12 year Old Wants To Be The Next YouTube Tech Gadget Rockstar When He Grows Up

Joseph called me.  It was about advertising space.  That in itself isn’t strange as I get several requests a month for my various websites but I did find his voice out of the ordinary.

After listening to the Google Voice message, I called him back to simply say, “Hey!  You sound like a 12 year old boy!”.  Turns out he is 12 years old!  After talking with his mom to get permission (I require this whenever I talk with young people interested in technology who are under the age of 18), I asked Joseph what his goals were in doing videos on YouTube about technology and listened.

He told me he: wants to be just like Soldierknowsbest and WilsonTech1 when he grows up.

YouTube’s Hottest Channel

While you probably visit YouTube via the homepage or a link you find on your favorite social network, there are channels which divide up the video content and YouTube’s extremely popular Science and Technology channel contains the following YouTube folks I’m going to introduce…


Bio: SoldierKnowsBest

Mark, known online as SoliderKnowsBest, is a YouTube veteran has hundreds of thousands of subscribers and his average video gets 40,000+ views and several videos having over 1 million views including  The iPad: First Look and The iPad: What Apple doesn’t want u to know.

Check out the newest video which already has 15, 557 views after 14 hours, Unboxing: Verizon 4G Mobile Hotspot (Samsung)

Bio: WilsonTech1

Wrapping humor and technology around education and news stories, Lamarr, known online as WilsonTech1, has 40,000+ subscribers who return several times a week to catch up on the latest with him like Justin Bieber DIES! and Google Android: Buying CRAP!

Ok!  Enough geeking out on awesome tech videos and back to the story.

12 Years Old And Ready To Rock Tech!

He loves having people get excited about new stuff. He wants more subscribers and would love to go to CES next year.  Now I’m not one to burst someone’s dream bubble and don’t think  age excludes anyone from success.  Just look at Tavi Gevison who started a fashion blog at the age of 11 and now flies around the world to fashion shows and advises top designers on hot trends (Thanks Afrobella!).   Joseph explained how he’s been mowing a lot of lawns to buy the technology he reviews. Take a look at his iPad unboxing (which he won in a raffle by purchasing 50 raffle tickets!)



How can Joseph reach these goals?

Not by advertisements I told him. You need solid content people find valuable and interesting. For subscribers, I learned at the YouTube Partner event you need to create content on a regular basic and develop a relationship with your audience. Joseph said the cutest thing as we were talking:

“I feel like when I’m watching Soldierknowsbest, he’s right here in my living room.”

EXACTLY! I told him. You need to create real and authentic moments with your audience.  Anyone can recite facts about a piece of hardware.  It’s your job to bring the technology alive and inject your personality.  People like Soldierknowsbest and Chris Pirillo do just that and they have loyal and active subscribers on YouTube.  Ok, I create those experiences too but not so hard core on the tech gadgets!

Now how to get traffic? Instead of focusing on numbers, focus on content quality and think strategically about why people are on YouTube watching videos in the first place.   Focus on moving people’s emotional barometers.  I asked him if he remembered when the iPhone 4 came out and everyone was upset about the antenna issue?  Well, the first videos out on the antenna problem had big hits but so did this guy’s video who made a song called, “The iPhone Antenna Song” to the tune of more than 1 million views.

I also advised Joseph to:

  • Get a domain name
  • Start with a simple blog site with WordPress
  • Embed his videos and explain what people are watching

While not all YouTube rockstars do this, many do (including me!) and it’s a great way to engage and build your community, build traffic and get that SEO Google juice flowing!

Joseph told me his next plan on YouTube is to do a series reviewing different cases for the iPhone.  It’s a great start and can create a good schedule for subscribers of when they can expect the next video plus cases under $25 are much more within the budget of a 12 year old than high-end tech gadgets costing several hundred dollars :0

How did young Joseph find me?  Soldierknowsbest has my YouTube channel listed on his YouTube page.  Similar to my friendships and alliances on Twitter, I’m beginning to build the same sort of connections on YouTube and Flickr.

Next Steps

What I’d like to start thinking about is a way to help young kids like Joseph get a good start online promoting their passion with the right tools. Now I’m thinking about organizing something like a bootcamp series with some YouTube heavyweights!  I met WilsonTech1 at Gnomedex last year and have chatted with SoliderKnowsBest online so I’ll certainly be reaching out to them *smile*

Something like, “Become A YouTube Rockstar” Bootcamp for youth including:

  • Your message
  • Strategy
  • Channel setup
  • Logos and Avatars
  • Equipment selection
  • Upload schedule
  • Editing Video
  • SEO and Keywords
  • Community building
  • Contests and Sponsors
  • YouTube Partner Program
  • Your Traffic Analytics
  • Pay It Forward Mentoring

Update: WilsonTech1 has left a comment saying he will co-mentor Joseph with me.  w00t!

I decided to do a blog post instead of a long email back to Joseph based on Scott Hanselman’s post, Do they deserve the gift of your keystrokes?, because this way I will be helping countless other people including Joseph vs a single email to a single person.

You’ll also notice that Joseph is Brown.  As are SoldierKnowsBest, WilsonTech1 and myself.  This touched me to realize the younger generation is watching what we’re doing; we’re role models and it’s important to not only consider the content we put out on social networks but to think about how to give back.

He said to me,

“I just need some help getting started.  An adult who’s been on YouTube for a while.  Someone to help baby me.”

I told him the word was, “mentoring” and at that point, I knew I had to write this post *smile*

On a related note, I’m speaking next week at a virtual summit to help new entrepreneurs get off on the right foot called 100 Urban Entrepreneurs.  It’s being hosted by The Cash Flow which is a nonprofit organization with the tagline “Business Essentials for Urban Entrepreneurs”.

You Can Help

Joseph has about 200 subscribers on his YouTube channel. Subscribe to support him in his dreams!

Want to help with this idea and turn it into something real?   Contact me

Would you like help brainstorming ideas on how to drive more traffic to the content you share online?  Check out the technology training I offer at Freshworkshops

and one more video, Htc Hd2 vs iphone 4, by MrTechBeast (12 year old Joseph) which leads me to believe he’s well on his way to becoming the next YouTube rockstar in tech!


This entry was posted in Klout, Race + Technology, Screen Capture, Screencast, Your Data on by .

About Adria Richards

Adria Richards is a developer and entrepreneur focused on digital equality. She has worked in the tech industry since 1998 solving big problems for companies of all sizes. Embracing her inner nerd, Adria moved moved to San Francisco in 2010 to pursue her passion for technology. Previously she has worked in technical and training roles for enterprise, nonprofits and startups; from Apple to Zendesk. Adria is a popular speaker and gives talks about culture, communication and diversity. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, yoga and bacon; not necessarily at that order. Her Twitter account is followed by President @BarackObama.

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