Everyone I know thought of it, but someone finally did it -- figured out a way to make a kid-friendly version of YouTube, that is. YouTube is great for entertaining kids with endless clips of kittens, puppies and the Aquabats. But as Evan has noted, on YouTube you always just a few clicks away from the porno. (Okay, not real porn, but I have seen a spanking fetish video come up as a recommended video after a nice little kittens-set-to-music clip with my own eyes.) Totlol is a site with parent-screened YouTube content that you can, in theory, let your kids safely watch. And the skin they apply to the video prevents any "suggestions" you might not agree with. So far, I am for it. I've let Emily roam around on the site while I was cooking and didn't feel the need to constantly peek over her shoulder. It's only just gone into beta so there are still some bugs to work out and features to rejigger*, but the biggest problem is the lack of screened content, simply because not enough people have joined up. So here is my call to arms -- parents! aunts! uncles! everyone! sign up and start adding cool content to Totlol and make it a fun place for all the little ones in our life to go to! (Missy, you know I'm talking to YOU!)
* My main peeve -- there needs to be a parent-managed kid account option so kids can create their own "favorites" list. Not only the the "add to favorite" link tiny and right next to the visually identical "add to blocked" link, you can only add favorites if you have an unlocked account -- which allows the user to access all of youtube (via scout mode), totally defeating the whole point of the site. But if you lock the account...then no adding to favorites. This irks me. And I really should probably drop them a note instead of complaining here, right?