Online multiuser forum platform for a 9yo?
January 25, 2017 4:05 AM   Subscribe

My 9-yo son wants a forum-like site where he and his friends can post text and images and videos. I'm a web developer, so I could build it from scratch, but I don't really feel like putting in the hours. I'm looking for recommendations for a) easy to set up b) easy to use (by 9 year olds) c) secure and stable d) modern, forum-like platforms.

I have servers, so it could be self-hosted or not.
I personally don't like Wordpress, though I'd be willing to use it if it was the best solution.
I'd also be open to something like tumblr or medium if there were a simple way to allow multiple people to post to the same account.
My son is quite internet-savvy, his friends not so much, so whatever we pick should be dead simple.
posted by signal to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
SMF seems to be pretty good, and is free, if you wanted something self-hosted. No idea what the setup/admin side of it's like, but I'm a member of a fairly busy forum which uses it and it seems pretty stable.
posted by A Robot Ninja at 4:48 AM on January 25, 2017

Program for your kid and they have software.

Teach a kid to program and you retire early.

Seriously, though, why not just use Tumblr?
posted by spitbull at 4:59 AM on January 25, 2017

You could make a reddit subgroup, and make it private. As the admin you can control who can get in.
posted by exois at 5:33 AM on January 25, 2017

Slack might be ideal for this.
posted by thejoshu at 5:53 AM on January 25, 2017 [9 favorites]

Yeah, I think Slack would be great for that.
posted by timdiggerm at 6:23 AM on January 25, 2017

Slack would be fantastic for this. I believe Tumblr would work, too - it's been a year or two, but I used to be an admin for a community that existed entirely on a private, multi-user Tumblr. (If I recall correctly, the blog had to be set up as a secondary blog on a user account in order to give others access. This was prior to the Yahoo takeover, though.) If they're already actively using Tumblr, this would work to get the content and access inside their existing platform; if they're not, Slack is probably a better bet.
posted by okayokayigive at 6:32 AM on January 25, 2017

My daughter and her generally non-Internet savvy (for a bunch of teenagers) band use GroupMe for this purpose. It's not a forum in the sense that it has multiple threads or whatever, but it is indeed dead simple to use. I'm not sure if it will meet your needs as far as privacy and kid-safe-ness.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:51 AM on January 25, 2017
posted by humboldt32 at 10:32 AM on January 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

SMF seems to be pretty good, and is free, if you wanted something self-hosted. No idea what the setup/admin side of it's like

I ran a forum on SMF a ton of years ago, setup and admin were pretty easy. There were a lot of spambots trying to create accounts, but it's easily configured to either disable account creation or require admin approval.

But for a bunch of 9-year-olds goofing around on the internet, it might be better to use something that's less permanent / public. Slack seems pretty good for that.

Of course if you do use a hosted social media service, they'll probably have to lie about their age. With the exception of stuff specifically designed for kids, pretty much every service requires users to be at least 13-years old, as that's by far the easiest way to comply with COPPA.
posted by aubilenon at 11:11 AM on January 25, 2017

Another vote for Slack - it would be perfect for this and has very minimal administration demands.
posted by mosk at 12:41 PM on January 25, 2017

I'm gonna suggest Peach. Private, abandoned by most people so there's little risk of them running into trolls, lots of fun video and photo stuff for kids to play around with, no need for you to deal with setting up servers. Downside: could suddenly disappear at any moment.
posted by smasuch at 9:17 PM on January 25, 2017

I'd suggest Like slack, only more features, better privacy and security, opensource, and free of charge. They can create private rooms with text, upload pics and videos, voice and video chat, and share files. You can create accounts on the server or use your own server.
posted by ethical_caligula at 7:27 PM on January 27, 2017

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