SmartFeed FAQ

GENERAL SMARTFEED QUESTIONS

What is SmartFeed's mission?

We are a passionate team of parents, technologists, marketers and entrepreneurs on a mission to use media for good! Our mission is to empower parents to make screentime more valuable for their kids. By offering up inspiring digital content options – customized for each child’s interests, values and academics – SmartFeed gives parents peace of mind about their kids' screentime.

What promises does SmartFeed make?

We promise to be a safe, trusted source of high-quality digital media options and technology solutions for parents. We believe in the power of technology and want to harness it to offer media content that inspires, broadens, sparks curiosity and helps kids grow. 

What is SmartFeed's process?

We believe parents should be the stewards of their children’s media experience. Since every child is unique, we strive to uncover an abundance of options and opinions to help parents source the most suitable media for their unique child. We’ve started by scouring the universe of media titles (starting with movies, TV shows, apps and books) with the filter of ages 14 and younger. When we can find them, we have also surfaced links to reviews from some of our favorite advisors: Common Sense Media, Kids In Mind, and Children's Technology Review as well as large sellers and reviewers such as Amazon, Apple, Google, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and Meta Critic.

We then mobilize our trusted SmartFeed human curators. With experience as children's librarians, youth educators, content editors and parents - they read and digest multiple points of view across the kids' media spectrum to present a balanced assessment of a title on our content title page. We use metadata and keyword tags to help organize media against the values, interests and academics each family sets. In addition, we've identified "Positive Mindset" media as core metric for our evaluation. This is media that is particularly inspiring in a social-emotional learning context and very core to our mission of inspiring kids through media. Check out our blog post to read further. 

What about privacy?

All personal data that you submit to SmartFeed is private. We do not share our mailing lists or associated data with anyone, nor do we accept advertising. Data about media preferences may be used in aggregate (with no associated personal information) to share with content providers in order to illustrate parent preferences for inspiring media.

What's next forthe  SmartFeed platform?

SmartFeed is still in development and this is an early version of the product. It’s very usable at this point, and should start helping you better manage media in your house as soon as you get started. But, we are still working some kinks out and know there are many ways to make it better. Soon, you will see:

  • Many more titles to choose from (we’re at 27,000 and counting!)
  • New categories of media – console games and music coming soon
  • More ways to connect with your community
  • Native app for yoru mobile devices

Why don’t you allow me to connect to Netflix or Comcast?

At this time, Amazon, Apple and Google are open sources that make it easy for us to work with their titles. Although you filter all of our titles by "available on" Netfix, Comcast/Xfinity, Amazon, Apple TV and Google, Netflix and Xfinity subscription services aren not directly connected to SmartFeed.

Learn more about how to "Get the Media" you like.

Incorporating links to Netflix and Comcast is on our roadmap, but is more technically complex and may take some time. In the meantime, we’re offering “Staff Picks” that showcase some of the “Best of” on these channels. 

Can I give feedback directly to SmartFeed?

Absolutely! We'd love to hear from you. We’re here to help you get the most out of SmartFeed. Ping us anytime at feedback@thesmartfeed.com.

SET-UP QUESTIONS

Welcome & Quick How To Videos:

Your SmartFeed quick start - 5 short cut tips to get the most out of SmartFeed.

How long does set-up take?

Set-up can take just a minute, or up to 5-10 minutes, depending upon how much detail you provide about your kids’ media parameters. The more information you provide, the better your recommendations are, so we suggest taking a few extra minutes during set-up to ensure you get the most out of SmartFeed.   

See more on "How to set up a profile".

How does protectiveness about media exposure play into the recommendations?

Parents differ in terms of how protective they are about their kids media exposure. Our default settings (in the center) will present appropriate content for the age that you set for your child, unless you change this scale to restrict or enable media options outside of their age. In addition, you can enable or restrict certain content filters (Violence/ Scary, Sex/Nudity and Bad Language), and adjust academic settings as well.

How do the Child Profile elements work?

This is the place where you can customize recommendations based on your unique child! We offer three general categories: Values, Interests, and Academics, with additional levels of specificity under each of these. For example, you may select “Sports” as Interest for your child, and then select “Soccer” and “Basketball” as specific sub-category sports of interest. You can always add or change these settings, but keeping them up to date for your child will help SmartFeed serve up the best and most customized media content for family.

See more on "How to set up a profile".

Help! Why are there so many options to choose from?

We've designed SmartFeed to be very rich and robust. If set-up seems overwhelming, simply start with your kids’ ages and a couple of top-level categories (for instance, age 6-9, interested in sports and animals), and you can start diving into the content immediately. The less specific your parameters, the more content you will see in your Recommendations. As you get more specific and tag more interests, you will see fewer content options, that are better targeted for your child.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS

How do the Community features work?

Word-of-mouth recommendations from those we trust speak volumes! You can connect to your friends and family and directly share recommendations in this area, based on what you rate and review. We also aggregate media choices (anonymously) in the Community section, if you want to see what's trending in your area (zip code) as well as in your children's age groups across the country. It’s important to note that your Community recommendations are based on what your "selected" community is doing – so they may not match your content filter preferences or profile tags. The three types of feeds you can include - or exclude – are:

  • Your child's age: To see what all kids nationwide are "liking/watching" (this is all 3+ star titles appropriate for your child's age)
  • Your zip code: To see all 3+ star titles appropriate for your child's age in your zip code
  • Your selected network: To see all titles from friends you have opted in to "follow" who have accepted your request

See more about finding and following Curators to make finding great kids' media easier.

How can I help make the Community section robust?

The two simplest and most effective way are by:

  • Rating & Reviewing what your kids have watched and played
  • Sharing your feedback with the community and with social media channels (Facebook and Twitter)

What are other families up to?

We've all heard, "but everyone else can do it, Mom!". But do you really want to know what media choices other families are making? Go here. Follow people. Invite people. Share with people. Learn what’s really trending in your neighborhood with your kids' classmates. Over time – we all get smarter and we all help each other do a better job of what we hope to do – with smarter tools to help. Cheers!

 

LIBRARY QUESTIONS

How does the Library work? Is it different from Recommendations?

The Library is the place where you can save things you like. Recommendations will change based on your adjustments to search parameters, but everything you save to the Library will stay there. You can choose to save to one child’s Library, or to your family’s Library for content that works for the whole family. The Library is what saves you from “what should we watch tonight?!”  Save to your child’s Library and you’ll always have options handy when you’re next in need of a new app, movie or TV show.  Other tips:

  • You can filter and sort your library with the navigation filters just as you do Recommendations
  • You'll can also see what family has viewed and shared, as well as what you’ve saved and rated in the Library.

Learn how to set up playlists and your child's library.

So how do I actually watch what’s in the Library?

For much of the media included in SmartFeed, we offer “Get it – Now!” links to purchase and download the media you want.  Easy links are offered to Amazon, Apple and Google. 

 

RECOMMENDATIONS QUESTIONS

How do the Recommendations work?

The Recommendations section shows content (Apps, Movies, TV Shows and Books) that SmartFeed recommends for your child(ren), based on what parameters you select in Set-up. You can view recommendations by child, or by Family (combines parameters of your children to account for a broader range of ages, interests, etc.). You can review the options in Recommendations and then save what you like to your Library to have an ongoing list of content you want to watch.

See more about how to get SmartFeed recommendations right for you!

What if Recommendations shows titles I’ve already seen, or know we’re not interested in?

Use the Hide feature and we won’t show it to you again. If you change your mind, you’ll still be able to find it if you search by title and select Unhide.

How can I get more Recommendations than what you show?

We serve recommendations based on your profile selections. If you'd like more content, simply add more "tags" with additional Values, Interests or Academics. It’s helpful to revisit the tags you’ve set every few months, just since kids grow and change so quickly! 

Can I sort my Recommendations in different ways?

Yes, this is easy! You can quickly sort by different age parameters, by ratings or even by provider. Some examples below:

  • Have friends over for dinner with kids of all ages, set the age filter around the age fit for your crew and see what matches.
  • For a quality indicator, sort by SmartFeed stars (our algorithm of multiple ratings).
  • Heading out on date night and need an Amazon prime movie ASAP? Sort your recommendations or library by "Provider" and cue up what's available on Amazon.

How can I give feedback about my Recommendations?

Please contact us at feedback@thesmartfeed.com. If you have suggestions it will help improve SmartFeed.