15-Year-Old New Zealander Competes for U.S. Ad Dollars

It's Not a Theory That the World Is Flat

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In "The World Is Flat," Thomas L. Friedman talks about "the great leveling" -- how broadband-enabled populations worldwide are making waves here in the US. In the media world, this is more than just theory; it's reality. All you need to do is look at how U.S. advertisers are beginning to buy ad space from bloggers in the Pacific Rim. One such blogger is Glenn Wolsey, a 15-year-old from New Zealand who writes about the Macintosh as a productivity and photography tool. I recently interviewed Glenn via e-mail to get a sense of how someone without media experience can come out of nowhere to compete for U.S. ad dollars. Excerpts from our conversation follow.

Mr. Rubel: How are you maximizing your advertisers' return on their investment?
Steve Rubel
Photo: JC Bourcart
Steve Rubel is a marketing strategist and blogger. He is senior VP in Edelman's Me2Revolution practice.

Mr. Wolsey: I've always kept a simple vision when it comes to blogging for maximum output quality for myself and advertisers. Quality content people want to read. I don't try and trick people into reading anything, they read it because they enjoy it. I try to take onboard a similar approach with my advertisers, only taking on "quality" advertisers my reader base will be interested in.

Steve Rubel: Were there any considerations in that you are under 18 as it relates to taking ads? How did your parents feel?

Mr. Wolsey: Nothing as such. I've been working in this online field for a while now and my parents have had no problem with what I'm doing. I'm very open with them in talking about my working life. It's a common thing to sit down to dinner each night and give them a brief rundown of my day. They've been very supportive with what I do.

Steve Rubel: It seems like a lot of blogs from India and Asia Pacific are starting to really get legs in the U.S. Was this always your plan, or did the blog sort of take off?

Mr. Wolsey: It was always my plan to launch the blog internationally, hence taking a dot-com domain name. My blog is actually more targeted at those living in the United States rather than my home country, New Zealand, due to the huge target market overseas. I've even found myself veering from the New Zealand grammar rules to write for Americans.
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