“This is a line … and this line is mine!” starts the Grand Prize Winning video among many many entries for digital online safety. Winning teen creator Mark Eschelman and teen actor Tyler Joseph give us a powerful message of where the line is, where the spine is, and the pluses and minuses of being “on-line” or on either side of it.
Hats off again to Trend Micro for gettting youth to produce hard-hitting content for digital safety that communicates in the “vernacular” to their peers.
Trend Micro is a private company, with a commercial product line. However, when you are on the “What’s your story?” website, Trend is not selling. Indeed, when you go to the bottom of the page and hit “Home,” you go to the home for “Internet Safety for Kids” “Advice for Families and Schools from Trend Micro” and not to their commercial site home. Moreover, when you hit the “About” button to try to get a link to Trend Micro, there is no hawking of commercial products but a purpose statement about online safety. Finally, at the very bottom of this hidden “About” page, there is a link to free internet safety guides and tools. Yes, this is a page on the commercial site, but seriously, a page only devoted to free information, not products. At the top of this final page, there are buttons which take you to product categories on the rest of the site, but they do not prominently feature among the free information and there is no marketing hype. By the way, they do sell products and services!
O.k., we’re impressed Trend Micro. We have often stated that with limited public federal and state educational resources, to really make digital safety headway in the middle of the rapidly changing technology revolution, every stakeholder, including the for-profit technology players, service providers and others in the market, must join together with educators, parents, researchers and students themselves to make it happen. Totally apart from any evaluation of your product line, the approach of giving true, non-marketing motivated service information to us deserves our appreciation. Thanks for investing in the “What’s Your Story?” program and site and thank you for not hard selling while you are doing this great public service program.