Disney targets moms, launches new site

Later today a brand new Disney-owned site will be announced in Los Angeles, and later this week the site will go live. And it will join the gazillion other websites vying for moms’ eyeballs:

“Can Disney bring more to the party with this integration approach than the other guys can and compete against them?” asked David Card, media analyst for Jupiter Research. “I think they’ll do well, but they have some serious competitors out there.”

Really? You mean there are already sites out there on this newfangled interweb thing that cater to moms? Huh. Who would’ve thunk it? But maybe this new site will be really different than what’s already out there.

The new site, Disney Family, is a departure for the media conglomerate, which has primarily launched Web efforts to promote its own brands and products, keeping strict control over content and presentation.

By contrast, the new site is a one-stop site for parents, especially mothers, providing everything from Internet search to user-generated articles on key topics such as education and food, and, eventually, a “ParentPedia,” a compilation of information on 1,000 topics that can be expanded by users.

Well. That sounds… not all that different than many of the parenting community sites already available. Oh, except that I suspect Disney’s site will be even more full of Disney advertising than the rest of the world. If that’s possible.

Oh, I know. I’m being cynical and cranky. (Play to your strengths, I say.) And it’s not that I begrudge Disney its success or think they can’t build a successful website that isn’t centered around the Disney brand; the Family Fun site is one of my favorite bookmarks. It’s just that I don’t see this as a gaping void or even just a little niche waiting to be filled. Moms have lots of resources on the web, already.

The Yahoo! article linked above also notes that Disney utilized an advisory board made up of moms, many of whom are bloggers. I’ll be the first to agree that so-called “mommybloggers” are becoming a force to be reckoned with. So I just have to hope that these women made it very clear to Disney that we don’t need yet another cookie-cutter site. Maybe this one really will offer something above and beyond the current offerings.

And if we’re really lucky, it won’t be plastered every couple of inches with ads for Disney toys, either.

Stay tuned to family.com for the Disney Family beta roll-out.

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