Nickelodeon Launches Parenting Community Site

Hoping to branch out of the traditional youth market, kids' TV network Nickelodeon Monday launched a social networking and community site for parents.

The new site, ParentsConnect.com, is aimed at adults who grew up with the network at its launch 27 years ago and are now parents themselves, said Kyra Reppen, general manager of ParentsConnect.com and NickJr.com, owned by Nickelodeon parent MTV Networks.

"Nickelodeon has been superserving kids for 27 years now, and many of those kids are having kids themselves," she said. "This is a way for Nickelodeon to start expanding its offerings to a wider family audience." The site will include moderated forums on parenting issues, parenting tips from other parents, and personal profiles and customizable home pages.

At launch, Nissan has signed on as a sponsor. The company will sponsor a branded section of the site that deals with parents balancing their careers and other aspects of their lives. Reppen said that the site will look for other, similar sponsorship deals, dubbed "advermodules," which will be similar to advertorials in magazines and newspapers. Insurance company State Farm and Procter & Gamble's diaper brand, Pampers, also will advertise on the site.

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Reppen said that the new site was part of a larger play toward parents. In December of last year, Nickelodeon purchased GoCityKids.com, a local listings site for kid-friendly activities, which now powers the local listings on ParentsConnect.com, and in 1999, NickJr.com relaunched as a site focused on activities that parents could do with their kids surrounding NickJr TV programming such as "Blue's Clues" and "Dora the Explorer."

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