The official Disney Blog once asked readers that very question. It was interesting to note that almost every single person who responded said ‘Yes’ without any hesitation.
What would you have said?
I was a little surprised to see that not many people thought the answer would be ‘No’. Now, I didn’t read all of the comments for that post, so maybe more had other ideas. But the first few comments seemed to support the positive view.
I’m going to go against the crowd here and take the other path. I don’t think Walt Disney would have taken the time to Blog, or to Twitter, or to set up and maintain a Facebook page. And I’ll tell you why!
With so many books written about Walt Disney, it is easy to get a reasonably clear picture of the man and his methods. And by reading up on his early years up to the days before his passing, one thing seems to stand out: Walt Disney didn’t do all of the actual work himself. He didn’t animate his films. He didn’t build the technology used in the Parks. What he did do, and did better than anyone else, was come up with the ideas that no one else had thought of.
He was an Idea Man.
Of course, as an Idea Man, he would have considered the use of all available technology and how it could enhance his connection to the public. Anything that could have promoted his latest project would have been explored. So the various aspects of the Internet would have been explored.
But once explored, would Walt Disney himself have utilized them? Would he have taken the time to build a Facebook page and regularly chat with all who visited? I think it is safe to say that Social Media would not have appealed to Walt. For here was a man with few regular friends. A man who seldom attended parties or public functions if he could avoid it. And something else is of interest.
When asked for autographs at Disneyland, he would often refuse, because it slowed him down and made it impossible to get his work done. Instead, he would give them a pre-signed card (which you can see portrayed in the movie Saving Mr. Banks), or he would recommend that the person(s) write the Studio and request an autograph, and that then one would be sent to them. Did Walt himself sign those autographs? No. Often, he had someone else sign his name for him!
With these things in mind, it’s hard to believe that Walt would have taken the time to set up and maintain any of the Social Media accounts that we make such free use of today. But he may have had someone else do it in his name!
The Point: Walt likely wouldn’t have Blogged himself. But really, would we want him to use his time telling us what he had for lunch? Or would we rather he used his time to Imagineer?