Walt Disney Co. announced Monday it has acquired New York-based Babble Media Inc., a parenting blogging site that features advice about pregnancy, child development and related topics from over 200 mommy bloggers.
The site, which was spun off from Nerve, is the latest of several family-focused websites purchased by Disney Interactive Media Group over the past few years. According to BusinessInsider.com, the deal is worth $40 million.
Since the site launched in 2006, it has become one of the best known parenting sites on the web. It was named by Time Magazine as one of the 50 Best Websites of 2010 and by Forbes as one of the Top 100 Websites for Women.
Even Mickey can’t escape this silly (but awesome) trend. Credit goes to @malloryobryant for the heads up!
Tebowing: to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.
Donald Duck? Not so much.
On Wednesday, the Disney Parks Blog hosted a Fantasyland chat with Imagineer Chris Beatty. If you want to read a full transcript of the chat, you can visit the blog.
Disney used CoveritLive for the live chat. Thomas Smith, the Social Media Director at Disney Parks, moderated the chat and fed questions to Beatty. Most of the questions were FAQ-style that allowed Disney to showcase various videos and photos throughout the chat.
After talking to a few people that took part in the chat, most were disappointed in the questions that were answered. The chat, which lasted around 45 minutes, did not include any new information about Fantasyland which disappointed a lot of people. While I was disappointed that I already knew the answer to most of the questions asked, I acknowledge that I know more about Disney and the Fantasyland project than the average Disney fan. In general, Disney is less worried about the hardcore fan (me) and more worried about the casual fan (and that’s the way it should be)
I love the concept but I was less thrilled with the actual content. I would have loved to see more in-depth questions about Fantasyland. If I would have organized the chat, I would have had at least one new or exclusive bit of news about Fantasyland that could be shared in the chat. For example: some new artwork, new details about a ride or possibly an actual date (other than fall 2012). Just a small bit of new information would have given chat participants the “I heard it first” feeling. Disney could have easily followed the chat with a Disney Parks blog post and press release with the new details.
This was a great idea by the Disney Parks Blog team. We can always want more, but Disney didn’t have to do this. Beatty didn’t have to take time to answer questions and the blog team didn’t have to organize this live event. I’m looking forward to what’s next from the DP Blog team.
What’d you think? Did you like the questions? Did you learn anything new? If Disney held a similar chat tomorrow, would you check it out?
Update: Here is a link to the live chat. The event starts at 1:30 p.m. EST.
The Disney Parks Blog will be using CoveritLive for the live chat. CoveritLive is a popular live blogging tool that allows an event host to broadcast live commentary to readers while also inviting users and participants to post questions and comments. I have used this tool several times at work and I find its moderation capabilities to be its biggest strengths.
How it works: Participants send questions to the “host.” The host then chooses which comments are made visible in the chat. The host can also give posting rights to approved users that can answer questions in the chat.
CoveritLive will make the chat very interactive, so definitely drop in and check it out.
Beatty is one of several Imagineers that are working on the New Fantasyland. During the chat, He will answer questions about the state of the project.
You can submit your question by adding it to the comments section of this post on the Disney Parks Blog. You will also be able to ask questions during the chat. A link to the live chat will likely be posted on the Disney Parks Blog tomorrow afternoon.
If you are unable to attend the chat, we will post a full wrap-up tomorrow evening. Ya’ll come back now, ya hear?
On Tuesday, the Disney Parks Blog announced a new Disney Facebook game for the holidays. Goofy’s Gift Exchange allows the user to become a Disney character, add holiday decorations to a virtual door and exchange Disney Parks-theme gifts with friends on Facebook.
First, users select a Disney character to help hand out gifts. Then, users visit a Facebook friend’s house. Once at a friend’s house, users can choose to give them a traditional present or a “Goofy gift.” The friend will have the same options for gifting in return.
On Monday, YouTube and The Walt Disney Co. announced they will team up to produce an original video series and will also feature more Disney programming on the popular video-sharing site. Here are the details:
The programming will include original video from Disney, Disney Interactive original series, some Disney Channel programming and content created by Disney users. The first project will launch in February and will be an original video series based on Disney’s mobile game “Where’s My Water?”
“As we prepare to re-launch Disney.com in fall 2012, the Disney/YouTube destination will play a critical part in our next generation platform,” Disney Interactive co-president Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.
According to The New York Times, Disney Interactive and YouTube will spend a combined $10 million to $15 million on original video series. The newspaper said Disney Interactive has lost more than $300 million in the last four quarters and described the deal as an acknowledgement by Disney that YouTube is a bigger draw for children looking for video online than Disney.com. Disney will sell advertising inventory on YouTube and will split the revenue with the video sharing website.
Source: American Free Press
YouTube.com vs. Disney.com: I wish more companies would realize that YouTube does online video better than anyone else. “(The New York Times) described the deal as an acknowledgement by Disney that YouTube is a bigger draw for children looking for video online than Disney.com.” Trying to build your own video player seems unnecessary when YouTube has perfected it. I love that Disney is partnering with the online video king.
Sing it with me! “It’s time to play the music! It’s time to light the lights! It’s time to meet The Muppets on Google+ tonight!”
While most of the web is still buzzing about Google+ FINALLY announcing brand pages, I’m just excited about a chance to “hangout” with The Muppets. In another brilliant move by the marketing team behind the upcoming film “The Muppets,” Google+ users will be given the opportunity to hangout with Kermit and Miss Piggy tonight at 7:30 p.m EST.
While Google+ brand pages are not quite ready for the public, “The Muppets” and several other brands were given first dibs. Huge kudos go to Disney for being one of the first brands to host an official Google+ Hangout.
If you want to chat with Kermit and Miss Piggy, add “The Muppets” to your G+ circle and be sure to check their page around 7:30 p.m. EST tonight.
I have written previously on how Disney interacts with its followers on Twitter. I first discussed a few @ replies sent from @Disneyland and @WaltDisneyWorld. Then, I highlighted some photos tweeted from the official @DisneyParks account. Over the last few weeks, Disney has been using a new strategy to interact with its followers on Twitter.
About two weeks ago, @DisneyParks tweeted a question asking if any children would be dressing up as official Disney characters. I replied to the tweet and attached a picture of my younger brother and his friend dressed as Peter Pan and Tinkerbell at MNSSHP. I was actually editing photos from our most recent Disney World vacation when I saw the tweet.
Around 5 minutes after sending the tweet, I received an e-mail with this subject line: “Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) has sent you a direct message on Twitter!” Shortly after picking up my jaw, I opened the e-mail to see this message from @DisneyParks:
For whatever reason, the message made my day. I was excited to see that Disney viewed the picture and thought it was cute (honestly, who wouldn’t?), but I was also happy to see this type of interaction from @DisneyParks. If you received a direct message (DM) from Disney, aren’t you more likely to respond to future tweets? Probably so. I sent out a tweet about receiving the message and heard that a few other people I know also received DMs that day.Very cool!