The problem with Children and Social Software is the balance between letting them express themselves and privacy. In California, well intended regulations make it almost impossible to have children use, let alone create something on the Internet.
So where do the kids blog? Either from home under supervision or Think.com. Under an Oracle grant, any K-12 school in the US & UK can provide kids blogs, email, social networking and group collaboration for free. All password protected, available in three languages and with pilots underway in Chile, Thailand, New Zealand and China. Its a pretty great project attempting to balance significant stakeholder issues to let kids learn socially:
Think.com - version 3 new features include a "Parent Page" and buddy lists. Using the "Parent Page" teachers can now post homework assignments, class calendars, permission slips and much more for parents to easily access. Buddy lists let kids see when their friends are on line and allow them to quickly send email or navigate to their "buddy's" web page. Email functionality has been enhanced, giving schools the choice to block all attachments, turn off external email, and monitor messages for bad language.
Perhaps the only perk my 7-year old daughter gets from being the CEO's daughter (aside from being dragged to conferences while being told its a vacation), is her own workspace to blog privately. Of course, if I'm sitting around with my laptop, her first question is "Daddy, can I post to my weblog." She is pretty excited about it, maybe thinks she has more than one reader and her posts may be a treasure for her one day. I would open it up, but I also get Google traffic for distrubing queries like "pictures of my daughter."
Great to see social software for kids through schools, but sitting down with them to let them explore can't be beat.