Award-winning sisters provide free Internet space for kids.
By Alicia M. Thomas
| his month, Kidspeak interviewed Emily (18), Sarah (16),
and Elise (12), an Australian sister set that destroys the image of your
typical Webmaster. This team has been involved in Web authoring for the
past four years, and recently won the Youth Award at the Australian
Internet Awards. Their foray in competitive Web authoring had come in
previous years, when Emily won the Youth Award for her Brielle
Online site, the Internet presence of the rising Aussie country music
star. That same year, younger sister Elise was a finalist with Emily for
their Rugrats site, which has
received almost half a million hits to date!
"We each do the things that were best at. We now share the maintenance of the site."
he team won their recent prize for MatMice, one of their more recent Web creations. Sarah, Elise, and Emily explained the site to us: " MatMice gives kids the chance to make their own free home page on the Web. By visiting the Web site, kids can create their own home page by choosing colors, entering text, and adding pictures with the easy-to-use online home page builder. Kids can also learn to write HTML to add extra features to their page (the site includes an HTML tutorial for beginners). To date, over 11,000 kids have used MatMice to make their mark on the Web."
he girls decided to make MatMice after many visitors to the Rugrats site asked how to make their own home pages. Emily and Elise teamed up with Sarah, who provided graphic design and photography, to create MatMice "to provide free home pages to all the kids out there who want to make their mark on the Web."
The sites professionalism
is impressive, from the clean
design to the intuitive navigation. Parents and teachers will like the
section for grownups; kids will benefit from the HTML tutorial, privacy
policy, and Internet safety tips -- in addition to the free home page
of course. Kids will also love the home page of the week and the MatMice
Chart, which lists the 10 most popular MatMice pages.
Although they have all taken basic computer studies in school, Sarah, Elise, and Emily taught themselves most of what they used to create MatMice, from code to design. "Emily wrote all the code that makes the site work. We also used Adobe PhotoShop for the graphics," they said, The girls didnt find it very difficult, but it was a complex process. They mentioned, "It took eight months for Emily to write the code for the home page builder and the site."
hope that people will understand how to create Web pages and learn from
our site, then go on to create better things."
ach sister has a stake in
the running of the site. The ladies said, "Emily does the programming,
Sarah and Elise work on the graphics, and Sarah also takes photographs
which kids can use on their home pages We each do the things that were
best at. We now share the maintenance of the site."
s with many rewarding
undertakings, this one requires dedication. The sisters advised, "Be
prepared for a lot of hard work! It took months and months to create our
site." Such perseverance has obviously paid off. Emily has her own
Web design business; Sarah has professional photography aspirations; and
Elise plans to use computers when she gets out of school. They said, "We
think that technology will play a large role in our futures. We all want
to use computers in our jobs, and we think that technology will also become
more important in everyday life."
Interested in MatMice? Visit these
HTML Tutorial teaches basic HTML for young Web designers.
to sign up with MatMice?