Aering My Grievance

Wouldn’t it be nice to hear some positive upbeat holiday news around here? News of refunds effortlessly winging their way to my bank account and our new alternative holiday being booked without any hiccups and us having a countdown of sorts to a much needed getaway.

Yep that would be lovely.

Of course, no such thing has happened. Aer Lingus are not covering themselves in glory in relation to their 5-7 day “promise” for that refund. It was requested on the 27th of August and here we sit drumming our fingers still.

I chased them about three days ago. Sure they are busy and no doubt have a lot to get through but I did check in with another affected Aer Lingus customer and blog reader who requested their refund after mine and of course there’s arrived very quickly and without faff.

Sigh.

Anyway I feel much better and totally reassured as I was told that the refund request would now be passed to their Priority Team who would deal with it urgently. Firstly it’s always nice to know you weren’t a priority in the first place and secondly when I asked how long the refund would take now it sat with the Jedi Masters of refunds I was told they could not give me a timescale but maybe within a week or so. I think we need a chat about the word Priority.

For someone who plans holidays in advance, being a few weeks away from our potential departure and not being able to book is an alien concept but here we are. I can feel my ire rising (not a euphemism) and I shall be having a chat with my Irish flying friends very early next week.

Away from the will they won’t they of our holiday (listen to those cheers), it has been brought to my attention this week about some Disney vlogger drama. This is actually the second week in a row this has happened.

Last week I caught wind of some UK Youtubers who had sparked controversy by getting to Florida by first spending two weeks in, I think it was Crotia and the Disney online community had gone berserk at them. I think what they did was called “not reading the room”.

There was a lot of anger at them doing this with everyone else suffering cancelled plans and having no hope of getting there anytime soon. I didn’t care very much about this as I had never watched any of their videos and probably never will but I put it down to that age old demon where some folks start getting some attention and traction for their online activity and they begin to crave it and do stupid things.

At its most extreme I’ve heard of some (non Disney) Youtuber having a bath in bleach to generate views. That did not end well. In this case I suppose they thought being the first UK folks out there would bag them a lot of attention. Well it did but in the form of anger, unsubscribes and vitriolic comments.

I don’t really know how that little storm ended but hopefully it involved those folks getting a little perspective about online attention and the drug it can become.

This week’s drama involved The Trackers. Apparently they have been dropped from the media event list by Disney and Universal due to some “content” they posted a decade ago. It’s not really about that as far as I can see. As ever it seems there is someone or someones out there on a mission to bring them down and they have been bombarding Disney and Universal via multiple email addresses insisting they cut their ties with The Trackers due to this content that they say is not in line with Disney’s/Universal’s values. There are rumours of who that is but I won’t share those as there is no proof but suffice to say the theory is another vlogger is trying to knock them off their spot and take their place.

Success in any sphere attracts trolls I suppose. I mean I get bombarded all the time with jealousy and sabotage about my blog which has had pretty much the same number of readers for a decade. You can’t buy that sort of consistent mediocrity.

When you are The Trackers and are getting more views than quite a few TV programmes now you are always going to get divided opinions. It’s clearly too simple to say if you don’t like them don’t watch them it seems. They are and have been a consistently excellent source of information for Florida travellers over the years. Sure some of their content won’t please everyone, but how sad do you have to be to spend your time trying to destroy what somebody else has achieved.

Hopefully they will be reinstated soon but in the meantime I hope they will be laughing all the way to the bank in their Tesla and giving that troll(s) the finger as they drive by.

Shall we reconvene here next week, when my refund will absolutely have happened and our new trip will be booked, just in time for the October lockdown to drive a coach and horses through it? October lockdown? Well, the government have both not ruled it out and said they have no plans for one so I think that’s crystal clear as usual. Two days ago vaccine passports were happening but in the 48 hours since they have seemingly reviewed all the factors, that presumably they lost down the back of the couch on Thursday and now they are “definitely not going ahead with those”.

It’s the hope for competence that kills you.

Till the next time……

Disney Beef

Well, my illness of which I do not speak has taken all of last week to go away. I still hack up the odd lung now and we’re two weeks from the start of the illness of which I do not speak. See, I told you I was ill, or I would have if I spoke about it.

If you’ve been reading here for a while you will have noticed that I have slipped in the odd reference to me being banned from a certain Facebook Disney group. I won’t name it, but I’ll bet most of you can guess which one. I have the distinction of being banned despite never having posted in it. It’s a source of regular amusement for me. From time to time the online Disney community can be a right set of dicks it seems. I don’t aim that at the admin of that Facebook group. It’s their group and they can be as stupid as they wish with their rules, it is more of a general comment.

My online echo chamber, from a Disney perspective is made up of what I see to be exclusively nice folks that I first “met” on The Dibb and then from my trip reports, blogging etc. Anyone who thought I was a dick has long since fallen by the way side and everyone I interact with are without exception, lovely, supportive and a joy to have around. There’s a hardcore of Disney folks, most I have never met, that now make up part of my feeds on almost all the social medias. We have met a few of them too and they have been without exception lovely folks.

At the time when I was writing trip reports on The Dibb and they were quite popular I came across a very small taste of what these higher profile vloggers and bloggers seem to get from time to time. People suspected I was cashing in and making heaps of cash and making veiled comments about the fact that trip reports should be free for others to get information from etc etc. They always were (and still are) online, I did the books for a few reasons…

  • Everyone told me I should
  • I was planning to write a novel and wanted to learn how to self-publish etc
  • They are a great way to preserve our memories should The Dibb ever explode.

Anyway, I wasn’t making money, I don’t from my blog, but perceptions are everything and sometimes a little jealousy/resentment can happen to anyone, even when in my case it absolutely wasn’t needed or justified as I’m just not that good at it.

(Oh, by the way….go and buy one of my books!) 🙂

Anywho, this week I saw The Trackers having some beef on Twitter. For those of you who don’t know, and it won’t be many, The Trackers are a very popular couple who vlog every day. They’ve become a success because their videos are good. It’s a simple concept but there you go. They come over well on camera, do good content and aren’t dicks. In the land of YouTube they are a rare oasis in the sea of over exuberant follower addicts with their hauls, giveaways and overly enthusiastic false demeanour. My twitter timeline is awash every day with follow suggestions for “Hey, we’re Ben and Kate (made up names) a couple from Random Town, England and we vlog our WDW trips and share the magic”, and they have about 17 followers. Just my opinion but most YouTubers aren’t bearable to watch for me, but The Trackers get it right I think. For those who love vlogging that of course is fine and it’s none of my business, but it’s just an example of the huge numbers out there doing it and how well those like The Trackers do to stand out.

YouTube is a jungle and I know very little about it, but outside of the Disney community the big vloggers all now seem to have a book deal, some a record deal and all in all have found some way to monetise their followers. Fair play to them. It beats working for a living and I know I couldn’t do it.

So back to this beef. I couldn’t get to the bottom of it from the tweets I saw but someone on Twitter has it in for them. They seem to be upset about them getting paid for some content/videos and/or being invited to special stuff and maybe even getting certain activities or accommodation funded. I don’t get it really. It’s the obvious result of them having almost 300,000 subscribers, most of whom like Disney stuff. I’m not sure what they are expected to do really. Turn down invites to stuff that will make great content for their channel? Refuse any sort of monetary compensation and/or not take any money from ads on their videos. That’s how YouTube is funded, they are creating content folks want to watch so I don’t see the issue.

It may be a green eyed monster for sure. Like anything, once something gets popular it is hard for it to stay the same. They will get shitty comments on some videos, they will get trolls, they will get people who resent them for all sorts of reasons. The effort they must have put it in to get to this point is unimaginable. I’ve had this blog since 2009 and it reaches a good number of people, but the effort, expense and commitment to “breakthrough” is beyond me. It isn’t that important to me and I don’t have the time and maybe the ability.

So if you are trolling The Trackers or anyone else making something of themselves, have a word with yourself. They aren’t perfect human beings and exposing your life as they do on a daily basis must be exhausting. Sure they could stop, but they clearly enjoy it and I’m sure it’s nice to have the attention they do and be stopped in the parks for photos. That even used to happen to us every now and again and it is a lovely feeling.

Now, having written all of that as the protector of things vlogger/blogger, what does grind my gears is when I see WDW themselves posting stuff about some random Mummy blogger writing about a freebie trip they have been given. That to me is different, mainly because they didn’t ask me ( 🙂  ) but also because that is a bit blatant for my liking. If anything it makes me less likely to be booking a WDW holiday. Now of course, that doesn’t mean I won’t, but it irks me a bit. Am I a hypocrite? Almost certainly…. Anyway, you can troll me in the comments to let me know!

Till the next time….


Holiday Travel Deals


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The Top Three Things I Hate About Blogging – You Won’t Believe Number 3!!

Did you click that link to find out what number 3 is? I don’t hate blogging of course. Imagine someone using a blog post title to encourage clicks. These days it seems that everyone has a blog. Most seem to have one or two posts on them from 2011  before they realise that it’s actually quite difficult to think of something to write on a regular basis.

It is only my compulsive, task driven, incompletion averse personality that compels me to write this thing every week. I don’t really consider myself a normal blogger, mainly as I don’t have a theme. I’m definitely not a Disney blogger although many of my posts talk about it. A Disney blogger, to me, is someone who has the patience and time to find out everything that is going on in that world and write informative, fact based posts that help others keep up.

I don’t have the time or inclination to do that to be honest and so my Disney content is only personal to me and what is relevant to my next trip. I could never keep up to date with everything going on and I’d never be able to publish that before the four trillion other Disney bloggers do. Most of my posts are just me moaning about the twists and turns of my average, middle class, middle of the road life with hopefully enough humility and bits of humour to keep them readable.

Anyway, I do have a few pet peeves about blogs in general, so let’s see if I can get to three…

  1. Click bait titles – If you see one, (like the one I used) then click it with the knowledge that it’s being used for a reason. Every blogger wants views. Although I don’t blog to get a certain number of views I am pleased when a post I write gets more than usual. Everyone likes that sort of pat on the back. I don’t monetise my blog with ads (if you see any, they are placed by WordPress and I don’t see a penny), but for those who do, then these types of teaser titles are mainly looking to drive numbers up and page impressions mean ad views which ultimately means more cash.
  2. Quitters – Blog or do not, there is no try. I understand this is due to my Type A personality, but if you’re going to announce to the world that you’re going to be blogging and sharing your wisdom and wit, don’t pack it in after the traditional “Hello World!” post.
  3. Over promoters – Look, I blogged, read it, like it, share it. Everyone does different stuff to attract readers to their blog but there is a limit and if I see the same post tweeted out forty-seven times a day, I tend not to read it on principle.

I’m a moaning git aren’t I? Of course these days, blogging is a bit last decade and the big thing is vlogging. The rise of the YouTuber (along with smartphones, tablets and smart TVs) will continue to revolutionise how we watch content over the next few decades. We’re already seeing big time YouTubers crossing over now on to mainstream broadcast media and in the Disney community there are thousands of them. The Trackers are the only ones I watch semi-regularly as they produce enjoyable, interesting and engaging content presented nicely.

Vlogging is not for me. I don’t have the personality or delivery to carry that off so I salute those who do it well. For me, beyond being engaging on-screen and knowing how to deliver to camera well, the real skill with vlogging is editing. If I can get through someone’s vlog without wanting to fast forward huge chunks of it I’m pretty likely to watch future videos.

On the flip side, some more traditional celebs have taken to YouTube to engage with their fans and they are becoming almost as well-known for that as they are for their original career. Tom Fletcher falls into that category and he and his extended family have always seemed very switched on to potential of social media.

I’m not an expert blogger by any means. I probably make loads of mistakes on a regular basis, but for me it’s not that important as I don’t make money from it, I don’t live or die by how many people read this guff and you, dear reader, tend to be very loyal and forgiving of some of the crap I churn out. For me, it started out as an experiment to better understand blogs (which back in 2009 were still fairly new) and a bit of a diary to track what happens as life flashes by at a million miles an hour. I do dip into the archives every now again to read in great detail what I was whinging about in 2011.

If you’ve thought about doing a blog, maybe started one and stopped, I would encourage you to give it a go. For me, and in my very own personal worthless opinion, you have to write for yourself first about stuff you care about or are just thinking about at the time and see if anyone else likes it too. I am sure over the years I’ve purposefully written stuff I know would appeal but I suspect that’s a symptom of having to think of a post every week! If any of you do blog, or are going to, send me a link and I’ll happily share it out here in a future post which may send my reader your way!

Till the next time……