No project like this would be possible were it not for the support of our families. A special thank you to Ron Collier and Patti Regehr Magid for their patience, understanding, and support. There were weeks when Anne and Larry spent more time with each other than they did with their respective spouses and families. Thanks also to Sam and Will Collier, for being good critical thinkers and safe online socializers and for allowing "Mom" to be "author" for awhile, and to Katherine Magid and Will Magid, both recent graduates of teenage-hood, for providing sage advice as social-networking experts who don't have to reach too far back to remember what it's like to be a teen. Thanks also to our young friends Susan, Cameron, Lisa, and many anonymous teen participants in the BlogSafety forum for serving as our native guides in the world of teen social networking.
We are indebted to Danah Boyd at the University of California, Berkeley, for glimpses into her pioneering research on social networking, and also to the researchers at the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center, the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and the Kaiser Family Foundation. They keep all of us current on children's use of the Web and digital media.
We want to acknowledge Detective Frank Dannahey for sharing his wise, balanced approach to working with online kids, and Stephen Carrick-Davies of London-based Childnet International for his support, advice, and encouragement and for helping us understand some of the international implications of social networking. Thanks also to President Ernie Allen and our many friends at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for their support and inspiring work. They are great champions for our children.
This book never could have happened if it weren't for the steady, eagle-eyed editorial supervision of Jill Marts Lodwig, copy editor Kathy Simpson, production editor Connie Jeung-Mills, and the tireless contributions of Mona Bueler who helped us with the hands-on sections of this book. Thanks also to Peachpit Press's Cliff Colby and Nancy Ruenzel for encouraging us to embark on this project.
While we were writing this book, we were also in the final stages of launching BlogSafety.com, a web forum (operated by the non-profit Tech Parenting Group) where parents, teens and experts are talking with each other about the promises and challenges of social networking. Although the site, like this book, is editorially independent, it is receiving support from sponsoring companies, including MySpace, AOL, Bebo, Facebook, Friendster, Hi5, SixApart/LiveJournal, Tagged and Xanga, as well as our hosting company, LiveWorld. These companies agreed to put aside their competitive differences to support a project dedicated to making the Web safer for children and teens, and we appreciate their support.
Although MySpace officials didn't review our manuscript and had no editorial control or influence, we are grateful for their technical support, their insight into the inner workings of the company, and their willingness to answer questions, especially as they were changing some of MySpace's privacy policies as we were finishing the book. Special thanks to Hemanshu Nigam, chief security officer of Fox Interactive Media, and MySpace executives Shawn Gold and Sarah Kaleel for their advice and technical assistance.