CBBC has announced Dixi, a new comedy drama format that aims to educate children about the risks associated with using the internet.
The episodes of Dixi will be available exclusively online, via the BBC's mobile, tablet and desktop platforms. The first episode launches on the 24th February, with 30 webisodes in total scheduled across three weeks.
Dixi follows the story of Shari, whose entire life is on Dixi - a fictional social network at the heart of the series. From chatting to friends and sharing pictures, to posting funny vlogs, this social network is her life... That is, until her page is defaced, her password changed and she is locked out. To Shari, it's the end of the world, but with the help of her closest friends she sets out to discover who hacked Dixi and 'murdered' her profile page.
The BBC explains that Dixi aims to encourage children to enjoy the creativity of the net while also getting them to think about the potential dangers of social networking, from online privacy and safety settings, to the real-world consequences of cyber bullying.
The episodes, which are shot in a first-person 'selfie' style, will be available in the form of daily video-blogs, or vlogs. Episodes will be published Monday to Friday during the three week broadcast window, with one instalment going online before school, and another after.
Alongside the webisodes, there will be interactive web chats and content to give the CBBC audience an opportunity to engage with the programme, to try to solve the mystery of who did it, and gain an understanding of the complex issues raised in the series.
Head of CBBC, Cheryl Taylor, says: "It's important to raise awareness about safety online and Dixi does this in an engaging, educational and entertaining way. To kick off, we're releasing the Dixi website and a song to coincide with Safer Internet Day on 11th February. Titled IRL, the song highlights that everything you do online can have consequences in 'real life', a message that is central to the show."
Patrick Healy from CBBC adds: "We know children's media habits are changing and we must innovate to reach audiences whenever and wherever they are. By the new approach to release content across the day, Dixi is a great example of how rich online content can work across multiple platforms and at the same time help children and parents engage with important issues and continue their learning online."
Melanie Stokes from Kindle Entertainment, comments: "Most of the CBBC audience will be about to take the plunge into that very exciting and unchartered world of social media for the first time. With Dixi we want to really use the vernacular of those sites to dramatise the highs and lows that come with living life online."