[etoys-dev] Re: [squeakland] account signup fields

Timothy Falconer timothy at squeakland.org
Tue Sep 8 12:13:25 EDT 2009

Looks like we need a link from within the Etoys signup box to the  
privacy policy on the website.

Someone should also think long and hard about this:


"The notice to parents must contain the same information included on  
the notice on the Web site. In addition, an operator must notify a  
parent that it wishes to collect personal information from the child;  
that the parent's consent is required for the collection, use and  
disclosure of the information; and how the parent can provide consent."

"Before collecting, using or disclosing personal information from a  
child, an operator must obtain verifiable parental consent from the  
child's parent. This means an operator must make reasonable efforts  
(taking into consideration available technology) to ensure that before  
personal information is collected from a child, a parent of the child  
receives notice of the operator's information practices and consents  
to those practices."

We're not planning on disclosing any of this information, but it seems  
to be saying here that we need proof of a parent's permission before  
the email address is collected.

Scratch requires:  birth date, email, gender, and country, with  
optional state/prov, and city.

If you put in a birth date that's less than 13 years old, it switches  
the label from "email" to "email address of parent or guardian".


Scratch's privacy policy is explicit:


When you register for an account on the website, we ask for some  
information. The only required information is your username, password,  
gender, country and your month and year of birth.

We also ask for your city and state or province, but this information  
is optional. We do not ask for your name, phone number, or home address.

If you are 13 or over, we ask for your email address so that we can  
tell you when there are important changes or new features in Scratch.  
However, you do not have to give us your email address to use either  
Scratch or the Scratch website. If you are under 13, we do not collect  
your email address.

We do not make any of your profile information public on the website,  
except your username and country.


It doesn't come right out and say it, but email address (yours or your  
parents) *IS* required, if you want to post projects to the scratch  
website.  (They actually seem to contradict this.)

On Sep 8, 2009, at 10:06 AM, Timothy Falconer wrote:

> My personal opinion on all this:
> Within Etoys:
> * username
> * password (twice)
> * email address
> * send me Squeakland's quarterly newsletter
> * send me weekly showcase highlights
> (general announcements = either newsletter or showcase box checked)
> On the web signup page:
> (all of the above)
> * tell us about yourself
> * first name
> * last name
> * country
> * want friends see friends
> * public first/last name
> * public friend list
> The only one I'm not sure about is "country", which might be good  
> within Etoys also.
> On Sep 8, 2009, at 9:48 AM, Timothy Falconer wrote:
>> Hi everyone,
>> We're debating which squeakland.org account fields to include when  
>> people sign up for a showcase account.   Such signup could occur  
>> within Etoys itself ("create an account, it's free!") or on the  
>> website itself.
>> Some constraints that have come up in the current conversation:
>> 1) we want to limit the fields within Etoys because of vertical  
>> space limitations in the dialog box
>> 2) we want to limit the mandatory fields to allow quicker signup
>> 3) we want to assure that private information from children remains  
>> private (last name, other descriptive stuff, perhaps photos)
>> Here's the central issue at hand, from my perspective . . .
>> Signup is the key moment for Squeakland and Etoys from a community- 
>> building, user research, and publicity standpoint.
>> It's the time when we'll get the largest number of people to:
>> 1. subscribe to our newsletter
>> 2. tell us about themselves (where they live, how they're using  
>> etoys, etc)
>> 3. allow us to later email them questionnaires or announcements  
>> (squeakfest), etc.
>> The vast majority of people that signup for a showcase account WILL  
>> NOT join the forums, or separately subscribe to the newsletter, or  
>> visit the chat channel, or join a mailing list.
>> The people that will do these things should be considered  
>> "enthusiasts", and hence, people that we really don't need to  
>> convince ("preaching to the choir").
>> We could allow people to come back to their profile page and add  
>> this stuff, but MOST won't.  Only enthusiasts, people we don't need  
>> to convince.
>> Imagine hundreds of people who are mildly curious . . . the signup  
>> to check out their daughter's project on the showcase, which is  
>> otherwise hidden.   They're intrigued enough to download Etoys.    
>> Like MOST PEOPLE, they go to sleep and forget all about it for  
>> months.   Then comes our quarterly newsletter, and they read a cool  
>> story about Uruguay.   The open up Etoys again and start playing  
>> around again.  Maybe this time they'll stick with it.
>> This is the essence of publicity and marketing . . . the drumbeat,  
>> the heartbeat, of our own activity, reminding people we're still  
>> here and doing great stuff.
>> So that said, here's the fields we're considering:
>> * username
>> * password (twice)
>> * email address
>> These are the bare minimum, and the only required fields.
>> More fields:
>> * first name
>> * last name
>> * tell us about yourself
>> These are currently on the newsletter subscribe form.   Currently,  
>> none of this collected information appears on the website.  We can  
>> keep these fields private in account profiles as well, to protect  
>> children.  Nearly everyone who signs up for the newsletter writes a  
>> very useful description about their location, interest in Etoys,  
>> affiliated organization, etc.   We have hundreds of these comments,  
>> which is invaluable for our community-building work.    I'm  
>> strongly in favor of keeping the "tell us about yourself" field and  
>> not showing it unless explicit permission is given.
>> * checkbox for newsletter
>> * checkbox for general announcements
>> * checkbox for weekly showcase highlights
>> We want as many YES's for all three as we can get.   More YESes  
>> mean more audience.   People can always opt-out from any mailing,  
>> but it's in our best interest to at least ask them for a YES.
>> To keep the in-Etoys box short, we could leave these out, but the  
>> question remains . . . what's the default?   If all NO's, then we  
>> lose a major source of people who would otherwise have said YES.
>> (I know that most of us have grown accustomed to always saying NO  
>> to such forms, but in our case, with our worldwide enthusiastic  
>> audience, it's more likely people will say yes, than no.)
>> Other fields we could add by flipping a switch:
>> * organization
>> * address
>> * address_two
>> * city
>> * state
>> * zip/postal code
>> * country
>> * time zone
>> * home phone
>> * work phone
>> * want my friends to see my friends
>> * show my first/last name to public
>> * show my friend list to public
>> * photo/avatar
>> The address fields were used for squeakfest registration, but  
>> likely shouldn't appear in showcase accounts, except perhaps for  
>> country.   Likewise with the phones . . . we shouldn't ask.
>> The last three are things we could add to the profile, defaulting  
>> to the most private settings.   The underlying software has much of  
>> the functionality of sites like Facebook, etc.   My current plan is  
>> to allow people and groups to "friend" other people, which will  
>> allow them to see their private Etoys projects.  Such a thing  
>> happens when you "tell a friend" and include a message that's email  
>> to someone, which is a great way to build community.
>> Lastly, we have full questionnaire support as well, so we can add  
>> any questions we want, though only to the web profile.   Again,  
>> most people won't go back to fill out their profile, but we *can*  
>> send an announcement saying "Tell us more about yourself, fill out  
>> this quick questionnaire", but only if someone has said YES to  
>> general announcements.
>> Anyway, let me know what you think about all this.  We want this to  
>> be a community conversation.
>> Take care,
>> TIm
>> _______________________________________________
>> squeakland mailing list
>> squeakland at squeakland.org
>> http://lists.squeakland.org/mailman/listinfo/squeakland

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