Monday, May 24, 2010
I've been a MomCentral Yoursphere Test Drive Mom for a couple of weeks now, and in that time The Pea has been making some tentative steps to expand her social network and online presence. Since Yoursphere is a safety-first social networking site, I feel more secure about letting her go online. Not only can I monitor her online activity, but I also know that other Yoursphere users have parents who are controlling and monitoring their online activity!
Our second assignment as Yoursphere Test Drive Moms was to explore the world of Yoursphere Spheres. A Sphere is basically a group of users who share some common interest, like gaming or photography or sports. Users can join spheres or create their own, and when you join a sphere you can post videos or photos or comments.
Before I let The Pea do anything on her own, I tried signing up to join a sphere on my own, which turned out to be a frustrating experience -- I kept getting told that I needed to be a "verified user" in order to join a sphere, and I got sent to a Help page that told me only verified users can join spheres, but didn't give me any indication or link to actually get myself verified! Then The Pea logged on and I helped her join her first sphere (Fashion). We didn't encounter any problems, so I'm guessing that parent accounts can't join spheres, only kids? I'm hoping someone from Yoursphere can give me an answer!
Whatever the case, I think spheres are a fun place for kids to "hang out". So far The Pea has joined the fashion sphere, travel sphere and American Girl doll sphere. The fashion sphere has lots of discussions about celeb fashions and "who wore it best" where sphere members can weigh in with their own comments. The Pea's favorite sphere is the American Girl and My Twinn doll sphere. It was created by a fellow Yoursphere member and user, and everyone in that sphere shares a love of American Girl and My Twinn dolls, so there are lots of cute photos of AG dolls. Here's a photo that The Pea posted of me in the American Girl store in New York:
The Pea also created her very own Zhu Zhu Pets sphere because she loves these little mechanical hamsters; hopefully lots of other Yoursphere members will join! One thing that Yoursphere could improve would be to add a "sphere search" functionality so that users can search for spheres that they might like to join, or share their favorite spheres with their friends. If these functionalities already exist, I couldn't find them -- which is almost as bad!
If you’re already a Yoursphere member check out The Pea's Zhu Zhu pets sphere. If you’re not, register now (it's free!) using this referral code – YSMC-0045 . It will show Yoursphere that I’m spreading the word.
Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in the Yoursphere Test Drive program by Mom Central on behalf of Yoursphere. I received a free lifetime Gold membership on Yoursphere.com, Yoursphere t-shirts, and a $50 American Express gift card to facilitate my review. Unless clearly stated, the views and opinions expressed here are my own.