Every time that I see one of my younger cousins or nieces/nephews I implore them and their parents to get them involved with the Internet right away. Forget having to work at a supermarket for their after school job (nothing against this – I did) but they can be working right from their house, earning good money and more importantly learning skills that will prove invaluable later on. And in many instances companies are looking for younger people to help them understand what their customers want and in many cases market themselves online. This is why I got my 16 year old cousin Kayla involved with my company.
Last February, the Wall Street Journal profiled a bunch of top users from different social networks in a story titled The Wizards of Buzz. The person that got a lot of people’s attention was Adam Fuhrer, not only because of his mastery of Reddit but even more impressive was his age:
On Reddit, one of the most influential users is 12-year-old Adam Fuhrer. At his desktop computer in his parents’ home in the quiet northern Toronto suburb of Thornhill, Mr. Fuhrer monitors more than 100 Web sites looking for news on criminal justice, software releases — and the Toronto Maple Leafs, his favorite hockey team. When Microsoft launched its Vista operating system this year, he submitted stories that discussed its security flaws and price tag, which attracted approving votes from more than 500 users.
Adam was also profiled by the Toronto Star in March:
Adam is also a member of an Internet vanguard which is helping, through its own naÃ¯ve enthusiasm, to impose structure on a rapidly expanding, increasingly chaotic Internet universe.
“At the beginning, I didn’t think anyone would vote for my articles,” he says. He was quickly proven wrong, as he climbed user charts and stayed there for months. When the Wall Street Journal, in a story about the Net’s most influential players, recently revealed his age, there was a furor online.
“Is Adam Fuhrer fictional? Is someone at the WSJ playing with our heads?” wrote one user, laprice. “Don’t believe a word of it,” wrote jamal, another user. “BUT he is 21, not 12.”
An understandable, if entirely incorrect, assessment.
Recently I have spoken to Adam and he knows more about many of the social networks (especially Reddit) than most people. I have seen him on Digg, he knows what people want and knows how to deliver it. And he’s 12. Age is really just a number though.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the 10e20 RSS Feed!