Monday, November 28, 2011
Flying at the moment from LA to Pittsburgh for meetings with a big company, on behalf of my newest client. An inventor. Truly groundbreaking stuff that I cannot yet disclose. Let’s just say that, if everythings works according to plan, the world could potentially be a very different, better place in the not-so-distant future. Hoping to see that happen, and I may have as much work as I can handle as well, which will be nice after a slow work year.
After said Pittsburgh jaunt, off the D.C. While I haven’t ever been to Pittsburgh (though I have heard nice things from my friends who’ve visited), over the years I’ve spent a fair amount of time in Washington. However, I haven’t been there in perhaps ten years or more (honestly, I can’t really recall when I was last there). When I was with Cadwalader, I spent a fair amount of time in DC as one of the partners for whom I worked was based in DC. Before that, I’d progressed pretty far in a job search with another firm in DC, Miller & Chevalier, and before that, my brother Scott and good friend David had lived in Alexandria, and I’d been down to visit more than once. It was also a frequent stop for tax conferences (exciting, yes, I know, please calm down) and training seminars.
Back then, D.C. had the reputation of being a very female-laden, centric, heavy, I don’t know. Lotsa girls. And lots of gay men, which helped the “ratio” even more. Guys know what I mean, its how many of us picked the colleges we attended. For real. Hehe.
So wondering, after speaking with a friend this AM about how DC has changed over the last ten years, gentrified and become more broadly inhabitable, how much the city has changed demographically. Not that I’ll necessarily notice in two days, but we’ll see. I will be seeing my close friend, Drew, who works in some kind of high finance job splitting time between DC and NYC.
He’s getting us in, it seems, on a corporate rate at the Mandarin Oriental, so thanks for that, Drew. Nevermind that, I just checked prices on DC Hotel Rooms, and the prices are extraordinarily low for decent hotels within the district. $67 for a room in Dupont Circle? Hard to believe.
In any event, I am looking forward to seeing D.C. again, and to move this client forward. Exciting things going on, for me, for you (though you don’t know it yet), and I hope to be able to share more in the near future.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Walt Disney Co. has acquired New York-based Babble Media Inc., a parenting site that features advice about pregnancy, child development and related topics from some 200 mommy bloggers.
The Burbank entertainment giant has been acquiring family-focused websites in recent years, as its struggling Disney Interactive Media Group seeks to build out its online offerings for parents.
Babble, launched in 2006 by husband-and-wife team Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman, attracts about 2.1 million monthly visitors -- about 483,000 of whom are women with children ages 2 to 17, according to Nielsen.
Blogs have become a vital source of information for women with children. The research firm EMarketer estimates that 54% of the 32 million mothers who go online in the U.S. every month visit blogs.
"This is an audience where there's a lot of loyal, faithful readers," said Debra Aho Williamson, an online analyst for EMarketer who wrote an October 2010 report about moms who blog. "People tend to gravitate towards certain bloggers ... and comment regularly on what they're reading. It's a very tight-knit community."
Major media companies have been in hot pursuit of mothers. Nickelodeon plans to launch NickMom, a nightly block of programs aimed at parents, late next year. It will be accompanied by a website, Nickelodeon's ParentsConnect.com, to dispense parenting advice.
Disney has been assembling its own collection of mom-focused websites for years, to bolster its network of family-oriented Internet offerings. It acquired iParenting Media's collection of websites in late 2007, and two years later paid $23.3 million to buy Kaboose Inc., a Canadian family-focused media group.
"Disney is all about moms and kids. It's a great place for them to 'play,'" said Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors consulting group.
The latest deal, for which terms were not disclosed, Disney gains a site that was named one of the 50 best of 2010 by Time magazine. Its stable of bloggers write on a range of parenting topics. Recent contributions include "I'm Jealous of My Nanny," "20 Sleepover Party Recipes" and "How to Buy and Use a Family Camera."
"With more than 3.9 million mom blogs in the U.S. alone, Disney Interactive recognizes and values the important and powerful role moms have taken on in new media," Brooke Chaffin, senior vice president of Moms and Family for the company's interactive media group, said in a statement.
Disney declined to comment. Babble did not immediately respond to a request for an interview.