Eleven Year Old Launches Safe Social Network For Kids

"Zach Marks…The Next Zuckerberg..." - Huffington Post

Gromsocial.com Created by Kids for Kids

Jan 14, 2013, 10:17 ET from GromSocial

NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- What happens when an 11 year old is banned from Facebook twice?

Well if you are 11-year-old Zach Marks with an I.Q. of 147, who has been nominated for inventor of the year by the Florida Inventors Society, you go out and create your own social network – GromSocial (www.gromsocial.com).  Zach, who is now 12, is the second oldest of 6 children ranging in ages from 1 to 14.  He hails from Melbourne Beach, Florida from a family known for producing nationally ranked surfers and has caused a bit of a viral wave for himself.  After being banned from Facebook by his father for the second time, Zach asked his mother if it would be alright if he made his own "safe" site for his friends and siblings to use.  After getting permission, Zach borrowed $2,500 from his older brother Luke to create the site.  Four months later when he presented the creation to his father for the first time, his father was so impressed by the level of sophistication that Zach had produced, that the family then rolled up their sleeves and pitched in to get the word out. 

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130114/NY40929LOGO )

"After seeing Zach interacting on Facebook, with older kids and adults that were using language unsuitable for any child, I wanted to take control of the situation and eliminate my children's exposure to unprotected social platforms.  Amazed by what Zach put together we began contacting schools in the area and passed out material promoting the GromSocial network and getting about 500 members overnight," stated Zach's father Darren Marks.  

"Parental approval is an integral part of the site and is required before a child can begin experiencing the many wonders of the site.  We built an environment that not only gives parents continued control but encourages safety and allows kids to be themselves.  We have anti-bullying, anti-drug and anti-smoking sections.  Educational videos are available in the Grom tutorial section for grades 1-10, in addition to places where kids can comment on current events and of course games and entertainment.  We wanted to create a safe and secure place that benefits kids' lives and we are hearing back from parents that it is doing just that," concluded Marks. Click Here to Join with our registration page.

GromSocial, which has grown organically, has seen significant traction and the family has begun getting calls from local media which landed Zach on the cover of FLORIDA TODAY and the local FOX-TV affiliate which garnered syndication from such publications like USA TODAY, HUFFINGTON POST, RADAR ON LINE, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS AND YAHOO NEWS.  

Recognizing the opportunity ahead, GromSocial set out to find a strategic partner with the expertise and experience to assist it in managing the viral media blitz the site was to encounter.  Such a partnership was formed with Mark Arzoomanian, Chairman and CEO, and Anthony Sirabella, President and Chief Technology Officer, who are experts in the field of Technology Solutions servicing firms worldwide across Media, Entertainment, Financial Services, Insurance, Legal, and Energy verticals.  The first order of business together was to ensure the site could handle the anticipated increase in traffic.  Today, there are over 25,000 plus visitors to the site daily coming from China, India, Indonesia, Australia, Russia, Europe and the US.    

Visitors are quickly converted into "Gromers" a term coined on the site by kids after a few short visits.  The word Grom is an Australian slang term for a young surfer which Zach translated into "a promising young kid, who is quick to learn".

The site continues to get acclaim from parents and industry leaders alike.  Here is what people are saying ...

"Parental involvement, even with safeguards put in place for GromSocial, is key," says Caroline Knorr, Parenting Editor at Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that advocates on child and family issues, and studies the effects that media and technology have on young users.  "GromSocial," Knorr said, "seems to be on the right track with its goals. Social networking is a fun way for kids to interact with friends, and a great way to express creativity, learn new things, and safely experiment with identity," Knorr said. "Some parents may want to let their kids start connecting with friends in this way but have legitimate concerns about privacy and age-inappropriate content on mainstream sites like Facebook and Twitter. That's the space that these kid-friendly sites with strong privacy and safety features can fill."

"Great idea!!!  I just signed my three boys up for it and I am helping spread the word to all my friends on Facebook with kids.  Let's get the kids off Facebook and onto GromSocial!!" – Parent of a GromSocial member

For more information on Zach Marks and GromSocial please log onto www.gromsocial.com.


Lauren Sachs
Big Machine Agency
(646) 395-2600


SOURCE GromSocial