Does anybody care about GO.com?

Disney is a corporate media juggernaut, like Viacom and News Corp. As such a juggernaut, Walt Disney Company has more arms than, uh … well, a six-armed man. Yeah.

The Internet portal for all things in the Disney conglomerate is GO.com. What I can’t figure out is what the point of GO.com is. It’s your classic web portal … featuring a layout that looks like a cybersquatter’s default hosting page and the worst identity logo that I can think of. (A long time ago, the GO.com logo looked like a green traffic light, which was far better than that ugly, scripty, awful … thing they have now.)

My guess is that, back in the day, Disney wanted GO.com to become a full-fledged portal in the Yahoo! vein. My guess is also that they lost. The three Internet portals — the cornerstone of which is free e-mail for its users — are Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google. Have you ever known someone with a GO.com e-mail address?

So, whatever. Maybe GO.com was trying to be an uber-portal and missed the boat, or maybe I just assumed that or made it up. The point is, it’s not a world-class portal. So why, then, is every Disney Company web site obsessed with having “go.com” in its URL, as if GO.com were the master of the Disney universe?

Type www.espn.com or www.abc.com into your browser, and the URL will be rewritten as espn.go.com or abc.go.com. ESPN and ABC are not exactly lightweights. (156 episodes, the bulk of the series… okay, I’ll stop now.) In my opinion, those are big enough entities to warrant their own top-level domain appearance. Apparently, Disney does not agree, and ESPN.com and ABC.com are relegated to the status of subsidiaries of GO.com, and rewritten as subdomains.

Even the Disney Company corporate web site is a subsidiary. It’s corporate.disney.go.com. Even Movies.com is a GO slave. If you own the domain name Movies.com, isn’t that its own accomplishment? Why would you dilute that domain name by rewriting it as movies.go.com?

I’m thinking that whoever at Disney invented the GO.com portal concept has a severe insecurity complex. Why else to account for the fact that every Disney entity has been GO-ified?

But check this shit out (Fig. 1). My favorite is this: If you type in www.go.com, the site will actually rewrite the URL as simply http://go.com, removing the www! Most sites will add the www back in if you omit it, because most people are used to seeing it there. But GO.com is so fearful of losing its identity that it actually takes the www away!

GO.com — who do you think you are?! You think you’re bigger than ABC, ESPN, and Walt Disney Company? Why, I think not!

Insecure web portals: It do what it do.

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5 comments on this post

Anonymous
Friday, October 19, 2007, 2:26 pm (UTC -6)

Well, it looks like they *do* have free e-mail.

But wow, wow, wow, that is one fugly portal. I can’t imagine anyone willingly using it. They really ought to just toss it, or replace it with something better (how about a video portal? Disney , ABC, and ESPN put together sure must generate a lot of content!).

Bryan K
Friday, October 19, 2007, 6:49 pm (UTC -6)

“What are you, nuts? *GIVE* away our videos to whoever views their portal page? NO WAY! We need to keep copyright on the original Mickey, and we’ve paid good money to various lawmakers to do it; we can’t go giving away all of that now!”

(I.e., the typical big-media company knee-jerk reaction. 😉 )

Stef
Saturday, October 20, 2007, 1:14 pm (UTC -6)

Go.com? Never heard of it… and I spend far too much time in internetland.

Joe
Saturday, November 3, 2007, 12:36 pm (UTC -6)

LO…I’ve always wondered about Go.

Joe
Saturday, November 3, 2007, 12:36 pm (UTC -6)

LOL, even.

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