Sunday’s Independent is trying to tell us that babies are not only blogging, but making money. Is this believable? The evidence is anecdotal, at best. It sounds like a case for Mr. Jack Shafer. And yet! TotallySonny, quoted in the article is nine-years-old. The fact that these blog exist at all is totally entertaining. Then again, in a post-Tavi world, are we even impressed?
It’s like this, they tell us:
The growing army of child bloggers is tackling subjects from politics to new toys, while improving their literacy skills. The interest has triggered a debate on the wisdom of giving children free rein online, as social networking sites aimed at pre-teens soar in popularity.
This almost gets to the heart of the issue, but then doesn’t. The point, when children spend more time online, is not really the content they’re creating. That’s cute and all, but it’s that companies see dollar signs in children — the same kids who make Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift and High School Musical number one albums — who are going to make their parents spend money on Club Penguin or something. (Do you have no idea what that is? Either you’re not a parent or you’re a really good parent. Keep doing what you’re doing.)
But I digress. So let’s continue to indulge child bloggers for their talents, not the opportunities they present as members of the online marketplace:
Maelo Manning, who turned 11 last week, says she likes to air her views. So much so that she has two blogs – after all, they are free to set up. “It’s fun to say stuff about what you’re thinking, especially about politics.”
And the numbers! Don’t forget the numbers:
Like any fledgling craze, blogging is likely to become more popular, rather than less; recent research by Ofcom, the communications watchdog, found that although just 2 per cent of 8- to 11-year-olds have set up a blog, nearly one in five would like to do so. And interest is higher among older children, with 15 per cent of 12- to 15-year-olds already blogging and one in four interested in starting one.
But the real money quote comes from the aforementioned Sonny, age 9: “My mum was getting loads of traffic on her blog and it seemed like fun.” “Loads of traffic…seemed like fun.” Let that sink in. Then go outside.
The internet comes of age: Meet the tweeny bloggers [Independent]