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This article was published on January 12, 2008

New browser for children on its way

New browser for children on its way
Patrick de Laive
Story by

Patrick de Laive

CPO and co-founder, TNW

Patrick de Laive is an experienced entrepreneur and daddy of Bo and Denne. He is co-founder of TNW and sporadicly invests in startups. He is Patrick de Laive is an experienced entrepreneur and daddy of Bo and Denne. He is co-founder of TNW and sporadicly invests in startups. He is a frequently asked speaker at (tech) events across the globe. Check his LinkedIn profile and @Patrick on Twitter for more information.

Have you ever seen a 12 year old behind a computer? It is amazing what the youngsters do and how they communicate. Ten different chat screens open, chatting and sharing pictures at the speed of light, while playing a game and browsing through their friends’ photos on their social network. Beep-beep… text message number 351 of this month just came in.

Photo by hiestand24Most of the times the chats and websites visited are harmless, but kids have access to some things you, as a parent, don’t want them to see. Enters Glubble. Glubble is a free add-on to Firefox that keeps your children away from all ‘unsafe sites’. I have been playing around with it, and after I finally decided that my future son should be named Beppe (don’t ask me why), I got started.

Basically, you have a Firefox browser where you can make multiple identities for your children (and maybe your wife). As a parent you can make full use of the web and if you’re on a site that may be seen by your children you can ‘glubble’ it. When a child tries to visit a site that it not approved, they are blocked and instead the parent gets a message asking them to approve the site. I can already see a new weekend to-do thing for couples, instead of accepting ‘friends’ on Facebook, you’re approving websites your son and daughter want to see…

To speed up things you can team up with other trusted parents, this is the social aspect of Glubble, and then all trusted websites are shared. Search engine results are filtered as well.

It will be interesting to see how this will evolve. Their target market will probably be Internet Explorer users who don’t have a clue how their kids are using the web let alone how to install and use Glubble. Another problem I can foresee is that children might not accept that they are limited in their browsing behavior and this might end up in big discussions during dinner. They will have their share of challenges to face, but a good team and a fair amount of money could do the trick.

GlubbleGlubble is backed by Morton Lund and Soren Kenner and word goes around that Dutch multi millionaire Marcel Boekhoorn invested in the company as well. It is founded by Ian Hayward and Willem Jan Schutte. Ian worked at Firefox and is the brain behind the hugely successful Spread Firefox campaign. They have a development team in Costa Rica, Birmingham and Amsterdam and offices in San Francisco and soon New York.

If you don’t have children, but do want to get rid of your online gambling addiction and other adult stuff you always deny watching at, Glubble might be of help.

They are now in closed-beta, if you want to be one of the first beta testers once they’ll go in private beta, leave a ‘child friendly’ comment and Heleen (Glubble Biz Dev) will make sure we can give them to you.

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