Melbourne Beach 'tween' gets MTV spotlight

Kids website GromSocial.com featured in new fall show

Author: Mike Holfeld, Problem Solver, mholfeld@clickorlando.com
Published On: Jun 26 2013 11:15:57 PM EDT   Updated On: Jun 27 2013 10:06:25 AM EDT
ORLANDO, Fla. -

When 13-year-old Zach Marks hit the internet with a homemade website last year he had a few hundred followers and a whole lot of fun.

A year later GromSocial.com has nearly 70,000 members from 199 countries and has attracted enough media attention to land the Marks family on MTV this fall.

Zach, one of six siblings running the site, says the whole thing is like a dream.

“I really didn’t think you know, MTV would be calling us," Zach said.

The MTV segment will be part of a new series set to debut in October on MTV2 .

The working title is “This Job Doesn’t Suck” as in running a global kids web site is kid cool.

“It’s not hard we just post what a lot of kids like, chat with kids , we see what’s new in the world,” Zach says.

Zach and his brothers and sisters add their personal touch to segments on entertainment, gossip and social issues like bullying.

MTV is still putting the final touches on the project but a producer  did confirm the Marks gang  will be in one of the episodes this fall.

The media blitz doesn’t stop there. The Marks family has surfing in their blood so the Melbourne Beach clan will be showing up on an episode of Animal Planet’s “Tanked” this fall season.

Adults have a hand in the final version of the overall look and feel of the kids website. Dan Putnam was designing coupons when he got involved in the website as chief graphics designer.

“It’s remarkable it’s a snowball effect of things happening,” he said.

Right now the Marks family is on a coast-to-coast tour promoting an anti-bullying campaign called the “Groms hit the streets summer tour.”

A "Grom" is an up and coming kid 16-and-under who likes anything from sports to music and video games.

“The whole mission of the summer tour is to hit the streets and teach kids social responsibility outside of being on the web," Darren Marks, the patriarch of the family and the website team said.

Marks says they have been contacted by several entertainment groups and one  is considering the family for a reality TV show. An announcement could be coming in a few months so stay tuned.