REBECCA GRACE | AFA Journal Staff Writer
From educational journals to pornography, the Internet is as dark
as it is broad, which is why Gregory D. Writer, CEO of Childrens
Educational Network (CEN), is determined to shed some light on what
has become a way of life in the 21st Century.
As reported by N2H2 in September 2003, "pornographic Web pages
now top 260 million and [are] growing at an unprecedented rate."
But it was several years prior to the unprecedented growth in online
pornography that Writer recognized the dangers of the Internet and
set out to make a difference for the good of all children.
As an early Internet adopter who was instrumental in starting one
of the first Internet service providers in San Diego, California,
in the mid-nineties, Writer employed several whiz kids who kept
talking about creating a browser.
David Spoon, a pastor and director of CEN, defines a browser as
"a software program that allows you to see and hear whats
on the Internet."
Although it was in the Internets early days when Writer began
toying with the reality of creating this browser, he did not let
the uncertainty of cyberspace stop him. Writer not only wanted to
create a browser but a kid- safe browser designed as a protection
tool that would allow children to surf only sites that had been
pre-approved and deemed appropriate.
His basis for this type of browser is known as the "include
list" methodology which incorporates looking at a Web site,
reviewing the site, and adding it to a list. The browser would then
search only the listed sites.
It was only a matter of a few years before Writer put his ideas
into action through the creation of a browser called "Crayon
Crawler." After attempting to launch the browser, the logistics
of the plan hit home with Writer. He went back to the drawing board
to come up with a marketing plan for his project.
"During this whole period of time, God was giving me these
ideas and thoughts," Writer explained.
With Gods guidance, such ideas brought him to where he is
today despite an upheaval of struggles, disappointments and failures.
Only months ago, Writer launched a kid-safe browser now available
online at www.thekidsinternet.com.
The Kid Safe Browser is theme-oriented and allows the user to choose
from a variety of motifs. The chosen theme will become the browsers
faceplate. Once an initial theme is selected, users may change and
download different themes most of which are free, while others
which have a price tag attached. Such themes include but are not
limited to Kids Count, Noahs Net and MindStein Travels.
Regardless of the theme, the functionality of the Kid Safe Browser
is the same and includes the following basic features:
Kid-friendly user interface
List of more than 10,000 pre-approved kid-friendly Web
Internet lockdown that disables other Internet browsers
Parent administrator controls.
"Some people cant afford protection," Writer said.
"So lets give it away for free."
While most of Writers basic browser themes and functions
are free, he does offer premium features that can be purchased.
These premium features come through a paid subscription to The Kids
Internet, a kids-only online community designed as an expansion
of the Kid Safe Browser. The premium features include:
Safe, buddies-only, spam-free E-mail
Safer chat rooms Language/content filters
Encouraging comments and chore reminders
3-D animated, talking Internet guide based on selected
Writers overall vision is to institute all of these features
as a means of placing a plethora of educational information at childrens
fingertips. In addition, he wants to incorporate the teaching of
morals, values and goals through an animated character approach
he refers to as "characters building characters."
"My vision is to build a network of children all over the
world that is built on two basic premises: safety and education,"
According to a report by NBCs Today show found online
at MSNBC.com, "A study released by the Justice Department found
that one in four children online are exposed to unwanted and explicit
"[Therefore] were providing the best, safest, most educational
Internet environment for children of all ages," Writer said.
"I know that God wants this to happen."
Subscription rates for The Kids Internet to use in conjunction
with the basic Kid Safe Browser:
$97 for a one-time investment
for 12 months
For more information:
www.thekidsinternet.com or contact Greg Writer at 760-233-2863