“I’ve met the future of Social Media and her name is Hannah.”

From Social Media Explorer:

I’ve seen the future of social media and her name is Hannah.

A few weeks ago I was privileged to host the first-ever conference for tween and teen bloggers and their families, the Digital Family Summit. However immodest this may seem, I truly feel this event was a watershed moment in social media. It was clear from listening to and meeting the 125 kids in attendance that content creation permeates every fiber of their being.

My conference co-organizer, Jennie Baird, said this in our conference program:

Gone are the days of kids being spoon-fed adult-created content like Saturday morning cartoons and “After School Specials.“ The idea of creating media is as natural to today’s tweens and teens as flipping on the radio or the television was to their parents. And today’s tweens and teens are creating new formats, new ideas, and a new breed of information and entertainment that is relevant and meaningful to them. Social media and mobile devices ensure that they (and us) are always connected and that the ideas and information shared spread like wildfire.

We created the conference because we know that we’re in the midst of a fundamental shift in the way media is created and consumed: 14% of teens are blogging and 27% record and upload video. The numbers grow rapidly each year. And for parents, educators and brands, listening to and learning from these digital creators is becoming increasingly important.

Hannah Alper is just one such creator. Within a few days of the Digital Family Summit, this smart and articulate 9-year-old re-platformed her blog to self-hosted WordPress based on a single morning’s workshop. At the Summit, she also honed her digital photography skills. She’s multi-platform, multi-talented, and doesn’t stop creating. She recently complained to her mom that she’s worried about missing things because she won’t be able to blog or check her comments from sleepaway camp.

Digital Family Summit teen speaker Xander Hansen has 740 subscribers and 3 million views on his YouTube channel and is an avid Twitter and Foursquare user. He’s putting money away for college from the revenue on his YouTube channel. He started creating videos when friends asked for his help with Minecraft, and now shares video on everything from mini skateboards to Legos. Just watch one of his videos: it’s clear the confidence he’s building through his on-screen endeavors will serve him well no matter what direction he takes in life.

Kids like Hannah and Xander are not just growing up digital, they are digital. They don’t know anything else but creating and sharing, because those tools are readily available and built-in to every device they own. Where are these digital kids headed and what should we know about them?

Continue reading the rest of the story on Social Media Explorer