DXD: MORE on Disney’s Xtreme Digital

Disney Targets Pre-Teens with New Social Networking Portal

Disney has joined the ever growing list social networking destinations with the launch of Disney Xtreme Digital, targeted directly at Disney’s core market of pre-teens.

The new service […] comes complete with user generated profile pages that leverage
the wealth of Disney’s pre-teen friendly content in terms of allowing
customization, as well as offering the standard competitions, video,
music, games and networking features
. Naturally Disney has also
included strong parental controls, that include the ability to limit
access access to the various features on the site, including chat.

The pre-teen marketplace has been ignored to
date by most existing social networking sites, the litany of potential,
and actual legal issues regarding children under 14 keeping many away.
For that very reason though, it’s an online demographic that lacks a
lot of serious competition, and holds a wealth of potential for Disney
in further expanding the Disney brand online.

From a parents perspective though, I couldn’t
help but think that the entire service was nothing more than a constant
stream of advertisements for Disney movies and related products
Parents who worry about their children being exposed to marketing
messages are not going to like Disney XD.

One can only hope that they don’t mix the content up on the new service, as it appears as if they’ve done recently by exposing children to porn on Comcast.

Disney Targets Pre-Teens with New Social Networking Portal

I thought this was a great article regarding DXD.  I found it REALLY interesting that some of the people commenting on this artical pointed out that ExtremeDigital.com is a REALLY bad porn site. 

So then– any kid spelling Xtremedigital the RIGHT way will find themselves drowning in a website of filth.  YIKES.  It’s like the whole whitehouse.com versus whitehouse.gov problem– teachers find themselves in boiling stews all the time for bringing their classrooms virtually to the website in hopes to learn more about the White House… but instead finding themselves in porn.  YIKES & ZOINKS. 

It’s not really Disney’s fault for having a name that’s only an “e” away from being inappropriate content… HOWEVER, for a steel lock-box environment like Disney prides itself on being… that seems odd they haven’t gone the extra steps to ensure such mishaps wouldn’t happen.

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  1. May 5, 2007 at 1:05 am

    Izzy, I just posted this comment on the TechCrunch blog you cited…and am doing a feature on it now. It’s imperative they seal off this loophole pronto. It’s ludicrous not to…
    I posted your link to the above as well…hope you don’t mind.

    “Shaping Youth covers media and marketing’s impact on kids, and we just spent thousands of dollars as a NONPROFIT protecting our brand by buying up every “shaping youth” domain that could possibly point kids or parents in the wrong direction…like a porn site. Disney has megabucks, and they can’t handle due dilligence?!

    C’mon folks…there’s collateral damage prevention that needs sealed off here, on behalf of kids, PRONTO! I just plugged in that URL and it made my eyes sting…that’s avoidable.

    ANYONE knows preteens use Google with lousy spelling all the time, and could easily end up there. The mousehouse has huge holes in this cheese…and it smells stinky to me.

    As a media maven myself, I’m going to post a feature on this pronto and get the ball rolling so Disney can back off that name or else buy out the domain from the porn folks. Where’s the accountability here?

    Those of us in the media striving to keep kids safe are more than a tad alarmed…I first read about this blunder on Izzy Neis’ site here:

    As for the ’social networking’ side of the preteen issue…If you’re in branding (or have a preteen) you know it’s all about the ‘wannabe’ market…

    Someone already mentioned Club Penguin…

    Another that is more “MySpace with training wheels” is a “safe site” for preteen social networking called http://www.imbee.com

    (Designed specifically for preteen chat, with parental notification of all postings in/out and friends added/requested…)

    8-12 year olds should NOT be bluffing their way into social media sites w/age boondoggles without the media literacy to handle it. Period.

    I just wrote an entire piece on the social networking/new virtual world that launched this week using Zwinky avatars, Zwinktopia…this “unfiltered/uncensored” dynamic is an accident waiting to happen.

    They’re aggressively marketing to “young teens” (which means preteens will be bangin’ on the door to get in) and they have a CYA on the site that it’s age 13 for entry…yet zero barriers or filters. My 11 year old popped on with no problem…as did our ‘beta test’ Shaping Youth multi-age advisory team.

    PLUS, I just polled 4th & 5th graders at our “living lab” Title One school (counter-marketing program) and found 9 of them already have Zwinkies of their own, 4 of them have ’sibling shared’ ones, and though no one had been to Zwinktopia yet…it’s just a matter of time before they’re social networking w/their avatars, and wayyyyyyyyyyyy out of their league sans media literacy.

    THIS is why I just wrote my “Conversation Age” book chapter on “ethics & accountability” in advertising. sigh. Seems it’s “anything for a buck to mine their childhoods as a marketing opportunity” no matter who it harms…or how.

  1. May 5, 2007 at 9:31 pm

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