it my friend.
      Always,
      Phil

    • http://www.pamil-visions.com Phil Butler

      Hi Kimbal! Great praise from the man who’s team created me.dium and oneriot. I know Gai will come back and address the issue you speak of. I note that external url surfing is impossible on the version I tested. I hope the kids enjoy it my friend, and from what I know, Gai and his team have great things in store for kids all over. Cheers!

      Always,
      Phil

  • Gai – KIDO’Z

    Hi Kimbal, Thank you for the feedback

    Regarding your issue, it is not a Mac issue KIDO’Z has been tested on Mac. We do have some minor UI behavior issues on Mac that we we working on with the guys from Adobe but it is nothing that make things not work. please send your email to support@kidoz.net and we’ll help you solving that problem.

    Regarding advertisements, as Phil said the KIDO’Z browser blocks all clicks on banners, pop-ups and links that directing the kids to unapproved sites !

    Thanks

    Gai