Dismiss Gen Z Influencers “At Your Peril”

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The first banner ad, launched almost 25 years ago, felt like the first claim toward settling the untamed frontier of online content creation. (You can read more about the origin story here.) They may seem outdated now, but in 1994 banner ads were a startling breakthrough toward funding digital publishing.

Then more wagons rolled in, permanence was established, and all the nuggets we’d been mining—blog posts, podcasts, video, etc.—made the streams overflow with an abundance of riches. And that, kids, is where the first influencers came from.

This week, we were taken by the next wave of pioneers at VidCon. This next generation is paving the roads where our tents once stood, building on our experience and learning from our mistakes. They are applying and evolving technology to develop levels of influence that would have been inconceivable just a few years ago.

The debate over whether influencing is on fire or flaming out rages on, but we’re strongly in the former camp. And the New York Times’s Kevin Roose agrees:

“The 21st century will produce a generation of business moguls, politicians and media figures who grew up chasing clout online and understand how to operate the levers of the attention economy.”

Kevin Roose, The New York Times

The point is, these kids are killing it, based in large part on the example our generation has set. We’re excited to imagine the next wave of dad content when these guys have kids of their own.


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