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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Easy way to monitor your child on myspace

Myspace doesn't provide an RSS feed for its pages so many parents have it on their to do list to check their child's page daily. This can be frustrating. As I am researching my book about the New Internet, I came across a great way for parents to monitor their child on myspace. This only lets you subscribe to their blog, but, its a start!

1) Make sure you have the address of your child's myspace page. (I'd just ask them to show you. Most will, unless they have something to hide. Write down the URL or address that shows in the address box at the top of the web browser.
2) Go to their web page on your computer. On the blog click "View all blog entries."
3) Right click on the address (URL) shown in the box at the top and click copy.
4) Go to http://makedatamakesense.com/myspace/, right click and paste in the URL.
5) Click "Create RSS"
6) You will go to a page with a lot of gibberish, do not worry. Right click in the address at the top of the page and copy it.
7) Go to your feed reader (Bloglines, NetVibes, etc.) and add it to the feeds you monitor.
8) You are now a subscriber to your child's myspace blog.

Remember as you monitor them, they can go back and edit their entries. You should scour their page for anything that makes them personally identifiable. I was looking through myspace at some of the teens I teach that had posted their full name, address, birthdate, and calendar for the week. Although it is summer time, I think I have some parents to talk to.

You will still need to go to your child's page and check what they are doing and who they are talking to. Some parents set up their own myspace so that they can comment just enough for their child to know that they are there. Most youth ministers and youth pastors I know have a myspace account so that they can minister where the kids are. I personally think it is important that they do because that is where kids communicate and live. Sometimes I've thought about going on there to communicate with the kids but am personally worried about being misunderstood. More to think on!

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