The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 07:28:24 AM on Friday, October 12th, 2007
This product is a Firefox add-on for family friendly web search results.  How they decide what is family friendly or what to grab is the first thing that came to mind when I read the site description.  You, as the parent, create a Glubble World for your child.  You basically add safe sites and they can request new ones to see as they come across them.  You then approve and add those sites.  You even become a little community sharing sites and links.

I am curious how they handle their statement on searches across Google and Yahoo!.  I presume there is some filtering they provide that will need to be updated as time goes on.  The site even claims image search filtering if you read it correctly.  Their claim overall is that you, as the parent, build the walls of what your child sees, not relying on the vendor to do so.  I like that theory, I really do.  It is just that most parents have no clue either.

The downside is that it only runs on Firefox.  What the heck do you do with IE?  You still need to then install a software on the workstation that prevents certain sites or configure parental controls for IE.  Overhead they do not disclose on the site.

They are looking to go live this month, but the beta is open and they take feedback.

I just had one of those "Ah ha!" moments!  I read more on their FAQ and blog and now see how they do search results.  The child uses the same Google and Yahoo searches but it only returns what is in their Glubble World.  So for a free package, I say give it a try.  Install was easy.  I did not have time to hook the kids, grandparents and everyone else together to see a total Glubble World, but it seemed to be pretty straight forward.

Oh, make sure you install in the same user account the child uses.  We have a parent account and child/family account with restricted rights.  You need to install this in the user account that the child will use and then you set the basics there.

So the final take...  if you want some new innovations that offer free services to help keep your kids a little more safe on the world wide web, then here you go, get it.  Learn to use Firefox if you are stuck on IE and add a whole new world of plug-ins.  Remember, whatever site you add to the Glubble World exposes them to everything that site offers.  So keeping your kids from the people you see on the NBC news specials won't work if you still let them hang out in places my MySpace in their Glubble World.

  • 1) Gobble up the Glubble
    Created by Ian Hayward at 10/13/2007 7:04:06 AM email | website

    Hi Chris

    Thanks for checking out Glubble, one of our engineers spotted your post so I thought I'd drop by here this Saturday morning to say if there is anything we can do to help/answer/clarify we are here to help.

    The 1.0 version is indeed planned to go live sometime November to existing users then live to new public user registrations in December.

    Simply put, your right on regarding the social/family aspect, we believe, like many that its better for the family to decide what is and not wanted for children online rather than a centralized censorship method. That being said, how easy we make this for parents will determine the success of this model. This is something we've got worked out for the 1.0 based on thousands of families feedback to the beta so far, suffice to say the current beta does not have this full social-sharing feature set yet, but in my opinion, I think people will be pretty amazed at what we’ve developed based on customer feedback when the 1.0 lands.

    To answer your question about why its only available on Firefox, is simply because we believe that Firefox is a far safer browser platform for our service, Glubble is developed by our mother company called Glaxstar, a professional Firefox development company who’s client list include, Google, Yahoo and eBay amongst others, this means parents and families can be assured the technical pedigree of Glubble is second to none.

    All the best, and good luck.

    Ian Hayward, founder of Glubble.

  • 2) re: Gobble up the Glubble
    Created by Chris Miller at 10/15/2007 4:13:45 PM email | website

    Ian, thanks for the comment and good to know you are out there reading feedback. My point on IE weas that most parents in this age aren't savvy enough for installing additional browsers. However, I applaud that is the choice you are taking. I will be installign this fully and giving more feedback. But as I closed with, this is a product worth everyone loking at and installing.

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