Broodbeat is a website used by Helen and Jake in 2001, as seen on the MTV websites. It's a website that boasts how it can use the internet to keep busy families close without the need for human contact: there can be 24/7 contact with the family members from anywhere in the world. Their disclaimer says this is not guaranteed and "family togetherness is the responsibility of family participants". It warns that, as a service provider, it is not responsible for "dysfunctional" family dynamics being carried out on their site ("that Jenny Jones case scared the crap out of us").
Helen and Jake have purchased a Broodbeat page and exalted in it (Helen was writing in red text and Jake in purple, after fifteen minutes of debate over the colours ("don't change your mind again")):
H: With the demands of a two-career household (three, if you count the fact that I do twice as much work as anyone else at my firm) it's difficult to keep family lines of communication open, let alone find the time to truly share to each other's feelings and concerns ... we were truly relieved when we found a web site where you can set up a family homepage and access it 24-hours-a-day from anywhere in the world.
J: Not that we ever get to go on a vacation, damn it! Now I wish red weren't already taken.
H: With this new homepage, I don't feel so bad when I have to work through the weekend or leave the house before sunrise or when I recite docket numbers in my sleep.
J: I thought you were just counting a really big bunch of sheep!
H: I can parent on the run, without having to eat up a lot of time hanging around my husband and children waiting for them to say something worth paying attention to. Oh, that sounds awful, doesn't it? Is this just a way to shirk the responsibilities that come with choosing to reproduce in the optimistic bloom of youth, never imagining that someday you would find yourself shouldering the bulk of the difficult parenting decisions while your spouse remains blissfully disconnected from reality, lost in a dream world of his own making?
J: I didn't expect this purple to look so violet.
They then let Daria set up the page, which is why it says:
We are a family of four: Jake, Helen, Quinn and Esmerelda. We enjoy wholesome activities like quilting, raising border collies, and reversing the earth's gravitational pull. I guess you could say we're a happy, well-adjusted family. You could also say that every spring a gigantic hare travels around the globe hiding chocolate ellipsoids in people's yards.
Announcements can be made by a family member and then replied to. Quinn has announced a Fashion Club meeting about avoiding "Lash Clump"; Jake is asking for his lucky socks ("with the lucky hole in the big toe") for a consulting confab; Helen says she can take one of the others out for lunch today as her client lunch is off ("sentenced to house arrest--LONG STORY!"); and Daria has posted "Just wondering, is anyone else seeing ghostly apparitions in the storm windows?"
You can also set up a calendar for your family and polls.