When asked about its use for children Harris responded:
At the moment, Cowbird is an open ecosystem, with no boundaries or private groups. I haven't studied the laws and best practices around providing safe online space for kids, so I'd have to learn more about them before developing a specific approach for Cowbird.
But in spirit, I think that Cowbird would be a beautiful way for kids to learn about life. Instead of studying a static, one-size-fits-all-curriculum that often feels out of touch with our interconnected, quickly changing, decentralized and networked reality, Cowbird could offer a more flexible and resonant way of teaching kids about the world. (Please read the rest of the article for more insight about how Cowbird could be used for personal purposes or in the classroom setting.)
To begin using the site you need to request an invitation by entering in your name, email address and a bit about yourself and the stories you have to share. I received a reply to my request within two weeks. One of the emails was very brief, my URL link, how to sign in and a link to storytelling tips. The second email was very personal; including a variety of stories already at Cowbird to view, an overview of the project, how to become part of the community by "loving" some favorite stories, and an invitation to contact the sender at anytime if you have any questions.
According to the site:
(Again I encourage potential users to read the complete About section at Cowbird.)
The next screen is what I would call your storytelling workspace. It lists stories by you, loved by you, mentioning you and dedicated to you. It is from here that a story can begin.
Linking stories by place is the purpose of the third icon; listing the number of stories and characters created for those parts of the world.
The final icon is for topics. Topics includes sagas, collections, tags and themes. To date there are two sagas, The First Loves Saga and The Occupy Saga.
When you begin to tell a story the workspace asks you to give it a title and begin writing. Above that space are icons representing editing, adding an image, audio, characters, a date, location and tags. When your story is completed and saved you can see it or begin another story. I selected to see what a finished story would look like to other viewers. The quality of the image is wonderful, the text is bold and simple and the audio is sharp and clear.
On that page you can love it, edit it or share it as well as playing the audio, if added, again. Sharing is via a variety of social networks or by following the given permalink.
Cowbird is one of the best digital storytelling sites I have ever used. Yesterday a post appeared at the TechCrunch site, Cowbird Is A Community For Amazing Storytellers, And Another Reason To Love The Internet by Robin Wauters.