Friday, December 28, 2007

Take This Idea, Pls: Teach Teens/Parents Conflict Skills Online

Blogs are an important tool. For mediators, a blog is an essential communication tool that's ideally suited for being rapport and trust with potential clients and referrals sources. Think of it as conversation over coffee gone digital.

While most of our efforts are focused on adults. I can't help wonder about the value of helping teens and young adults deal with conflict more productively. I learned how valuable that can be early in my practice when I did conflict workshops for colleges. What if you used technology to reach an under served ADR market- teens and young adults?

Everyone blogs

Need more convincing. OK, about these facts from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the leading think tank on how Americans use the Internet:

  1. 64% of teenagers ages 12-17 create online content like blogs

  2. 35% of teen girls blog and 54% of those post photos online

  3. 55% of all online teens belong to a social networking site

  4. 32% of online teens say they have experienced 'cyberbullying'

  5. 87% of parents of teens are online, 17% more than the average adult

  6. 45% of adults (60 million people) said the Internet played a major role
    as they made decisions or faced major life transitions

  7. Women tend to view the Internet as a way to gather and filter information from a support group with a deeper focus

  8. Men tend to search more broadly for information on a variety of topics and use search engines more

What do those numbers mean?

Of course, more research is necessary, but from these initial figures I can see a few market opportunities.

    Host an interactive blogging experience that enables teens/young adults to share ideas on how to handle their most common disputes. Offer information and techniques in a way that appeals to them.

    Get a programmer to build a software application, sometimes called a widget, that allows teens to enter in what they'd like to say to resolve a problem and get back either a neutrally-phrased sentence or a variety of options to move forward.

    Create an interactive blogging experience for parents of teens so they can share their hard-earned wisdom and support with each other. Offer resources, ebooks, talking scripts, etc.

    Develop a website that drills down deep into the conflicts moms experience in parenting teens, i.e. letting go of control or talking without hurting.

A quick search over at Blogflux suggests that while there are many parenting blogs, most are personal chronicles and few deal directly with teenagers. There is an knowledge gap you can fill.

And, if building and maintaining a blog seems daunting, work up to it by creating an information product first. Jan Marie Dore will talk about the easy steps to creating passive income on Jan. 10th. It promises to be a very popular call.

As always, I'd be thrilled to hear what you think so please comment below.

Try. Fail. Learn. Grow!



At 2:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very good ideas for me. My niche is teen's parents.
I recently hooked with a big teen girls website as a girls relationship expert who answers their questions. Hopefully it will bring (paying)customers
Thanks again!

At 2:44 AM, Blogger B. James Stinson said...

This was a very constructive post and I'm hopeful it can even be a breakthrough. We're told that it's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, and I feel that you may have passed out the matches. My blog Therapeutic Family Law is perhaps too narrowly focused and too technical to appeal to laymen, but I would encourage all to just come on and look through the blogroll for useful sites. Marriages are worth saving, and divorces are worth preventing. If you inspire a few bloggers to teach teens how to break the hurtful cycles that we parents have plunged them into, you can make a dent in future divorce rates - and human suffering.

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Dina Lynch, said...

Hey James, thanks for the terrific comment and the 'link love' to

Last year we did a teleseminar on websites and blogs with Lisa Welles. If I were channeling her now, she might offer suggestions like:

Ease readability by using a white background instead and increasing the font size. 60 million baby boomers get their info online, but only if they can read it!

Boost readership by having a publication schedule- bi-weekly, weekly or daily. If your content is valuable (and it looks like it is), people will want to know when to expect the next gem.

Make thing simple by adding categories or search function. An avid reader or a newbie will want to search quickly to find the post they need.

Last, consider turning relevant website section, which is very robust and valuable, intoa resource guide that you can exchange for email addresses or sell to create a small revenue stream.

Generally, I share this level of insights with my coaching clients on a Breakthrough Call. I had so much fun writiing this comment I think I'll turn it into a full post.

Thanks again for your support, James

Ciao, D

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Mary Wollard said...

Dina, you inspire me! One of my goals for this year is to become more active in the blogosphere, so I've started reading yours regularly.

I had thought that parent-teen mediation would be my niche, but I realized that for mediation, I am really more passionate about helping parents design workable and creative parenting plans. I do love teenagers, though, and have informally helped lots of teens find ways to communicate with their parents. I think I'll explore starting another blog later in the year based on some of your ideas. I really like the idea of it being very interactive.

Thhanks for the inspiration!

Mary Wollard

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Dina Lynch, said...

Mary, thanks. This year we'll have a focus on creating blogs, maintaining them and best of all, monetizing them.

Stay tuned...and hey, shoot me an email to tell me about your new blog!



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