GromSocial.com: A Facebook alternative for kids 6-15Posted: January 6, 2013 | |
Zach’s a “grom,” a young, up and coming surfer and a “promising young person, who is quick to learn.” Only 11-years-old, he’s created a social networking site just for kids called Grom Social.
Zach built the site last November after his dad made him deactivate his Facebook account.
“I had [Facebook] for about a week, and I was addicted,” he writes on Grom Social’s blog. “I spent all my time on the computer chatting with friends.” His dad kicked him off when he “made mistakes.”
“One of my adult friends cursed and posted something inappropriate, and I cursed back. Also, I friend-requested grown ups who I did not know. About a day later, my dad found out. He was really mad. I had to deactivate my account. Then, I was really mad.”
Zach searched for an alternative social networking site for kids, but couldn’t find one he liked. They were “childish.” They weren’t “interesting.” So, after much thought, the idea of Grom Social came to him one night. (I guess nighttime guesswork is popular with the kids these days too.)
In addition to these safeguards, the site’s management and operations teams are staffed with highly-experienced IT professionals. Other contributors include a teacher, principal, nurse, and police officer.
Grom Social features interactive games, videos, current news, chat rooms for various interests, groups (e.g. “Book Reviews,” “Arts and Crafts,” and “Throwback Cartoons”), personal profiles, mail, funny videos and featured videos such as “Athlete of the Week.” A “GromTutor” section offers study aids and homework help. The “Stay Fit Healthy” section provides tips on kid-friendly diet and exercise plans.
Zach has a hand in developing all of the content of the site. “I spend lots of time drawing new graphics, researching new games, fun facts, cool kids books, cool videos, nutrition tips and highlighting the best young up and coming athletes.” Beyond all of these features, Zach seems to be most proud of the site’s funky, “really, really cool graphics.”
If you read the whole Grom Social story, it’s hard to deny how precocious Zach is. Savvier than most entrepreneurs, he knows his audience well (because he is the audience) and he knows how to stick with what they want and need.
Unlike Zach’s most famous rival Mark Zuckerberg, who sold out his users a long time ago when he let the whole world in on what was supposed to be just college fun and is now struggling with how to protect children from the adult content of that other social networking site, Zach is sticking to Grom Social’s mission: a “social networking site created by kids, for kids!” Kids want fun and they want help and Zach’s site gives them both.
“Kids seem to like my site, especially the Grom Helpers and the games,” he writes. “It is coming along well…I am excited to watch it grow. I am proud of my efforts in making my idea a reality.”