|Babble: The happiest and dorkiest place on earth.|
We already have a glimpse into this new social media-arranged marriage:
For example, if a blogger writes a Thanksgiving-related post about how to prepare an organic turkey, Babble's editors could include links to Disney's content about, say, festive table settings, said Brooke Chaffin, Disney Interactive Media Group's senior vice president of Moms and Family. From The Wall Street Journal Disney Buys 'Mom' Blogs, Plans to Integrate ContentI for one could use some help figuring out how the Pilgrims and Indians got the candle wax out of their table linens. And those cranberry relish stains? If Babble hurries my third-grader might be able to fit this onto her Native American poster.
Not to worry, Disney is not out to princess-ify or product-ify anyone. In fact, Ms. Chaffin is thrilled to deliver more "magical moments" to parents according to the Hollywood Reporter. How very generous. Should you have any further doubts:
"We are not enlisting these bloggers to go out and promote a 'Cars' film," she said. "If you try to censor them," she said of the bloggers, "you lose the essence of what they are...What we really felt we needed to grow the business is that daily content, and the most authentic content that's being published is by bloggers," Ms. Chaffin said.Most authentic content? Plentiful and cheap content.
Babble has yet to disclose whether it actually pays bloggers.
Bloggers? In the wake of the buy-out the media has played up Babble as a mommy blogger site. The Hollywood Reporter called it a Mom Blogger Platform. The Wall Street Journal headlines reported Disney bought 'Mom' Blogs. Business Week, a Mom-Blogger Site. The New York Times, Mother Blogging Network. Didn't start out that way. Sure there are some 200 bloggers there but from the start the site has featured columns and essays not written by bloggers, mommy or otherwise including some well-known experts. Kind of like Huffington Post. Is any of this sounding familiar?
Back in 2006 Babble was fresh and smart and like nothing else around, say iVillage or BabyCenter. The bad mommy confessions refreshing. Maybe it was more a sign of my own stage of parenthood. Now there are too many ads and too much 10 Snacks Your Kids Can Eat in The Car. Or I Let My First-grader Drive to School. My Child Is a Racist Pig. At least there's still Heather Turgeon and her Science of Kids. For now.
If the Babble Bugle is any indication of the site's direction, parents will have one less edgy hangout despite the heartfelt promise from founders Alisa and Rufus to keep every Babble reader "informed, satisfied, enlightened, or at least tickled to some degree." Oh no. In any event it's been a Cinderella Story for the husband and wife team so far. Let's hope their ride doesn't turn into a rotting pumpkin.
Of course in this real-life fairy tale Rufus isn't exactly the naif.
Before foistering his hipster vision on parents guy founded the high-brow sex site Nerve that ultimately spun into a less erotic general life and culture hub. A familiar story. So I guess he is in fact an expert tickler of sorts. Would love to know if Ms. Chaffin and the Disney execs all got a copy of The Big Bang: Nerve's Guide to the New Sexual Universe, Sex Etiquette, Full Frontal Fiction, The New Nude and Sex Advice From....
Someone please tell me that bugler boy is not Christian Bale from Newsies (i.e. Disney, circa 1992).