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Kids' Internet

You Go, Girls, to These Sites for Dating, Family and School Tips

April 12, 2001|KAREN JONES | karen@kjnyc.com

Two major Web sites for girls, Gurl.com and Agirlsworld.com, approach their teenage audiences with different styles.

Gurl.com, at http://www.gurl.com, targets a broad range of young women 13 to 24 and sports a funky visual style. The site deals with all the usual teenage hot points--such as dating, sex, body image, family, schools and pop culture--and mixes in appropriate doses of humor.

Departments include: Looks Aren't Everything, a love/hate look at beauty and fashion; Dealing With It, a section devoted to hints for getting through the day; and Stop, Look and Listen, for the latest on books, music and movies. In Movers, Shakers and Media Makers, girls are exposed to successful women in the arts as well as advice on how they can explore careers.

Gurl.com offers honest and sometimes very frank commentary on the ups and downs of being a teenager. Although strictly monitored, it is not recommended for younger girls. There are advice, news, polls, games, comics and contests accessible on the home page.

Agirlsworld.com (http://www.agirlsworld.com) calls itself an "online magazine promoting writing, independence and communication" and offers girls 10 to 15 the chance to participate in varied activities.

All of Agirlsworld.com's 600 pages are written and edited by a worldwide team of 90 teen editors and 1,000 teen writers. All pages are screened by the adult staff before posting. Visitors can either participate or enjoy the site's sections, which include entertainment coverage in City Walk, plus plenty of fashion, dating and family issues in the Advice area.

Features can run the gamut from technology tips to animal-rights activists. A pen-pal club brings together girls from more than 100 English-speaking countries in a safe online environment.

Agirlsworld.com has proved so successful that a series of books taken from the site's content titled "Talking About" will be published in May.

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Karen Jones is a freelance writer specializing in children's interactive media.

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