Teen vision for YouTube, Facebook

Catherine Cook, the 17-year-old cofounder of myYearbook.com, spoke Wednesday at the iMeme tech conference about her vision for online media.

SAN FRANCISCO--Feeling bad about your accomplishments so far in life? Stop reading here.

Catherine Cook is the 17-year-old co-founder of myYearbook.com who spoke here Wednesday at the iMeme tech conference about her vision for online media. Instead of enjoying lazy summer days or drinking beer with friends, Cook's preoccupied with growing one of the most popular social media sites, which in little more than a year has millions in annual revenue, 3 million monthly unique visitors (according to ComScore), and $4.1 million in venture funding from U.S. Venture Partners and First Round Capital.

To illustrate where she thinks media is headed, Cook said myYearbook just launched a teen-focused, user-generated magazine called MyMag. (The content is overseen by editors.) And earlier this year, the company introduced a filtering tool called Battles, which lets two different people submit a photo or video in order to compete for best-of votes among the site's audience at large. That feature alone has grown myYearbook's pageviews by 500 percent since February, Cook said.

"Better filters will give voice to" good content on the Web, said Cook, who started the site with her 19-year-old brother Dave, and with $250,000 from her other sibling, Geoff.

On a broader level, Cook said she believes that the future of Internet programming will originate on the back of YouTube, going far beyond currently popular videos on that site that feature scantily clad women or a man getting "kicked in the crotch."

"Content and programming still matter. The YouTube's and Facebook's of the world will be the infrastructure providers of new media" and that will rival old media, she said.

But before that happens, Cook will be attending Georgetown University in the fall.

 

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