Tag Archives: Club Penguin

A Child’s-eye View of Disney.com: Too Much Clutter!

8 Sep

The Wachamacallit has published a brief review of Disney’s multimedia, features-enhanced web site:

They want you to watch this video, listen to this song, chat on their single board, play this game, and rate all of them at the same time. Now I know why they bought Club Penguin. Seriously, If you can figure out how to do things one at a time, than great for you. for every one who isn’t at that level of 1337-ness, just avoid it.

(A translation for those who do not speak leet: “1337-ness” translates into “technical expertise and excellence.”)

At the risk of falling prey to nepotism, I must say I think he’s onto something here, and it’s not just Disney.com that’s affected. There’s a lot of feature-heavy web sites out there. Does anybody out there still read Jakob Nielsen’s useit.com?

Advice to Disney on Club Penguin

10 Aug

If Disney’s looking for advice on how not to handle Club Penguin, they could do worse than to read The Wachamacallit’s rant on the new Neopets NC Mall, the first site I’m aware of to offer virtual items to kids in exchange for real money:

What I’m trying to say is that viacom has turned the actually free neopets, into America. Slowly and subtly though. it started with several tool bars, but that wasn’t working. They sent out television adds on nick , but they were to subtle. so they brought out full out adds. They pointed out things like the new game ‘Shenkuu river rush’ and for some reason, lowered the amount of neopoints you start with by 1000. The NC Mall was the final blow though. Needing to use real money, to buy virtual items on a kids site?

The Wachamacallit may have some flaws in his research (insert standard disclaimer here regarding hat tips to members of one’s own immediate family), but his message is clear nonetheless: be cautious in marketing to children.

Babies Need Food Foundation

17 Jul

We interrupt our usual stream of Disney-related rambling and ranting to talk about, well, something really important.

My brother Al and his wife Anita have recently started a foundation to feed hungry children in Anita’s home country of India. On their website, Babies Need Food, they write:

On July 3, 2005, we gave birth to our beloved daughter, Angelina. We quickly discovered that when Angelina is hungry, her crying and desperation to eat is unbearable to listen to, even for a second. As we witnessed the intense desperation for food of our own little girl, we started thinking about all the babies in my home country of India, and how many of them go without proper nutrition during their first 2 years. Many fathers and mothers just don’t have enough money to provide an adequate nutritious diet for their babies. And many infants are left crying in their hunger.

At this point we knew we had to do something for some of the infants in India.

Yes, there are plenty of organizations working to feed the hungry, and to improve the national infrastructures of countries with high proportions of hungry people. So why am I asking you to support this one in particular? Because it’s personal. Because I see the pictures and hear the stories of my brother and his family visiting Chennai to distribute food to other families. Because it’s a small, family-run charity with zero overhead expenses. Because my nieces are growing up making regular visits to India to distribute food and clothes. Because I know there are more families asking for support than Babies Need Food can currently help.

Anita and Alan [. . .] made a personal commitment to financially support 50 mothers with infants. The supplies were purchased from vendors in India. Ministers from various congregations were requested to locate mothers and infants in need.

Well, as with most good works, the need overwhelms the resources! The day after the initial distribution to the 50 infants, 67 more mothers with infants arrived, seeking help! And the number of infants needing nutritional support continues to grow.

Please consider making a contribution of any size. It costs $8 to support one child for one month – about the same cost as a couple Dole Whip Floats! At this time that so many of us are excited about going to Walt Disney Word during the Free Dining promotion, maybe we can appreciate our own good fortune and pass along some pixie dust to another family.

If you have questions about Babies Need Food, please contact Al and Anita through email at info@babiesneedfood.org . I know they will appreciate hearing from you.

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