The structure of the modern family has definitely changed. Long gone are the days when Dad worked a typical 9-5, Mom stayed home and had dinner on the table by 5:30pm, and the kids went straight to bed right after dessert. These days, Mom and Dad are both working, sometimes more than one job, and the kids are starting their own personal ventures at a very early age. For the Wilson family, life is ultra hectic with Dad working as a venture capitalist and serving on boards for Twitter and Etsy, and Mom working on investing and entrepreneurial endeavors, as well as running her blog Gotham Gal. The two also have a very strong online presence. Along with their children, the Wilson family runs a total of nine blogs covering everything from technology to photography to culinary arts. It is the new face of the modern family. The Wilsons have encouraged their children to become avid social media mavens, and have even been the catalyst for much of their children’s social media activities. What the Wilsons have created in their social media empire is becoming more mainstream with families across the country.
It seems everyone is “plugged in” these days, and many of our extracurricular activities involve communicating online. With parents who work extra long hours, oftentimes commuting for work, online tools such as Skype and Google Messenger allow them to stay in touch and share the details of their day, while sites like Flickr and Tumblr allow families to share vacation photos and special events. In some instances these online tools are now helping the launch new careers. Jessica Wilson, after months of coaxing by her parents began her online trek after exploring the popular site Etsy, in which her dad is on the board of directors. Jessica, an aspiring photographer, is now enjoying the perks of being connected to her social media savvy father who has over 173,000 Twitter followers and over 250,000 unique visitors a month on his blog avc.com. She now blogs and posts photos on Facebook and Tumblr on a regular basis, and gets tons of foot traffic through her family’s social media platforms.
Unfortunately for me, my husband despises social media. He could care less if I ever posted another photo or wrote another blog post in my life. In fact, he has requested to remain absent from my social media platforms (party pooper!). He has a more old fashioned view and prefers to keep his daily life private from the rest of the world. Pretty ironic for a man who has just signed on to do a reality show pilot. He has been pretty slow warming up to the idea of social media. He doesn’t have a Facebook, he doesn’t do Twitter, and he absolutely hates when anyone in the family posts a photo or a comment about him on our blogs or Facebook pages. I can’t wait to see him cringe after reading this post evil laugh
What the Wilsons have created is a new type of family empire. They have, in a sense, gone down a road very similar to reality television stars like The Kardashians and The Hogans. They each have their own products and platforms, and they meet in the middle to create an even larger product. It also teaches their kids to be much more independent and more confident about their ability to create their own empires. Starting at an early age could yield fantastic results for their personal brands, and possibly allow their parents to retire at an early age. Who knew could bring a parent so much joy?