Articles on Teen Matters:
Young Turning To Sites With No Rules
Popular websites like YouTube and MySpace have hired the equivalent of school hallway monitors, to police what visitors to their sites can see and do by cracking down on piracy and depictions of nudity and violence.
So where do the young thrill-seekers go?
Increasingly, to new websites like Stickam.com, which is building a business by going where others fear to thread: into the realm of unfiltered live broadcasts from Web cameras.
The site combines elements of more popular sites, but with a twist. In addition to designing clips, its users broadcast live videos of themselves and conduct face-to-face video chats with other users, often from their bedrooms and all without monitoring by any of Stickam's (pronounced stick-cam) 35 employees.
Other social networks have decided against allowing conversations over live video because of the potential for abuse and opposition from child-safety advocates. Because the two combinations: Web cams and young people are a magnet for sexual predators.
The larger internet companies have come under increasing pressure to make their sites safer for children and friendlier to copyright holders, so start-ups like Stickam are pursuing their own slices of the market, often at the price of taste, ethics and perhaps even child safety.
Letting people do whatever they want is one way for these sites to differentiate themselves. Video sharing sites in particular are filling niches abandoned by YouTube, which is now owned by Google. Since its inception in 2005, YouTube has banned nudity and taken down copyrighted material when rights holders file specific complaints.
Smaller start-ups who are not able, or willing, to be as diligent are seeing their audiences explode as users seek the more free-wheeling environment that typified YouTube's early days.
Few of these new video sites, though, worry child safety advocates as much as Stickam, which mostly attracts young people comfortable with the idea of a continuous self-produced reality TV show starring themselves.
Stickam, based in Los Angeles, says it has 260,000 registered users - 50,000 of them say their age is 14 to 17 - and is adding 2,000 to 3,000 each day.
Advanced Video Communications, a Los Angeles company that builds video conferencing systems for companies, founded Stickam late last year to demonstrate its technology. Its first product was a program that let users bring a live Web cam feed directly onto their MySpace ages and other social networks and bulletin boards.
In October, MySpace blocked the Stickam service.
Stickam prohibits anyone under 14 from joining, and its terms of service forbid "obscene, profane and indecent" behaviour. But since the company does not verify user's age, and because users' broadcasts are live, even the firm's chief executive, Mr Hideki Kishioka, admits those rules are unenforceable.
The company is relying on users to monitor each other. Even enthusiastic Stickam users concede the site often feels lawless. On user said that some of the people use vulgarities and harass people, mainly girls to take off their clothes.
Other companies that offer Web cam chats that the technology seems to attract abuse. At least one major media company has embraced Stickam. Last month, Warner Bros. Records opened a page on the service for two of its artists, Jamie Kennedy and Stu Stone, and trained a Web cam on them as they recorded a music video.
The company felt that Stickam could be the next MySpace and that people would migrate to even controversial video sites if they have features that MySpace and YouTube did not.
The Straits Times
25 Feb 2007
Source: New York Times News Service
This article is an abstract from Digital Life, The Straits Times, January 9, 2007
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11 Important Tips On Teen Dating
1 ACCEPT THAT DATING IS NORMAL
Whatever your parents think, teen dating is normal. You cannot learn everything that you need to know in a classroom situation. You will have experienced some interaction about family life at home, but it is important that you develop your skills, in situation where
you have to give and take.
2. LEARN WHEN TO COMPROMISE AND WHEN TO BE ASSERTIVE
Sometimes You need to make your views very clear to communicate what you mean. However there are instances when your partner will not agree with you. Then the art of compromise has to be learned. If you want to go and see a movie, and your partner really does not, make it clear that it's important to you to see this because, and state the reasons. Offer to go and do something that your partner wants to do and something that does not really appeal to you. Negotiate a compromise.
3.PRACTISE YOUR DATING SKILLS.
You are practising to find the right guy or the right girl. accept that your first date is not going to necessarily turn into marriage. If you mess up stand back and ask yourself why it went wrong. Be practical about this don't beat yourself up about it, just try and learn from your mistakes.
Non of us are perfect, and we can never attain it, but there are certain social skills that we all need to learn. Interacting successfully with the opposite sex is one of them
4. DON'T PUT WITH ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS
Jealousy is about the most destructive force in a relationship. It manifests itself by someone wanting to know where you are every minute of the day. For part of the time you are going to have to be accountable, but you are single - you do not have to account for every single second in the day. It may be that your partner wants to restrict the people you speak to. You need your space, and your partner needs to respect that fact, as you have to respect their space.
5. DATING IS ABOUT INTERACTION NOT CONTROL
Don't let someone control you by not taking into account your opinions. If someone is telling you what to think, and what to do, then they are being a control freak. Eventually you will want to break free of this. It may take 6 weeks or 6 months, but eventually it is inevitable. So it is better not to put up with that behavior at all. You may think that person really cares for me, but it's not caring it's insecurity. Being young is an insecure time for everyone, but forcing someone to do something against their will is a type of abuse, and should not be tolerated.
6. DON'T EVER APOLOGIZE FOR YOUR PARTNER'S BEHAVIOR.
Everyone behaves badly at certain times, but you should never apologize to anyone, about your partner's actions, or about something they have said. Your partner has to take responsibility for their actions. If they are not prepared to do this and you feel uncomfortable, now is the time to think about ending the realationship.
7. DON'T DATE SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF.
If you do not feel good when you with someone else there is no point in being with them. You need to feel appreciated and wanted as a person and make your partner feel the same. Flattery will get you everywhere, tell your date that you appreciate the fact they have made themselves look good to go out with you.
8.DON'T FEEL THAT CLINGING TO SOMEONE WILL MAKE THE RELATIONSHIP WORK.
Again people want to be valued as a person and not a crutch to prop up someone else's ego. Everyone need their ego stroked, but by being emotionally dependant on someone you are denying yourself a chance to grow into your own very unique personality.
9. VALUE YOUR DATE AS A REAL THINKING INDEPENDANT HUMAN BEING.
Looks come into the equation when there's a chemistry between you, but don't lose sight of the fact that the person is important as well. Relationships based on looks alone do not tend to last. You have to value your date as a person.
10 DON'T BE HYPERCRITICAL OF YOUR PARTNER.
It is good to tell your date when they do something that you're not comfortable with. However if you are always criticising them,they are going to wonder what they are doing seeing you.
11. HAVE FUN AND ENJOY YOURSELF.
Dating is not running a marathon, it is about fun and enjoying someone else's company.
Author: Roy Barker. There is more related to loans, finance or small business borrowings at small business loans or small business loans.