We’ve talked in this blog before about the rise in prominence of social networking and its implications for serving the needs of diverse communities. Well the latest hit social network is aimed at the an even younger audience. The phenomenon sweeping through elementary schools is Club Penguin. It’s a site developed here in BC that kids can go to and create their own penguin avatar and play games (for money), meet and chat with other penguins and generally hang out. If you are a member (costs about $6 a month) you can buy pets (puffles) for your penguin, furniture, accessories even pizza and coffee. It’s becoming so popular (700,000+ registered users adding thousands more everyday) that Disney themselves recently bought the company that created it for between $350 – $700 million depending on the sites growth in the near future. It will be interesting to see how Disney intends to use it’s new acquisition and how long it will be before we see Disney branding in Penguin Cove. For now its definitely more popular for social networking in my household than Second Life (the grown ups say so!).