Updated: Broadband Content Bits: MyCBBC Plans, Innovation Grants, iPlayer US

MyCBBC: The right-wing press gave the BBC a kicking for planning a “Facebook for kids”. In fact, explains CBBC controller Richard Deverell: “MyCBBC is not a social networking.” The site will include a “den” that kids can adorn with stickers, virtual video screens and their own avatar representation. There will be a “Friends Book” with 16 spaces and friends can message each other but, like the relaunched Disney.co.uk, only from a pre-selected list of stock phrases.

Media Sandbox: Six projects exploring innovative and pervasive media technology have shared in a £50,000 grant awarded by the Media Sandbox agency out of Bristol’s Watershed. HMC Interactive and Aardman Animations are projecting cartoon characters on to the city, Altern8 lets people citizens public fountains, Swarm is an urban game involving instant messaging, morale-boosting Happy Town will create a UK “happiness map”, Thought Pie leaves mobile “digital gifts” around the city via Bluetooth, while Harmonize is a city-wide online/offline pervasive game.

iPlayer US: A confused Broadcast story says BBC Worldwide is to launch “a commercially supported American version of the iPlayer” in the next six months. If you thought that would merely be Project Kangaroo, Broadcast makes a distinction between the two. Kangaroo is due to be BBC Worldwide’s alternative to the UK public-service iPlayer, offering ad-supported and pay-for shows. An American iPlayer would be the first to use the iPlayer moniker outside the UK – but then, Broadcast also reckons this project “will most likely use the BBC America”. Confusion reigns.