When I ran across this recent article week in Florida Today about an 11 year-old who’s created a hot new social networking site for kids called Grom Social, I immediately thought to myself,
If, in less than a year, a tween can launch a Facebook for kids, get major media attention, and stand to earn millions of dollars before he turns 18 (if the company goes public), why did I go to college?
I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy college or don’t see the value in higher education. Quite the contrary. I do, however, believe that if I skipped UC Davis, gotten a certificate in web design and programming, and waited for social media to take off, I would be on the beach raking in big bucks from my iTunes apps right about now. Instead, I, like millions of Gen Xers, struggle to pay back student loans as a mid-level, junior executive, entrepreneur :-). I digress.
After his parents banned him from joining Facebook (you must be 13 or older), freckled face Zach Marks of Florida decided to school his parents – and the content marketing world – on how the iGeneration deals with adversity by launching his own social networking site for kids in the fall of 2012.
The site is financially backed by his father, Darren Marks, and is being marketed as a safe, kid friendly alternative to Facebook for youth 16 and under. In order for members to join, they must adhere to strict parental monitoring rules built into the site’s messaging and friend approval system. Zach drives the creative direction and illustrates the characters, however, content is produced by a kaleidoscope of kids and adults called Grom Helpers while his parents ensure children’s online privacy and safety standards are enforced.
Grom Social’s content is delivered through the following six main sections:
I love how Grom Social promotes other kid entrepreneurs’ YouTube channels encouraging exercise within their fitness section.
Additional themed sections house even more kid friendly content, including original book reviews by Grom Helpers, Go Green recycling and conservation videos, and healthy recipe videos presented by the Grom Chef. Each of the areas include original articles as well as fun and informative videos, images, and games sourced from a variety of third-party sites that cater to its members, affectionately referred to as Groms (a promising young individual who is quick to learn).
As I bounce around the site, it’s clear Zach and his team know a thing or two about creating and delivering quality content to its target audience. I designed the word cloud diagram below to illustrate the themed sections throughout Grom Social as well as the variety of content (i.e., fitness, nutrition, sport, math, reading, and music videos; games; health and safety tips; social responsibility badge; articles; cheat codes; etc.) and paths visitors can take to find what they’re looking for from the homepage.
Content marketing executives take heed, you may soon be working for your grandchildren.
So, does this mean we have officially stepped into an era of the child as CEO? Adults, are we becoming obsolete?