Today marks the next step for the Walt Disney Company’s parks and resorts division. They’re finally launching a blog. It’s about time, I’ve been advocating for this for years. Disney employs the best and brightest in their fields and now you’ll be able to hear from a few of those subject matter experts directly. Plus, we’ll get the usual PR related material too (which is okay with me).
www.DisneyParks.com/blog is still too new to gage whether or not it will be a success. But it has many good things going for it. Permalinks, which allow direct linking to individual posts. It has comments, albeit moderated. Comments means they’re at least interested in joining in conversation Disney fans rather than just speaking at us. It has an RSS feed, so you can follow the blog at your own pace and at the place of your choosing. It even has twitter status, although it’s not immediately obvious that’s what they are. I would like to see a ‘social media panel’ where readers can easily find links to all the social networking channels for the Walt Disney Company.
I’ve actually known about this project for about a year now. I think it’s taken Disney that long just to clear it with the lawyers. The number one question I get is, are you afraid this will cannibalize the readers from the unofficial Disney blogs (like this one)? The answer is, no. In fact, I think it will have the opposite effect. More people will discover the world of Disney blogs via the new official blog and they’ll be tempted to find out what the unofficial take is.
Disney will always be limited in what they can communicate via the blog. They can’t ‘spoil the magic’ and they can’t be critical of themselves. They can show that they’re listening and use the blog to communicate in times of crisis and celebration. But they’ll never write the long inquisitive posts that you expect from Disney fans. They’ll never discover the truth behind a rumor or the humor behind a Disney legend’s off color joke. And they have to be even handed in how they offer travel planning advice. One of the reasons they’re running the Disney Mom’s Panel, so those non-Disney employees are the advice givers.
Over time, I expect there to even be some interplay between the official and unofficial Disney blogs. Now, at least, Disney Parks has finally begun to reach out. Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, and at last blogging (sort of the opposite order most usually take). Welcome to the conversation Disney Parks. Now tell your friends and neighbors at the Mouse House how to join in.