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We're all in this Together(ville)

Cara Martens
Cara Martens Saturday June 12, 2010
<? echo $type; ?> We're all in this Together(ville)

Not too long ago, a good friend asked on Facebook how old parents thought their kids should be before they get their own accounts? Turns out the rules say kids must be 13. So it’s not surprising that a Dad in Cali got motivated to come up with a solution. Enter Togetherville.com—beta version of a social media site aimed at the pre-Facebook crowd and their grownups.

But what I couldn’t get over was how much the philosophy surrounding Togetherville mirrors what Orange Leaders hope to do with parents and kids. When you read the following quotes pulled from articles about Togetherville, try thinking about these goals in the context of your own ministry, instead of the Internet.

*Once you have parents and their children operating on the same system, there are a lot of opportunities. -INTEGRATE STRATEGY-

*(Togetherville) includes kid-friendly versions of many of the things that adults enjoy, including videos, conversation, activities, music and games. -REFINE the MESSAGE-

*In (Togetherville), parents have peace of mind that their kids are playing with people they know and trust and kids have fun while learning the tools they need to become (good digital citizens). -REACTIVATE the FAMILY-

*Unlike most spaces for young children, (Togetherville) isn’t designed to separate children from all adults. Instead it encourages parent to interact with their children (on the site) and to enable other trusted adults to interact with the kids in their lives. –ELEVATE COMMUNITY-

*Grownups act as the gateways for new contacts, assuming the responsibility for inviting other families to join each child’s online neighborhood. –LEVERAGE INFLUENCE-

What do you think about the goals of Togetherville.com? What overlap or differences do you see between this online context and your own ministry?

Cara Martens can’t help but read, write and dream, so becoming the 252 Basics Creative Director and main researcher for all things Orange is a perfect fit. She taught for a decade in schools and led teams in creating experiences for the church. Cara and her husband, Kevin, are schooled daily by her five- and eight-year-olds on how kids learn best.