Dad, please let our No. 1 member post again!

By Steve Outing

On one of my company’s websites,, a 15-year-old from Tennessee is our most avid member. She’s constantly posting photos and blog items, and chiming in on discussion threads. Not a day goes by that her presence isn’t obvious on the site. She’s won prizes on the site, and been our “Member of the Month.” She’s made lots of online buddies, who even do crazy things like make funny Photoshop montages of her. (Don’t worry, it’s innocuous stuff; we’d intervene if anything got disturbingly weird, and not just funny weird.)

I had to laugh the other day when she wrote in her blog that her dad had banned her, at least temporarily, from being on She was probably spending too much time on the site and not enough on homework. Or perhaps he got nervous about all the friends she hangs out with online — some of whom are older men.

(It’s interesting how for people with a shared climbing addiction, age differences don’t seem to matter much online.)

Of course, being 15 years old, she apparently doesn’t listen to her dad. Her site appearances dwindled a bit for a while, but now she’s back on as often as ever. That makes her a pretty normal 15-year-old.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!