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Tweens Connecting Online

Social networking sites like MySpace and Friendster are enticing to tweens, but their racy photos and public profiles are better suited to adults. The good news: New sites like Nickelodeon's Nicktropolis.comWhyville.netMembers earn "clams" by playing educational games, writing for the site's newspaper, and more.
Safety first: A parent's e-mail address is required for kids under 13. To chat, Whyvillians must complete a tutorial that outlines site rules. Bad behavior can be reported to the site's 911 center.
Cost: Free

Clubpenguin.comKids choose an adorable penguin alter ego and play games. With paid membership, they can personalize their profiles.
Safety first: One chat option requires kids to select from pre-written statements; another allows free talk but blocks bad language.
Cost: Free to create a penguin; membership is $6 per month, $30 for six months, $58 for one year.

Imbee.comAllows kids to blog, e-mail, and share photos; start and join groups based on common interests; and personalize their pages.
Safety first: Parents must provide a credit card number (this discourages predators from creating accounts; no charges are made). They can also monitor blog posts and messages.
Cost: Free