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A Search Engine for Kids

Techstination feature for Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A search engine for kids. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Lots of parents know all too well just how easy it is for inappropriate material to pop up when kids search the Internet. There is software available…like NetNanny….that blocks access to the bad stuff. But that doesn't always help them find the best of what's out there. That's the goal of a company called Thinkronize….which has been selling licenses for its netTrekker search engine to school districts for several years. Company President Christine Willig says its an education search tool for kids from elementary to high school…

"Instead of searching billions of pages on Google or Yahoo or Dogpile, instead all the Web sites within Nettrekker have been reviewed by teachers and aligned to curriculum including all state curriculum standards. So as a result it keeps children free from pornography and focused on academically relevant Web sites."

What's new is a home edition. Subscriptions cost 9.95 a month or a hundred dollars per year. The question is…with Google and other search engines available for free…will parents be willing to pay for safe, more targeted results for kids. The company knows it won't be an easy sell…

"We are pursuing partnerships with large retailers to be able to bring this message home…that there's a safe alternative."

Parents are being offered a free two week trial at Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.