Little Blogger

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My eight-year-old has started writing a blog. I blame it on Stampylongnose.

When Felix discovered that Stampy’s youtube channel had reached two million subscribers, his eyes glistened with the kind of fervor shared by evangelists, politicians, rock stars.

My son is a beautiful, sensitive, creative boy, but he’s also a first-class ham.

Since he knows he’s not going to be allowed to tweet or upload videos to youtube, the only way for him to accumulate a large electronic fanbase, at present, is to blog. And this is a kid who doesn’t like to write! He didn’t even know what a blog was until a few months ago, when I started one, but once he overheard a conversation about “followers,” he keyed in really quickly.

I know that most intelligent parents probably wouldn’t consider letting their children have an online presence, but Oz and I decided that as long as we kept Felix’s identity protected and routed responses through my email for weirdo-screening, the benefits could outweigh the risks. Having a “readership,” an “audience,” a reason to express himself might provide the needed incentive for Felix to practice his newly-minted reading and writing skills.

We had a long talk with him about Internet safety and helped him come up with a pseudonym, and then he was ready to go.

For his very first blog, Felix announced that he was going to write about a traumatic event he had witnessed—a man punching a woman in a parking lot the day before Valentines Day. I blanched, suggesting that this “might be a little too grim” for a blog debut—“we don’t want to put people off immediately!”—and fortunately he came around to my editorial viewpoint.

He wrote, instead, about the book we were reading together, The Genius Files. A week later, he wrote about two dove’s eggs he found in a tree with his friends, followed rapidly by descriptions of a typical homeschooling day and food he’s learning to cook. He chose all of the topics himself and wrote the first drafts, and then we went through the paragraphs together, correcting sentence fragments, spelling, and punctuation.

So far, so good. Felix’s enthusiasm for the blog hasn’t (yet) diminished like the guitar lessons or swim team practices. Maybe because he is able to see his work “published” immediately, or because each entry is rewarded by a couple of “likes” or a highly-prized  “following” notice. (One of his followers looks like a hit man but the rest appear to be harmless, kind-hearted, middle-aged women.) Felix cackles over each new conquest, promising to outnumber me before the month is through.

I don’t mind the competition; in fact I take pleasure in it. But for Felix to achieve the sort of Stampy-like success he envisions, he’s going to have to work harder to find his niche, his milieu, his WordPress peeps, and neither of us have a clue about where they might be hanging.

Out of 77 million WordPress sites, aren’t there any other Little Bloggers out there?

Suggestions anyone? Stampy?

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6 thoughts on “Little Blogger

  1. David

    Love this. My son is also highly inspired by the YouTube people he follows. He is a little older at 13, so we are allowing him to start a channel up (Minecraft, of course). I am one of the parents who does not think you are crazy letting kids use the internet. I actively engage with what my son is doing on there, but I am so happy that he is able to form friendships around the world through it. Like your son, Connor also cackles with glee at likes, comments etc and I am subjected to a constant barrage of “has my post beaten yours yet?” What a wonderful era we live in.

    Reply
  2. Tracey Crouchman

    Might this be a young impressive Felix I once met with his lovely mummy at an audition? From what I read I feel that it might be and it would be lovely to meet you both again! So who is on the biggest mission for followers … mummy or Felix?

    Reply
    1. Lillian Gilmour Post author

      Felix (not real name) would love to audition for SOMETHING I’m sure, but we’re not there yet. Thanks for your interest! When I first started my blog I was surprised to get ANY followers, but now that I see how it works, I’m less impressed with myself. (Some “follow” just to increase their own numbers….) Felix is still on a mission and as of today, he’s got 47 followers. His blog can be found at worldofpineapplehead.wordpress.com.

      Reply

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