Social Media Dads

Guest Post by Social Media Dad, Matt McGee from the Matt McGee Blog

10 Comments 28 April 2008

This guest post comes from Matt McGee. Matt is the author of the Matt McGee blog and founder of @U2, the the oldest independent site for U2 fans on the web. He is the fifth in my series featuring the Top Social Media Dads.

“Social Media Dad … Raising a Social Media Son?”

My son wants to start blogging. He’s 10 years old.

Should we let him?

That’s top of mind these days for this Social Media Dad (and my wife), who’s thrilled that his son knows what blogs are and wants to have his own, but also a little bit concerned about him becoming more of a Social Media Son than a Do-Well-In-School Son.

Not long ago, I was sitting on the couch in the family room, banging away on my laptop (no doubt writing a blog post, reading a blog post, or playing/working on Mixx, StumbleUpon, Sphinn, or maybe Yahoo! Answers), when my son said the magic words: “Dad, I want to do a blog.”

I stopped everything I was doing.

“Really?,” I said. “Why do you want to start a blog?” Because it looks fun, he said.

“What would you write about?” He didn’t quite know what I meant, so I explained to him that most blogs have a theme or topic that they focus on, like my Small Business SEM blog is about search marketing for small businesses.

“I guess I’d write about video games and sports and maybe school,” he said.

I told him I’d think about and let him know, but it would have to wait a little while because of all the travel I had coming up (which is almost over).

He’s still waiting for an answer. I’m still thinking about it. Like this:

  • He’s a great kid and gets very good grades. I’m pretty sure it won’t impact his schoolwork negatively. We can always tell him that he can’t turn his computer on until all the homework is done.
  • The one school subject he doesn’t like is writing. So, maybe blogging will help with that. He’ll be forced to come up with an idea, put it in words, etc. — but without the pressure of a pre-assigned topic and deadline. It might be really good for him.
  • Think of all the money he could make! We Social Media Dads and Moms don’t click on ads, but 10-year-olds do! Seriously, we could slap some AdSense ads on his blog, and you know his classmates and other kids his age will click on those video game ads every time they see his blog! This is better than giving him an allowance — it’s teaching him how to make money online with a blog. You won’t learn that stuff in 4th grade, I can tell you that.

There’s also an SEO-related reason for him to start blogging: I registered his name as a .com domain not long after he was born (his 6-year-old sister has her .com name domain, too). If he starts using that domain now, starts putting content on it, letting the domain grow over time, he could be well on his way to having a highly trusted, authoritative domain by the time he really needs to use it. Nice.

So, the question again: Should we let him? I think we probably will. And this Social Media Dad will have a Social Media Son. Look for him soon your favorite social news or bookmarking site. And vote up his stuff, would ya?

You can find Matt on FriendFeed here.

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Your Comments

10 Comments so far

  1. Matt McGee says:

    Thanks for the chance to write this, Kristen — it was fun doing something that wouldn’t really fit on my own blog(s) too well. (And thanks for all those links you added - wow!) :-)

  2. Todd Mintz says:

    Sorry Matt, Scott Hendison’s son has already “schooled” yours:

  3. socialmediamom says:

    Matt~ It has been entirely my pleasure to have you and your adorable son too. :)

  4. socialmediamom says:

    Todd~ Thanks for coming by. That kid’s site is pretty cool. The social media experts of tomorrow!

  5. Dennis Edell says:

    I love these interviews, as they truly bring out the “human” in the people behind the monitors. :)

  6. David Mihm says:

    Matt, I think you should totally let him start blogging. I was just thinking yesterday how our schools don’t train kids with the kinds of skill sets they really need to succeed in the evolving online world. I can’t think of a single class in my K-12 where writing a SHORTER paper was seen as better than writing a LONGER one, yet concise, pointed blog posts are the way pretty much everyone is consuming information these days. As long as you subscribe to his feed to make sure he’s not writing about anything that’ll get him into trouble, I say let him go for it! :)

  7. Crystal says:

    My almost-nine year old daughter started her own blog last year and loves it!

  8. socialmediamom says:

    I agree with David. Although, my 13 year old said his English teacher did a lesson on blogging so at least they’re learning something in school. I would love for my kids to start a blog.


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