Loading...
The Family Room The Family Room Blog Home

Boy, 12, launches youth social networking site

Grom Social caters to kids and their protective parents.

By Britt Olson MSN Living Editor Jan 15, 2013 4:25PM

Boy geniuses and tech startups are common modern marketplace phenomena. The barons of our time may be the 20-year-old programmers who provide Internet services that the public embraces but never knew it wanted.

So, we should expect to see more young innovators offering their unique perspectives on online communications.

Zach Marks, a 12-year-old from Melbourne Beach, Fla., is the most recent, and perhaps the youngest, entrepreneur to enter the social networking market.

Photo: www.gromsocial.comAfter some convincing, Marks’ parents agreed to let him create a profile on Facebook. However, learning that Marks had conversed with adults online whom they didn’t know, they barred Marks from using this profile.

More from MSN Living: 11 mom sayings it's ok to ditch

Exiled from the online social sphere, Marks began his own network, one geared toward an under-18 audience that would also garner parental approval. Although originally created just for his friends and family, the Marks family has decided to release the site to the public.  

Grom Social requires parental permission for users to create profiles. To create a profile users must enter a parent's email address. The site sends parents “report cards” on their children’s site activity and interests.

Marks doesn't think parental involvement will deter kids from using the site. " I personally experienced what happens on social networking sites that are not safe for kids. I saw bad language and I was bullied. It was scary," Marks says. "With all the bad things happening in the world, kids want to know they are safe from bad people." 

Bing: Facebook to make major announcement

Users create a cartoonish avatar, a grom-atar, that they use on the brightly-colored, animated site to interact with “friends” and explore topics such as health, school, sports and entertainment. The site offers video game tips and help with school subjects for grades 1-10.

More from MSN Living: The top 10 worst moments in mom judgment

"We're getting 25,000 plus visits a day. Our membership grows every hour and we're speaking with some of the biggest companies in the world about becoming involved with GromSocial," Marks states.

If it continues to catch on, Grom Social just may be an incubator for future Mark Zuckerbergs and Zach Markses.


More from the Family Room:
Is homework really necessary?
Library reconsiders ban on children
School bans bible club prayer box

Love content like this? Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on Pinterest

Photo: www.gromsocial.com

14Comments
Jan 15, 2013 11:47PM
avatar

My neice and nephew had the following 2 rules growing up (obviously had others). No more than 30 minutes of computer playtime per day and no more than 30 minutes of non-educational TV per day. They had unlimited computer and TV for educational activities.

 

Neice just finished with straight A's in first semester of college. Taking all somphore level classes because she all ready had freshman level credits completed. Active in sports and plays on the school soccer team.

 

Nephew is a sophmore in HS and is taking all college level classes with straight A's. Active in sports and is captain of his hockey team.

 

Parents need to stop letting TV and the internet raise their kids.

Jan 15, 2013 10:59PM
avatar

It is people like this that are why the world is such a horrible place. Everyone spends all their time looking for the worst in any given situation “one stop shop for pedophiles” because the worst is something to talk about. Sad sad day. Perhaps these people should do something just like this young man has and try and be a part of the solution rather than standing back and doing nothing accept bi*#hing about everything that is wrong. Here is a great concept if you think you can do it better than go and do it rather than spending your time here criticizing this young mans work. I mean for goodness sakes a 12 year old boy can do it why cant you.   

Jan 15, 2013 10:54PM
avatar
I hope safeguards are in place.  A kid's social site like this would be a pedo magnet.
Jan 15, 2013 10:28PM
Jan 15, 2013 10:26PM
avatar
If I had a son, I'd like him to be like Mark, a problem solver for whatever interests peak his curiousity.
Jan 15, 2013 10:25PM
avatar
This little "RAT" works for the FEDS...
Jan 15, 2013 9:49PM
avatar

Why is everyone so negative?  Instead of applauding a 12 year old give for trying to create a solution to what he viewed as a problem, you are bashing it.  I think it's safe to say that 98% of the adult population in this country is too stupid to even comprehend what this kid did and because they don't understand it, they immediately don't like it.  To most of America, starting a business means buying a plow.

 

Technology isn't going away and I think it's great that someone that young took some initiative and created something instead of pouting until he his parents gave in.

Jan 15, 2013 9:45PM
avatar
"parental permission" is a "parents" e-mail? That's suppose to ensure only under 18's can access this site? Huh???? 
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

News, stories, tips and laughs for moms & dads

  • Baby in a bouncer

    10 things a new mom can't live without

    As a new mom, you’ve recently discovered there are many things you can live without—sleep and modesty being chief among them. But what can’t you live without? Seasoned moms share their Top 10 list for how to survive the early months of motherhood.

  • 28 ways to teach your kids to love their bodies (Courtesy of YourTango)

    28 ways to teach your kids to love their bodies

    Here are our experts' best tips for how to be a positive role model for your kids so that they grow up healthy, strong and confident about the way they look.

  • Parents fighting with child nearby

    Is your unhappy marriage hurting your kids?

    The center of the family is your relationship; not the children.

  • Cell phone in bed

    12 ways to have a great morning

    Transform your mornings from grumpy to great by following these 12 simple steps. (Singing in the shower is highly encouraged.)

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

    12 celebrities who opted to adopt

    We're all aware of the reasons one might prefer to raise biological children. There's the miraculous experience that is pregnancy and childbirth. Also, let's not forget how expensive adoption is (though with the cost of childbirth in the United States growing ever-more crippling, it's hard to say which method is most economical). Couple that with the difficulty of the adoption process -- unless, of course, you're Madonna -- and you've got plenty of strong incentives to go the traditional route. Despite the arduous adoption process and the significant financial commitment, all kinds of people -- both famous and not -- choose to adopt for a variety of reasons. Check out this slideshow to see which celebrities (besides the famous Jolie-Pitts) opted to adopt.

  • Parenting TED Talks SS

    The 8 TED talks every parent needs to watch

    One of our favorite ways to start the day is with a piping hot cup of coffee and a thought-provoking TED talk. In case you'€™re not familiar with the group, TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading ideas through projects and talks by a diverse group of inspired thinkers - people of all cultures, ages and disciplines. As you can probably guess, listening to these innovators share their ideas is a surefire way to jumpstart your day and get your creative juices flowing. Click through the slideshow above for the eight TED talks every parent needs to see. By Cordelia Tai

  • Pinterest (Pinterest)

    5 ways to 'prove' the Easter Bunny exists

    Got kids that are questioning whether or not the Easter Bunny is real? If you want to keep the tradition going at least one more year, try one of these ideas...

  • gracechon.com

    Adorable pics of baby and his matching rescue dog

    You're cold-hearted? We'll take care of that for you...read on.

  • Image via Tumblr // Image via Tumblr (Image via Tumblr)

    Kid writes the best poem ever about how much poetry sucks

    This kid despises poetry and he's not afraid to let you know.

  • Monster Jam World Finals 2014 (Courtesy of Dynamom)

    6 reasons monster truck shows rock

    I used to be one of those moms who thought, 'who on earth would bring their child to an event like that?' and then I had a son. Here's why you might become a convert, too.

  • 6 signs your home is ruled by cats (© Caroline Golon)

    6 signs your home is ruled by cats

    Take a look at your house for these telltale signs that a cat is running the show.

  • 7 signs you're ready to get a dog (© Thinkstock)

    7 signs you're ready to get a dog

    Check out this list of requirements you should meet before getting a new puppy or adult dog.

Loading...
buzzing now on msn living
Loading...
follow us
follow us follow us on facebook follow us on pinterest follow us on twitter
family videos