AOL isn't just for adults. Stephanie Cohen, head of the AOL Kids and Teens team, talks about what AOL has to offer for kids of all ages.
About Stephanie Cohen
LoveToKnow (LTK): Please tell us about yourself
Stephanie Cohen (SC): My name is Stephanie Cohen, and I lead the AOL Kids and Teens team here at AOL. I oversee the team and the day-to-day operations of the site including editorial. I have been working in the kid's media industry since 1997. My background is in education (certified in Special Ed), and I also have a Masters in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College, Columbia University. I was one of the first members of the content development team at a start-up called MaMaMedia.com. I taught for a short time and then came to AOL and have worked as part of the AOL Kids and Teens team for the past 12 years. I have worked with kids throughout my life and am a mom of an almost three-year old who loves going online.
About AOL for Kids and Teens
LTK: What are KOL.com and SMCKids.com?
SC: KOL.com is Kids Online, AOL's website for kids. Our goal is to provide kids with fun activities and games on all the topics they love such as Music, Games, Entertainment, Pets & Animals, Sports and more. On top of that, we want to provide kids and parents tools to help make their online experience easy and safer. Two examples of this are KOL E-mail and My Favorites.
SMCKids.com is the first microsite in our partnership with A Squared Entertainment. The Secret Millionaire's Club animated series features Warren Buffett. He mentors a group of kids who learn about business and how the world around them works. They explore concepts such as supply and demand, the importance of location, pursuing your dreams, and investing in yourself. The site features games, a blog written by one of the characters, the episodes and a Buffett Bucks rewards program and investing game.
LTK: Why does AOL feel the need to revamp KOL.com?
SC: We feel that we can always improve on our Web experiences. We are always learning from our users via feedback and usage, and know there are things we can do better. We want to make our site easier to use, give kids what they want faster, and add features that we think would be engaging for the audience.
LTK: What are the ages for which this site is designed?
SC: The site is for kids ages 6 to 12.
LTK: What does AOL hope to accomplish with the redesign of this site?
SC: By asking kids for their opinions, and redesigning, we hope to create the ultimate destination for kids. We want to ensure that we are meeting their needs and have a lot of what they are looking to do when they are on the Web. We want to be the place that kids start their Web experience and with tools like My Favorites, weather, e-mail, etc., that make it easier and safer.
LTK: What can kids and their parents do to help with this redesign?
SC: To help with our redesign, we are asking kids and parents to visit KOL.com and click on the animation of the SMC Kids where it says "Click Here to Give Us Your Ideas." Then, they should tell us what they would like to see in the ultimate site for kids. We want to know what features and activities they would like to see on a new site.
LTK: Do you have any other comments you'd like to make regarding AOL and KOL?
SC: AOL is committed to bringing the best original content on the Web and world-class products and services to the Internet audience which includes kids and families.