Disney Aquires Mommy Blogging Site Babble

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.

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Review: Disney Parks Blog Fantasyland Chat

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

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)

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

My Take:

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.

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

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.

Your Take:

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: Disney Parks Blog to Host Fantasyland Chat

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.

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The Disney Parks Blog will host a live chat with Walt Disney Imagineer Chris Beatty on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 1:30 p.m. EST.

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?

Disney Introduces Facebook Game “Goofy’s Gift Exchange”

Goofy's Gift Exchange on Facebook

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

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.

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