Blogs

Disney Blog Carnival

For those interested in participating in the Disney Blog Carnival, here's a whole bunch of information to help you understand what it is, how it works, and why you might want to participate.

What's a Blog Carnival

A blog carnival is simply an online "event" to which bloggers in the same topic area submit a post. The carnival then provides a link to all of those blogs that should be of interest to carnival readers. It provides some good exposure to all participating blogs.

Click here to hear more about the benefits of participating in or hosting a blog carnival.

How Does It Work?

Here's a quick breakdown of how the process works for those unfamiliar with it:

  • Each contributor writes a post and submits it to the carnival using this form.
  • The host, who will likely be a different blogger each week, creates a new "official blog carnival" post on their site. This post has a link to all the carnival submissions and summaries of their posts.
  • Once the host's post is up, all of the carnival entries now link to it.

We're done! Now everyone who reads any of the carnival posts can follow the link to the central post to learn about all the other carnival posts.

By doing this, each of the participants gets exposure from all of the other participants as well as the host. It is also beneficial from a search engine ranking perspective.

Hosting the Carnival

DisMarks will host the first carnival(s). As soon as we have enough consistent participants, we'll do a rotating hosting schedule. If no one wants to host a particular carnival, DisMarks will host. We'll also link to all the compilation carnival posts from here, so we have them all stored in one place.

Great, How Do I Get In?

Use this form to submit a post you'd like to be considered for the next carnival. Right now we'll do free form topics, but once we have it rolling we may start doing a "suggested topic" for the week.

The First Carnival

We'll have the first carnival on Friday, April 2nd. This means all submissions should be in by Tuesday, March 30th. If you're' not ready, don't worry you can catch the next week's carnival. We'll update this space to let you who's hosting each week and when your submissions are due.

More DisMarks Improvements

We're testing out some new improvements to DisMarks, let us know what you think:

  • Added TweetMeme buttons both upcoming and promoted DisMarks. This way you can tweet about DisMarks you think are good with only one click. Please do Tweet about your favorite stories to help spread the word about DisMarks.
  • We've added a "Share on Facebook" button as well. You can only see this in the detail view of the story. Please use this as well as it helps promote DisMarks as well as the story..
  • Posting promotions to both the Twitter account and Facebook. As you probably know, whenever a story is promoted, we tweet about it. Until now, however the Facebook page didn't receive any love. We felt like our Facebook fans were getting short shrift, so now they both should get updates. If this was keeping you from following us on Facebook, no more need to wait!
  • Switched from TinyURL to bit.ly as our URL shortener. This won't mean much to most of you, but it has some nicer features.

Please let us know if any of these are annoying or if you have any further suggestions!
Thanks,
Jordan

Fixes to User Karma

So for a while now we've been noticing that something was not quite right with the karma calculations. It didn't seem like people were getting quite enough credit for submitting great stories, but we couldn't figure out what was wrong.

We finally got to the bottom of it today and have re-run the karma calculations. This didn't make a huge difference in the relative positions of people although it made some small changes at the top. Basically what it means is that some of the great users who've been contributing so much will need a few more days to reach the top. We just wanted to let everyone know about the changes so they wouldn't be confused as to why everyone's karma number changed so much.

Also we've had a bunch of new users recently who've been contributing a ton and we just wanted to take a moment to let you know that we really appreciate it.

New Feature: Syndication

Just wanted to take a second to drop a quick note about a new feature some of you may be interested in. If you look at the menus at the bottom of the page you'll see a Syndication option. This screen allows you to see historical DisMarks for a given day, or weekly or monthly by a given category. Thus you can see the top 5 DisMarks for any given time period.

This can be interesting for users and it can also be good content for webmasters out there. Each of those syndication categories has an RSS feed which you can use to get these lists delivered to you. Then you can let your users see what the most popular DisMarks were for the week. If you only cover Disneyland on your website you can choose that feed. We feel that this feature is a great resource for our users and can also help webmasters provide great content while promoting the DisMarks concept.

Speaking of which we'd like to take a moment to thank some of the websites that have helped promote DisMarks. Main Street Gazette has added us to their site and also is contributing both their own and other site's stories. Matt at WDW Central and Living in WDW. has added us as well and been a very active user. Finally OnlyWDWorld has added the "DisMark It" button to their site and are contributing a ton of articles.

We'd also like to thank all the users that are submitting, voting for, and commenting on stories. Even those who are simply reading the submitted stories are helping reward the webmasters who are creating the great content. We've been thrilled with how much our user base is growing and even more thrilled by the great stories you guys are submitting. Thanks to everyone for the great work and let's keep building an awesome site

DisMarks: Remember It's YOUR Site

We've been getting the impression that some people are worried if certain submissions are "right" for the site. Don't ever hesitate to submit something that you think is worthwhile and to vote up the stories you like. That just helps make DisMarks better and make the community better. There is no pre-set notion of what makes a story good or not, that's up to you guys. If there's something you'd like to see more of, just be sure to submit the stories and vote for them.

We'd also like to take a moment to point out one of our new features. You might notice on submissions now there is a "More from this domain" option, which will show you all the other published DisMarks from that domain. We may change this to include unpublished DisMarks as well, let us know if you have any thoughts on which would be better. In addition we've listed the Top 100 Domains based on how many stories they've had promoted.

Thanks as well to Samland's Disney Adventures for taking such an interest in the site and blogrolling us. Everyone who helps bring attention to DisMarks helps make it better for everyone.

Why DisMarks is Good For the Disney Web-Space

I wanted to share with you guys what motivated us to create DisMarks. It’s clear that social media websites benefit both content authors and readers; authors reap the benefit of disseminating their writing to a large audience, and readers have the benefit of accessing a wealth of content about their favorite subjects in one place. We created DisMarks to provide these benefits of social media specifically to the Disney Space. Here are some ways in which it helps:

Helps users find out what’s new and interesting – If you’ve used DisMarks, you know that one of its key benefits is pointing readers to some of the best writing on the web about Disney. It’s a one-stop-shop for the best and most up-to-date Disney web content.

It provides feedback to the content providers – Because user voting and feedback are so apparent, it can help writers figure out what is connecting with the audience. Writers can see if what they’re doing is resonating with their audience and get inspiration for potential new directions.

It inducts readers into the space, helping it grow – One of the biggest benefits is that DisMarks makes a convenient entry point for new readers. Readers can find what’s hot at the moment as well as what types of blogs and websites are available to them that they might not have found via web searching or word of mouth. This can help turn people into avid Disney readers.

It helps new bloggers disseminate their work – One of the hardest aspects of starting a new blog is letting readers know about your work. DisMarks helps new authors distribute their content and gives them near-immediate feedback. This prevents great work from sitting unnoticed.

It provides a community for webmasters – DisMarks offers an opportunity for webmasters to see a myriad of other Disney content in one place, creating opportunities for community, collaboration, and connection.

All of these components make DisMarks good for the readers and the content producers in the Disney space. If you agree, be sure to vote for stories you like (including “upcoming” stories), and comment on them. If you’re a blogger or other content producer, be sure to let your readers know about DisMarks and how they can help further highlight your work. We have a guide for some ways you can do this here.

We'd also like to thank Progress City USA for adding us as a bookmarking option to their pages and writing a succinct post explaining how DisMarks is good for all of us.

New Subscription Feature

Thanks to a suggestion by DisneyGeek (http://www.disneygeek.com/), we've added a new subscription feature to the site. Now whenever you're looking at the details of a DisMark, you can subscribe to any of the following:

  • The Comments to the content itself. This is the first option and you'll receive a mail any time the content is commented on.
  • Content types, which in our case is either blog posts or DisMarks.
  • Authors, so you can be informed whenever a particular author submits a DisMark.
  • Categories and tags.

Also you can use combinations of those so that you can receive mail when, for example, disneygeek submits a story in DisneyLand.

All of this can be done from the bottom of any DisMark detail page, the same place you go to add comments. You can also manage your subscriptions from the Subscription tag on the "My Account" page. Please give us feedback on anything that doesn't make sense or could be improved.

Thanks,

Jordan

Thanks Everyone

We're approaching the end of our first round of Beta testing. We've been very appreciative of all the feedback and the system seems to be handling the load okay, so we're going to do a little more high-profile promotion soon. Before we did we wanted to thank the sites that have helped us get the word out so far:

Stitch Kingdom - http://www.stitchkingdom.com/
DisneyGeek - http://www.disneygeek.com/
WDW Newsletter - http://www.wdwnewsletter.com/
Disney Kid - http://disneykid08.wordpress.com/
This Day in Disney History and his blog - http://www.thisdayindisneyhistory.com/
SoloFriendly - http://solofriendly.com/
Walt Disney World For Grownups - http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/
The Disney Food Blog - http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/
Mush's Blog - http://blogdumush.blogspot.com/
Family Disney Vacations - http://familydisneyvacations.com/

We know there are some more of you who are working on getting the button integrated into your site and getting ready to post about us and we'll get you in the next round of "thank-you"s. We've been ecstatic with the response so far and we're looking forward to taking it to the next level. Some features we're also planning on adding soon:

1.) E-mail subscriptions to topics so you can be notified when people comment on stories or when new stories are submitted.

2.) A list of the most popular domains.

Please get your suggestions in if you have others. Thanks again to everyone who's helped us make DisMarks a success so far!

New Feature - Tweeting

Just a quick note to let you guys know that we've managed to add a feature that we wanted to make sure was done before beta -- Tweeting. Now whenever a post is promoted our Twitter accout -- http://twitter.com/DisMarks -- will automatically tweet about it. This should help remind people to come check on all the awesome news going on here and bring more attention to your submissions!

Also we're working on detailed info on how to add the various tools for bloggers to specific platforms. We'd love your feedback however, since we're far from experts on all the different blogging platforms out there. To read what we have so far, go to:

http://dismarks.com/help/platform-advice

Once again we really appreciate everyone's help and we're getting a great response to the site so far. Please be sure to tell your friends and help spread the word.

Jordan

Improving DisMarks

We'd like to thank everyone for your support so far and hope that you'll continue to contribute your time and energy in a venture that should be good for everyone in the Disney web space. Every time DisMarks’ profile is raised it will help drive traffic to all the sites who participate. Additionally, when we go and promote it in the wider social media sphere, it will bring traffic and authority to our space from the web as a whole.

How Can I Help Raise DisMarks’ Profile?

We've had some people ask how they can help. We're dedicated to making this project work, so if you'd like to be in on the ground floor there are a lot of things you can do to help:

  • If you have your own site, the most important thing you can do is tell your users about DisMarks. You can do this either by posting a news item about DisMarks or by linking to DisMarks (for example on your blogroll). This will help get us to the "critical mass" that will make the site work most effectively.
  • Additionally, you can use our tools to add the “Mark It!” bookmark button or other links to your posts. If you add the "Mark It" button to each of your posts, then your users can vote for your stories right from the story itself. They can also submit your stories to DisMarks that way.

If you don't have a website, you can use the Invite a Friend feature to let your friends know about this site. We even keep track of who has invited the most people!

We think everyone who helps DisMarks grow will get great return in the long run, and we really appreciate everyone who has helped out and everyone who will in the future. Thanks guys!

- Jordan