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CommonPlaces develops WhatsWhat.me

Added by on Mon 28th Feb 2011

Project Info

CommonPlaces recently launched WhatsWhat.me (Beta), a unique, “kids-only,” “no bullying allowed” social network for kids 7-13.

This site was created to be safe, secure, and age-appropriate with highly sophisticated privacy and security measures in place, and in strict adherence to COPPA regulations. Because mainstream social networks are targeted at adults, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) requires that members of these social networks be at least 13 years of age. However, younger kids wish to engage in social networking as well. Therefore, WhatsWhat.me (Beta) was created.

The site’s mission is to “teach and protect” children as they learn and practice positive online behavior. Also, to help parents “get smart” about kids and social networks, WhatsWhat.me (Beta) has a Parent Resource Center with “Ask The Expert,” a tech glossary, news and information on keeping kids safe online.

Users of WhatsWhat.me (Beta) can enjoy a wide range of age-appropriate social networking activities such as interacting with friends online through messages, earning points, winning prizes, sharing photos, playing online games, posting comments and creating and joining groups.

To make these activities and security features a reality, CommonPlaces implemented a number of solutions. First, facial detection and recognition software was utilized as a security measure. During the registration process, initial pictures of the child are taken via a webcam. These photos are encrypted, stored on start-of-the-art, secure servers and then verified at every login. In addition to the software verifying the child’s identification, human moderators review every login picture. The Drupal Mugshot module was used in this.

Also put into effect were solutions that ensured the privacy of videos submitted to the community. This technology allows for videos to be secured within WhatsWhat.me (Beta) and means that they won’t be viewable elsewhere or picked up on search engines. This helps guarantee that all content is kids-only.

CommonPlaces used the Drupal user points module for the community’s MePoints, where users can earn points for certain activities such as logging in, posting comments etc. Upon accumulating a certain amount of points, prizes can be redeemed.

The published site can be viewed at http://www.WhatsWhat.me
Learn more about CommonPlaces by visiting http://www.commonplaces.com
CommonPlaces’ portfolio can be viewed here: http://www.commonplaces.com/portfolio

Comments (2)

DrupalSN's picture

Looks great! How did you do the paid sign up?


We created a pair of custom modules that have the sign up forms and when submitted programmatically create and relate the child and parent user accounts and their profiles in a ‘blocked’ state. When the parent verifies with the credit card, an Ubercart order is programmatically built and submitted. Successful payment processing results in setting up a recurring membership fee and unblocking the member account.

We used the Authorize.net CIM service for payment, so that we do not store credit card info, but can vary the rates and membership durations for promotional purposes.