As Mullen's chief creative officer, Edward Boches felt too much of the research and coverage of Millennial consumers was conducted by older professionals like himself. As the agency's chief social-media officer, Boches—who has around 8,000 followers on Twitter—saw a better way to get inside the minds of those individuals 18-25: give them a platform to explain themselves. "We want to generate enough content to become an important voice for kids to develop their own identities and become a resource for marketers, educators and journalists," he says. On Nov. 3, a new Web site called The Next Great Generation was born. Boches is growing a staff of young writers—80 so far—to share their thoughts about everything from life, work, faith, sex and love to brands, technology and the environment. Most of them Boches knows through Twitter, and he admits there is still a heavy concentration of Northeast college-educated U.S. kids, but he is attracting some others in the Midwest, Africa and Shanghai. He's aiming to bring in more urban kids and add greater diversity. Visitors to the site can ask its writers questions. (A couple of recent examples: "Would you ever pay for a newspaper?" "What long-term impact will the recession have on you?") Boches also foresees opportunities for the site to get a group of its writers to respond to larger themes like food or fashion for marketers. The site is independent from Mullen and free, with its bloggers receiving no compensation. But while Boches hopes to eventually monetize The Next Great Generation, he says he's not creating a side business for himself. He says he'll look at a way to share any revenue with content creators or consider a way to collectively agree on a charity and fund it with proceeds.
—Posted by Noreen O'Leary