Instead of logging in via your web browser, you plug in a USB key which automagically runs and gets you connected to a journal-like photosharing diary entering platform. The network runs totally in flash so you can also play games and chew the breeze in a safe environment.
The genius of this is that nobody can get access to your profile unless they have a USB key and you’ve shared your connection details.
What I find interesting about this is that it is looking for a different method to try and keep kids safe online – a topic that is often debated and a solution never really found.
There are many different social networks trying different tactics.
GirlsGuideTo.com for example uses Facebook Connect to specify sex and age of older users to remain closed – again, a good way of keeping undesirables out.
Where My Secret Circle falls down however, is the insistence on paying $19.99 to actually purchase the USB key. With so many other social networks out there, i’m not sure parents will be keen to pay out just to keep their kids in touch online.
It provides a safer alternative to Myspace for example, but is it a sustainable business model? I’d suggest in the long term, not so.