SurfMonkey.com Launches Unique, 3D Interactive Chat Rooms for Kids
New Chat, Email & Bulletin Boards Let Kids Safely Build & Personalize Dynamic
Internet Showcase, PALM SPRINGS, Calif., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- SurfMonkey.com,(TM) Inc., the safe Internet portal just for kids, today announced the availability of its suite of community products, featuring unique, three-dimensional, fully interactive and animated chat rooms for kids age six and older. Surf Monkey chat transforms the Internet experience into a lively and robust adventure, where kids can not only chat, but also move objects, eat virtual donuts or play music. Together, the new products allow youngsters to safely build and personalize dynamic online communities, as well as play and interact with each other in a fun and easy way. Chat, plus new Web-based email and personal bulletin boards are housed in the Surf Monkey Kids Channel(TM), a Web site and ultimate launching pad for guiding kids to the best content on the Internet. The Kids Channel, located at http://www.surfmonkey.com, is designed to be a one-stop site for all-things kids, and is further bolstered by the regular addition of new features and fresh content. Each component is an integral part of the complete, fun and safe SurfMonkey.com solution for kids using the Web. All three new community features include built-in, parental-safety mechanisms and utilize SurfMonkey.com's proprietary in-page filtering technology to protect kids from inappropriate language and potential predators in real time while allowing them to benefit from the full potential of the Internet. Whether using personal chat, email or bulletin boards, kids can only communicate with individuals that have been pre-approved by parents and placed on a password-protected CyberFriends list. With the CyberFriends list in place, parents play an active role in deciding with whom their children can communicate. "The Internet generation is the first, truly global generation -- online communities are really void of borders," said David Smith, CEO of SurfMonkey.com. "SurfMonkey.com's new kid friendly community features are designed to protect kids from strangers and safeguard their privacy, while providing playful and dynamic environments for them to express themselves." Fully Interactive Personal & Public Chat Rooms for Kids SurfMonkey.com has transformed chat for kids from a static, black-and-white environment into a three-dimensional, full-color, interactive setting, offering both personal and public chat rooms. In addition to conventional chatting, participants can also interact with the cockpit's game-like environment by moving objects, eating virtual donuts or listening to music, as well as indicate emotion or mood by changing facial expressions, dancing or singing. The chat rooms are set up as a rocketship cockpit with a Bay window looking to outer space. Here, chat participants choose from ten different multimedia identities or avatars fashioned like wacky bugs. "SurfMonkey.com's 3D chat and the breakthrough use of interactivity is ideal for kids who aren't content with just talking. They want to be able to play and interact in their environment online -- just as they would in the backyard," adds Smith. Where as personal chat uses the CyberFriends feature to give kids, with their parent's permission, the flexibility to decide when and who they would like to chat with, SurfMonkey.com's monitored public chat rooms are open to all Surf Monkey Club(TM) members. For added kid safety, behind-the-scenes chat room supervisors monitor each public session. All profanity is blocked and any one using inappropriate language is ejected from the public chat rooms. Public chat rooms are open from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon (Pacific Time) Saturday and Sunday. Email & Personal Bulletin Boards Web-based email and bulletin boards are also available today. These new features complete the Kids Channel's community offerings, enabling kids to communicate using a variety of safe and fun methods. Using Surf Monkey email is simple and fast, and kids can easily check their messages from any computer, at any time, using their Internet Service Provider. Bulletin Boards allow kids to pose questions, assert opinions or offer greetings to their CyberFriends. As with email and chat, only people placed on the CyberFriends list can view and post messages to a personal bulletin board. By registering as an authenticated Surf Monkey member at http://www.surfmonkey.com, kids have free access to email, personal chat and bulletin boards as well as pointers to the best kids content online -- all via the Kids Channel. Availability Chat, bulletin boards and email can be found at the Kids Channel at http://www.surfmonkey.com. The Kids Channel can be accessed from any computer or Web browser and is available for free. In addition to the Kids Channel, SurfMonkey.com also offers Surf Monkey Bar(TM), a first-of-its kind, free navigation tool, and the Surf Monkey Browser(TM), an all-in-one browser. Both products are designed to protect and guide kids as they travel through cyberspace and can be downloaded for free at the company Web site. Children's Online Privacy Protection Act In related news, the company announced yesterday that it is one of the first to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) for all new Surf Monkey Club members. The new law requires that any online company collecting, using or disclosing personal information from a child must first obtain offline consent from their parent or guardian. By complying with the COPPA regulations, SurfMonkey.com continues to create an environment that provides more protections for kids as they enjoy the full benefits of its community features and other Surf Monkey Club activities. About the Company Founded in 1996, SurfMonkey.com, Inc. continues to define the future of kid-safe Web travel with its family-oriented portal and free, integrated suite of safe-surfing Internet products. Leveraging real-time, in-page filtering and a host of parental controls, the Surf Monkey Bar and Surf Monkey Browser offer guidance and protection online, while its Surf Monkey Kids Channel steers them to the best content on the Internet. With an ongoing commitment to kids online safety, SurfMonkey.com has become among the first Web portals to comply with the Federal Trade Commission's Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. Headquartered in Campbell, Calif., SurfMonkey.com is a privately held corporation with offices in London, England. The company can be reached on the Web at www.SurfMonkey.com, or by calling 408-556-2060. NOTE: Surf Monkey, Surf Monkey Club, Surf Monkey Kids Channel, Surf Monkey Bar, Surf Monkey Browser and SurfMonkey.com are trademarks of SurfMonkey.com, Inc. All others are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
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