How Young Is Too Young for the Social Web? (Google+ Q&A)

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Yesterday I posed the following question on Google+ and I wanted to highlight the insightful responses that users posted.  If you’d like to join in on this conversation simply add me on G+ and find the post.  I’d like to keep this topic open and ongoing.  Thanks to everyone who has responded and offered up their opinions so far.  I urge you all to get in on the conversation.

Question:

Jerry Rizzo's profile photoJerry Rizzo  - My 12-year-old cousin has been expressing his desire to have his own Facebook account for some time now, and being the only social media enthusiast in my family I feel that I could be his best or worst advocate. He’s a good kid and I think with some strong governance he should be allowed to have his own Facebook account. I’m looking for some advice here. What do you all think? At what age is it suitable for a kid to begin social networking?

Responses:
John Berger's profile photoJohn Berger - Just knowing the kinds of jerks out there and the lax security Facebook has regarding its accounts, we refuse to let our oldest have an account on FB until she’s in high school. Same thing with e-mail because once she has an e-mail account, she can create an account just about anywhere. - Yesterday 9:36 AM
Lisa Corrente's profile photo Lisa Corrente - Just my opinion, not that it’s worth much because I’m not a parent, but I would say general rule, no facebook til high school. But being that you said with “strong governance” it might be ok. Like parents must have the password and be paying attention to what he posts, things like that. Actually come to think of it I don’t know why fb hasn’t put in some kind of parental thing for kids under a certain age - Yesterday 9:39 AM
Jordan Lyons's profile photoJordan Lyons - I feel much of the point of Facebook and other social networking (for kids) is the sense of freedom they can get from it – being able to branch out and find/contact new people, information, and otherwise. When it comes to a “personal journey” of sorts, having a parent around to moderate exactly where they go really strangles the experience. I’d suggest not letting the kid have a Facebook at all until you knew that they could handle themselves once they were cast out into the metaphorical internet ocean. - Yesterday 5:47 PM
Chris Logan Harley's profile photoChris Logan Harley - That’s a great question. For people our age we could compare that question to “when we’re we ready to use the internet (aol)?” Our parents didn’t really know to much about it nor did they really know the benefits or dangers. I had free range over the internent at 10 years old and was immediately introduced to awesome things like napster, chat rooms and search, but was also introduced to some dangerous things like napster, chat rooms and search. I say for facebook, 12 is good — a very social age, and by not having facebook in todays day and age could be a bit restrictive. I think the danger just comes down to the parents who don’t really use facebook…. you got to get caught up! - Yesterday 10:06 PM
Jerry Rizzo's profile photoJerry Rizzo - I hear that Chris. I had pretty much an ungoverned upbringing in regards to internet use as well . The web is undoubtedly more social than ever, so I don’t think I would promote an ungoverned experience for kids today. Seems that the stage has been set for more parents to become social media literate in order to allow their children to safely and responsibly interact online.

Integration 101: What’s Fueling Your Feed? by Jerry Rizzo

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I’ve been frequently asked when I tell people about my interest in the social web, “How do you find the time?” or “What do you post?”.  To avoid delving into deep detail about my social media strategy I typically respond with “It doesn’t take much time” or “I post all sorts of stuff”.  The truth is that I’ve used cross platform integration to fuel my social media feeds.  When done correctly you can generate interesting content for your feed in your sleep.  Literally.


Twitter

Auto-connect to:  Paper.li, WordPress, Tumblr. and LinkedIn

Tumblr.

Auto-connect to: Twitter

StumbleUpon.

Auto-connect to: Twitter

Instagram

Auto-connect to: Tumblr. and StumbleUpon

WordPress

Auto-connect to: Twitter

LinkedIn

Auto-connect to: None

Paper.li

Auto-connect to: Twitter (Will post in your sleep. Told ya.)

Facebook

 Auto-connect to: None.  I’ve found that Facebook integration is tough.  Too much content and your audience tunes out or un-friends you.  Still searching for the perfect way to fuel my Facebook feed.