Noteworthy: Xivio

New Kids World Xivio Looks for Partners and InvestorsWe first looked at Xivio in September when it launched its open content rating system for its Flash-based kids world. Now the company is seeking investors and partners. “Xivio is looking to partner with a company for cross promotional opportunities. We are offering at least 50% of profits achieved from referrals from our partners. Investment opportunities are also available,” wrote President/CEO David Wisotzky. Xivio has previously been self-funded, and when we spoke with Wisotzky at the Virtual Worlds Fall Conference and Expo, he said that investors had been interested, though he wasn’t at the time. But with all the new kids worlds prepping for launch, that investment market might start heating up. [via Digg]

Virtual Worlds News: New Kids World Xivio Looks for Partners and Investors

I dig Xivio. It’s not your usual VW these days. Why? While most VW’s are heading to casual gaming worlds, Xivio is a chat-based world in 3d where kids can give each other gifts, earn points by hanging out and chatting, and explore their profiles & media consumption. Overall– it’s not like anything out there for the U13 set (sometimes it reminds me of weeworld or zwinky, etc), and it’s great to see a site attempt something like this for the entire U18 set.

When I first read & visited the site, I was a bit thrown off, thinking it wasn’t necessarily for the tater tots. But when I dug into the privacy policy, I saw the error of my misinterpretation. Well done, izzy. Sheesh. It’s clearly the holidays.

PRO’S:

  1. Uber in-world Safety conscious
  2. Users can have a blog, listen to CD’s (or buy itunes?), upload videos, etc– all are screened before live.
  3. Parents have the ability to connect to the account.
  4. The aethetics are cool (3d & reminds me a bit of some of the kid characters in Zelda: The Ocarina of Time)
  5. The way in which they approached space (further back = smaller av) is unique
  6. The way in which they incorporate multimedia is also unique. Kids can listen to CD’s already in the system, or listen to their own through the system.
  7. Gifting (user to user sharing, etc) is encouraged and easy & new gifty elements will be added during events (they’ve a calendar of activities planned out).
  8. The menu system is interesting (the user’s avatar menu surrounds the character’s head and/or body and reminds me of an ipod for some reason– it’s fun to see the way new VW’s are attempting to make the interface less obtrusive and more inventive)
  9. And there are Moderators in all chat rooms — interACTIVE moderator (awesome!!!)
  • They’re quick to warn for language & behavior: AWESOME!
  • They’re quick to ban: Behavior = no tolerance (or a 3 strikes you’re out theory)
  • You can actually see how Moderators moderate (if they add a word like ‘balls’ to the bad word list– thanks to some other VW research person exploring) a text bubble pops up and notifies the group.
  • But they also play & gift & encourage which makes for great experiences

Interesting choices:

  1. No immediate Avatar customization (and if there was, I missed it completely?). Which is fine, I’m just an avatar chick who loves her look-a-likes, lol. At least there is HEAVY customization once you rack up the points (earned by spending more time there & inviting friends– very inventive way to encourage users to hang out more often and to bring in more traffic/users, nice).
  2. Webcams (The word strikes fear in a OCM’s heart… luckily everything about this site has reminded me over and over how safe it is, so the webcam experience is probably the same? Plus, I don’t have a webcam so I can’t tell you, lol.)
  3. The icons don’t have roll over words– so if you’re unsure of the picture, it’s a guessing game (example: maybe that isn’t a webcam icon and I’m an idiot? That’s probably the case. lol)
  4. The User’s profile page (where they can upload content & write their blog) is a bit confusing and there’s no “help” button to explain what to do or how to do it.
  5. I can’t tell if User’s can lock the content on their profile. Like if a 10 year old uploads pictures of herself– can she hide it from others? < re: how penguins can lock their igloos in Club Penguin.
  6. Pop Ups. You must unlock the pop ups for this site to be able to see much of the content.
  7. Quick link ads. The ads are parts of the world (like a balloon) and not so clear that it’s an ad (and therefore will open up a new webpage in a pop up). They DO INDEED warn anyone looking at their privacy policy that ads are within the world. In a month like this– where the eye of mordor has been firmly planted on youth sites & ads, I wonder how the general public will take to it. I get ad branding– but usually you see ad branding in a site as product based. Like a cameo for a cocacola can in a TV show. Time will tell.

Other than all of that– it’s definitely a new way to envision virtual worlds for the kids. I’m eager to see how it grows!! And I can’t tell you how psyched I am about the mods. Awesome!

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  1. dabaseballking
    August 6, 2008 at 2:41 am

    Xivio rules I really do suggest it for those late preteens-teenagers.

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