Goodnight, Seesmic. Goodnight, Pete.
New use for social networking: soothing frightened toddlers.
True story: Last night Cyndy Aleo-Carreira, a Web developer turned technology writer and editor who is also a mother of four in Rochester, N.Y., was having trouble getting her 2-year-old, nicknamed Pete (short for Petey Peanut since she's tiny), to fall asleep after watching Pixar's "Monsters Inc."
Although she's not a big fan of video social networking sites, Pete has become a pint-sized Seesmic fan who loves to talk to people through her mamma's laptop. Aleo-Carreira made the mistake of letting her daughter post a video. Now she begs to post one every day. "She just loved the fact that she can talk to people and that she can see them as if they were in the same room," Aleo-Carreira said.
Last night, to stop her daughter from screaming, Aleo-Carreira asked her if she wanted to "do a Seesmic."
"The crying turned right off and she put her camera face on," Aleo-Carreira said.
So the two recorded a video talking about how Pete is scared of monsters. Within minutes, she received a reply from Robert, a Seesmic user with a suggestion he had used with his own kids: Search YouTube for a video that featured one of the actors' voices from the movie. A clip of John Goodman making a cameo on her favorite show, "Sesame Street," did the trick.
"It was one of those 'duh' moments as a parent," Aleo-Carreira said. "She was able to see that Sully was just an animated character voiced by a very friendly looking man who happens to like triangles, and she calmed right down."
Then Pete thanked Robert for replying to her "bidee-yo" and went right to sleep.
Pete even got a reply from Seesmic Chief Executive Loic Le Meur. (Pete likes to repeat Loic's name. "She thinks it's hilarious," Aleo-Carreira says.)
"Our kids are growing up in a world where they can talk to the CEO of a company. They are growing up with a transparent, global society at their fingertips," Aleo-Carreira said. "To her, it's nothing big. It's a fact of life as far as she's concerned."
-- Jessica Guynn