BURBANK, California: The Walt Disney Company, not usually perceived as a trailblazer, has surprised media industry onlookers with a planned foray into new territory - Family.com a 'wiki' website, still at beta stage - that will allow visitors to create blogs and share tips on parenting, entertainment, food and education.
['Wiki' is a piece of server software - made famous but not devised by Wikipedia - that allows site visitors to create and edit web page content on the fly and using any browser.]
Family.com, launch date yet to be announced, will invite users to edit and contribute entries on ParentPedia, which, like Wikipedia, will meld expert advice with contributions from site visitors.
Explains Paul Yanover, evp/managing director of Disney Online: "Disney.com attracts a large audience but there are a lot of people out there looking for things to do with the family. There are a lot of mums out there seeking answers."
Hence the new venture, which will include links to other small, user-recommended websites with empathetic themes. "There are a lot of interesting websites out there which aren't search engine optimised," Yanover said.
The new site is a "natural extension" of Disney's internet efforts, which to date do little more than tout the company's branded entertainment and content.
It is also an attempt to capitalize on the media industry zeitgeist for 2007: the building of "sustainable communities online".
Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff