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
"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
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.
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.