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Dating site integrated into social network site September 2, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Arto, Dating, Social network sites.

As regular followers of this blog will know, my main ‘field site’ has for many years been the Danish social network site Arto.com. For a long time Arto was the most popular SNS in Denmark with a huge group of core users between the age of 12 and 17. Now, the site is threatened by the major popularity of Facebook and according to a recent report from ‘Digital view’ Arto has shrunk to a third of its size during the past year – with an increase in especially 15-19 year old users.

Perhaps this is the reason why Arto has made a lot of changes lately and now seems to be targeting a much more broad (and international) audience.  One of the most recent initiatives is a dating section, where users can show an immediate interest in each other by clicking through a list of profile pictures (based on their own criteria) and state whether they are “Interested” or “Not interested”. The system works like a matchmaking feature; if two users have both shown an interest in each other there is a match:

I am interested in whether this will change the social networking part of the site. Anyway, I find it interesting that my profile (which I keep for research related reasons) was automatically integrated into the dating section. This means that other users, who have set their search criteria with my age and gender, will be able to show a romantic interest in me, even though I am not interested in dating… So far, it doesn’t seem that users can edit their settings to prevent this.

I am wondering if we will see more dating sites and social network sites merging in the years to come? I know that Danish MySpace users can use their user name to sign into Match.com, but in general, are people interested in having their SNS profile merge with their dating profile?

Danish youngsters teach The Minister for Education about internet and ICT in school September 1, 2009

Posted by Malene Charlotte Larsen in Internet, Internet Safety, School, Youngsters.
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The Danish Media Council for Children and Young People has set up a youth panel called “Medierødderne” consisting of a group of children and young people between the age of 10 and 15. During the summer they have been working on compiling a list of ideas and guidelines for better ICT and internet usage in school. In June they presented their ideas for the Danish Minister of Education.

I have picked out a couple of their recommendations (translated from Danish):

1. Let students teach each other about the internet, and have children share their good and bad experiences with each other, their parents and teachers.

2. All teachers must attend a course in internet and computer skills, and they should include the internet in their teaching more often.

5. If a school creates filters on their computers, the students should be informed why.

9. Schools should set up a rule that prevents teachers from ‘friending’ students on Facebook – and vice versa.

See the complete list of recommendations here.

The panel is one out of many European youth panels within the Insafe network.