My kids love to play on the computer. They spend lots of time on PBSKids, NickJr, Disney, Shockwave and MiniClip. Recently, I noticed my four-year-old daughter spending an exceptional amount of time on a particular site for a TV show. The show is called BunnyTown and, honestly, I don't think she's ever watched it.
The site can be found here:
The site has many of the same features of other sites we've done for TV shows: games and show information. But, this site does a great job of simply and effectively adding community, personalization and a rewards system to the site.
Kids are able to earn carrots by playing games. With these carrots, they are able to purchase new clothing for their 'My Bunny' (including seasonal items like Halloween costumes) as well as buy items for their 'My Home'. They are also to view other kids' 'Homes' and 'Bunnies' and leave them messages. All this functionality is extremely intuitive and well-done.
The big take-away from this is that my daughter has a ton of fun on this site and spends significantly more time on it than other shows (which she actually watches). While they've probably put a lot of work into the design and implementation to make the site so intuitive, there's no reason why we couldn't do something similar for our sites.
Something to think about as we're coming up with ideas....