Extra! Extra! The TweenTribune Launches

TweenTribuneToday in my inbox I received an email promoting a new online newspaper site for tweens called “The TweenTribune.” It’s basically a big link aggregator where you can comment on news stories allegedly from “a tweens perspective.” The goal, according to the email from Alan Jacobson, of BrassTacksDesign, is to:

“...encourage tweens to seek out news on a daily basis. Our democracy depends upon a well-informed public, so it’s important to foster a daily news-reading habit at an early age. TweenTribune does that by enticing tweens with a few offbeat stories they wouldn’t find elsewhere. Only TweenTribune promotes the daily habit because its the only news site for tweens that is updated daily.”

I get it—and even applaud this goal, though I don’t know that tweens identify themselves as tweens (re: the name), and when I first checked it out, the link heavy design made me wonder if it was another “splog” like this one that scrapes my content daily. If BrassTacksDesign wants this site to be legit, and it is truly for tweens (which would include kids under the age of 13), it also must be COPPA compliant. You can’t allow kids under 13 to comment and “participate” in ways where they share personal information otherwise. And whenever you create a site for tweens, you have to go overboard on providing information about your company, philosophy, how the site works, safety, etc. for parents. I couldn’t find any of that on the “beta” site. This is a great example of a company with good intentions jumping into the kids/tween space head first without fully understanding the market, best practices or legal ramifications.


  1. Alan Jacobson

    Thanks for the props and sharing your concerns about comments. But please know that all comments are moderated and verified prior to publication.

  2. Sarah Newton Teen Coach

    Thanks for the info on this and your knowledge. I will share it with my following :-) Great to see that they have replied to you to. We have to ensure our children are safe on the internet yet also get to participate in good ways.

    Can not find any RSS feed on the site - but that could me me :-)

    Sarah Newton

  3. Libby

    First of all, it’s great to see Alan responding to this post.  Looks like they’re really going to be taking care of their brand.

    I’m curious about the origins of the initial pool of beta users.  Does everyone email in to request an invitation, or were invitations strategically seeded?  Maybe TweenTribune should have started by offering special invites to selected (high-achieving?) students in a few middle schools.  Problems would have been discovered and these students could have acted as brand ambassadors before opening it up as the more public site that it is.

    In any case, I’m excited to see where this site goes.

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