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View Full Version : Oop's! Disney Goofs on a Website?


k5jmh
06-21-2011, 02:44 PM
I thought Bob Iger said that Disney was going to fix their web presence?

http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/06/21/6907472-disney-lets-club-penguin-domain-lapse-site-goes-down



Disney lets Club Penguin domain lapse, site goes down

http://www.polls.newsvine.com/_vine/images/users/600/suzanne-choney/6907539.jpg

By Suzanne Choney

Disney's daily checklist: Make sure Mickey has personal trainer appointment, give Donald a facial and, oh — check to see that Club Penguin 's domain name does not expire. Oops — the entertainment giant missed that last one, failing to renew the site's domain June 13. That left millions of kids frustrated, and their parents even more agitated that the online children's game-playing site was unavailable to them Monday when the site was taken offline because of the lapse.
Club Penguin has 12 million members, Mashable notes, many of whom "awoke to a generic domain renewal page instead of the Club Penguin site" on Monday.
Disney has renewed the website registration, and the site is up and running again as of Tuesday, although users are still having problems getting into it.
"Many people ... still cannot access Club Penguin and are stuck on the golfer/clown page," according to Club Penguin Insiders, a fan site. "This is because of the way the Internet works, and we won’t get too technical about it, but we’ll just say that it takes time for the information to get to the billions of people online."
The site does offer step-by-step instructions about how to improve your chances of getting into Club Penguin. And, if you complain to Disney about the outage, you could get a week's free membership.
"We're not sure if this bonus membership applies to non-members, but we have heard from quite a number of users claiming to have been given a one-week extension of membership," said Club Penguin Insiders. With membership costing $5.95 a month, it's worth a little more than a buck, but still might help offset the aggravation.
Many users thought the site was down because it had been hacked, especially with the recent wave of LulzSec denial-of-service attacks on gaming sites. But no, there was no monkey business. It was Disney, just being plain Goofy.

FireDancer
06-21-2011, 03:00 PM
They've already gotten the domain re-registered and the site is back up at the proper URL. It was amazing to hear all the over-reaction as though your membership wouldn't work if you had to use a different URL to get to the clubpenguin domain even though the DNS pointer would most likely be to the exact same servers serving the exact same pages.

This happens a lot more then most people realize and probably only made the news because it was Disney. Same goes for allowing SSL certs to expire. It shouldn't happen but does.

cmwade77
06-21-2011, 03:47 PM
Actually, there's no real excuse for this to happen, especially for a paid site and one run by a company as large as Disney. Domain renewals are only about $15 per year, but they can buy up to 10 year increments.

If you read that article though, people are still having problems, so I would say best to avoid any paid site run by Disney. (Of course I am still a bit bitter over VMK, but that's another story).

doconeill
06-21-2011, 04:10 PM
Actually, there's no real excuse for this to happen, especially for a paid site and one run by a company as large as Disney. Domain renewals are only about $15 per year, but they can buy up to 10 year increments.

If you read that article though, people are still having problems, so I would say best to avoid any paid site run by Disney. (Of course I am still a bit bitter over VMK, but that's another story).

Agreed. It shouldn't ever happen - it is ridiculously easy to monitor such things - we even do it free for the customers my company does monitoring for since it is so east.

Getting it reregistered properly only helped some. It can take 24 hours (or even longer depending on what Network Solutions set for cache expirations) before some people would be able to get back online. Those who had to wait longer were likely the ones who kept trying - but someone who didn't try at all until they saw the news article after it had already been fixed were probably fine.

And using a different domain CAN be difficult, as most probably let their browsers save their passwords, which are done by URL, and the cookies with previous session info wouldn't be valid, etc. Not to mention people have to KNOW about the alternate domains...how do you communicate that your site is down if your site is down? :)

Anyways, Disney will soon be able to register .disney and therefore can expire their own domains :)

(Did I mention I've been running DNS servers for, oh...oh crap...22 years?)

FireDancer
06-21-2011, 04:30 PM
Agreed. It shouldn't ever happen - it is ridiculously easy to monitor such things - we even do it free for the customers my company does monitoring for since it is so east.

Getting it reregistered properly only helped some. It can take 24 hours (or even longer depending on what Network Solutions set for cache expirations) before some people would be able to get back online. Those who had to wait longer were likely the ones who kept trying - but someone who didn't try at all until they saw the news article after it had already been fixed were probably fine.

And using a different domain CAN be difficult, as most probably let their browsers save their passwords, which are done by URL, and the cookies with previous session info wouldn't be valid, etc. Not to mention people have to KNOW about the alternate domains...how do you communicate that your site is down if your site is down? :)

Anyways, Disney will soon be able to register .disney and therefore can expire their own domains :)

(Did I mention I've been running DNS servers for, oh...oh crap...22 years?)

All true but I still think it isn't that big of a deal and only made the news because it was Disney. It shouldn't happen but it does. Do we know for a fact they allowed the domain to expire and the registrar didn't accidentally redirect the domain to a landing page?

I was talking mostly about the people who were saying (not here but elsewhere) that they have credit on the site or a membership and if Disney loses the domain name they will lose their credit or membership. That isn't what would happen. Even if they did lose the domain, however unlikely, they would have the new one set up right away (probably clubpenguin.go.com) and while they wait for that site to get to the top of the search results (which probably wouldn't take long) they would have the email of the site members and could send out an email with the new link.

As for the cookies and stored passwords yes, that would be an issue but not Earth shattering. Personally, I think clearing your cookies regularly is a good idea anyway.

Regardless, it is a bit odd how they manage to do the web so terribly.

Disney Dad Canada
06-21-2011, 04:34 PM
OMG, what a non-issue. Disney has thousands of domain names registered, and probably under a number of domain registrars. Yes, it's a mistake, but it happens all the time. The Dallas Cowboys did the same thing last season.

Mistakes happen.

DWGal210
06-21-2011, 04:37 PM
This isolated incident? Not a big deal.

But because it's Disney, who can't create a decent site to save their lives, it's another nail in their online coffin.

doconeill
06-21-2011, 04:40 PM
All true but I still think it isn't that big of a deal and only made the news because it was Disney. It shouldn't happen but it does. Do we know for a fact they allowed the domain to expire and the registrar didn't accidentally redirect the domain to a landing page?

Nope...apparently the WHOIS record showed it expired on June 13th, and Network Solutions gives you about a week to re-register before redirecting. And I forget which of the bigwigs was quoted as saying "steps would be taken...blah blah".

This really is a big deal, because this is your corporate face. And when you go to a web page that you are familiar with, especially one that your kids use, and it isn't there and is instead some sort of link site which could have content that you DON'T want your kids to see, people lose confidence in their ability to protect their children from inappropriate content, etc.

Yes, it happens, and yes, it was news because it was Disney. News outlets don't care if one of my sites goes down for a day because I don't get the volume of visitors. But my sites don't randomly disappear from the internet for a day either because I know what I'm doing...

*NikkiBell*
06-21-2011, 06:00 PM
Actually, there's no real excuse for this to happen, especially for a paid site and one run by a company as large as Disney. Domain renewals are only about $15 per year, but they can buy up to 10 year increments.

If you read that article though, people are still having problems, so I would say best to avoid any paid site run by Disney. (Of course I am still a bit bitter over VMK, but that's another story).

This really is a big deal, because this is your corporate face. And when you go to a web page that you are familiar with, especially one that your kids use, and it isn't there and is instead some sort of link site which could have content that you DON'T want your kids to see, people lose confidence in their ability to protect their children from inappropriate content, etc.

Yes, it happens, and yes, it was news because it was Disney. News outlets don't care if one of my sites goes down for a day because I don't get the volume of visitors. But my sites don't randomly disappear from the internet for a day either because I know what I'm doing...

I agree 100% with these comments. Disney is at fault and shame on it for not handling business. They should have paid their bill on time to renew. But, again, after how they mismanaged VMK I am not surprised.

WaltD4Me
06-21-2011, 10:53 PM
This isolated incident? Not a big deal.

But because it's Disney, who can't create a decent site to save their lives, it's another nail in their online coffin.

This ^^^^^^

ADP
06-22-2011, 06:24 AM
What I find interesting about this story is most domain registrars have an auto renew or reregister feature. When the domain is set to expire it should automagically renew. I find it funny that Disney (or go.com...Whatever it is today) didn't use or have this domain auto renew with their registrar. Makes me wonder if Disney isn't transitioning their domains to a new registrar.

Disney Dad Canada
06-22-2011, 06:37 AM
This is part of my job as an Application Manager. With the thousands of web sites that Disney has, its almost impossible to keep track of them all, especially those that they bought from other properties. It happens an awful lot more than you think. Just like people getting arrested for DUI. If it happens to you, no biggie, if it happens to a celebrity, the sky is falling.

Auto renewals work for you and me that have one or two domains. For companies with thousands, purchase orders and other paperwork usually get in the way of auto anything.

As if little kids not being able to play with their pretend penguins is a matter of life and death. Geesh.

ADP
06-22-2011, 07:59 AM
Auto renewals work for you and me that have one or two domains. For companies with thousands, purchase orders and other paperwork usually get in the way of auto anything.
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. The reason you have auto renewal is so you can manage a lot of domains. It's supposed to help simplify the process, especially for larger corporations. Our company has hundreds of domains and for us the auto renewal feature is a blessing. It supposed to help the domain expiration problem. I do agree though...The paperwork/web forms can be off the charts at times for domains. It can get complicated.

Disney Dad Canada
06-22-2011, 08:12 AM
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. The reason you have auto renewal is so you can manage a lot of domains. It's supposed to help simplify the process, especially for larger corporations. Our company has hundreds of domains and for us the auto renewal feature is a blessing. It supposed to help the domain expiration problem. I do agree though...The paperwork/web forms can be off the charts at times for domains. It can get complicated.

That's more along the lines of what I meant. With a person, it goes on their credit card without notice. With companies who generally are more aware of their spending, paperwork sometimes gets in the way of automation.

doconeill
06-22-2011, 08:25 AM
We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. The reason you have auto renewal is so you can manage a lot of domains. It's supposed to help simplify the process, especially for larger corporations. Our company has hundreds of domains and for us the auto renewal feature is a blessing. It supposed to help the domain expiration problem. I do agree though...The paperwork/web forms can be off the charts at times for domains. It can get complicated.

I understand what DDC is saying though...if an antiquated PO system is the only way such "purchases" can be made, then it can be complicated. But there should be a mechanism at most companies that allow for automatic billing and payment for such things, so long as there is due diligence in checking them.

But as for letting them expire and only finding out when your customers complain...bad business in general no matter how big you are. Like I said, it is easy enough to have monitoring in place for these things (we do it), and the registrars also notify you of pending expirations (some better than others...Netsol is the "old man" of the arena as it was the original monopoly that ran it all, and perhaps isn't as good as most others now)

FireDancer
06-22-2011, 08:57 AM
The other thing to keep in mind is that Disney is a large corporation and people often switch responsibilities. If the person who was at one time responsible for this left or switched jobs they may have not forwarded the emails to the new person in charge of domains. They might have also advised the wrong person of the expiration and that person didn't let them know it wasn't their area and didn't pass the info to the correct person.

I work for a much smaller company and this kind of thing happens all the time in other areas. We have someone who is responsible for x leave and reassigning that responsibility either falls by the way or isn't executed in time and the customer is effected.