The Internet: Serious business.
It's given way to all sorts of weird shit: Citizen journalism, three wolf moon shirts, keyboard playing cats, Perez Hilton. But since it also enables users to hide behind their computer monitors in anonymity, a whole new wave of blogs has started up--ones to make fun of other people.
Not that we're objecting or anything.
The latest is called People of the Park, where the website's moderators--South Orange County residents A.B. Roth, N. VanDerMere and Raquel all in their 20s--post reader-submitted and personal snapshots of interesting Disneyland resort patrons. Whether it's a grown man in a pink and lavender button-up with Disney princesses (and sparkles!), a mom with her cheeks hanging out of her cutoffs or a man enjoying his lunch in a restroom stall, it's all fair game. It's all relatively innocuous, especially when in comparison with the previously discussed Flickr album titled "Fat People At Disneyland, which was more cruel than entertaining. Oddball outfits and the "fashionably challenged" are more the focus here than uh, "fat people."
The site launched February 3, 2010 and has already achieved over 570,000 page views.
The three say they simply enjoy people watching at the park on some days: "After a certain point, it started to become a battle of who could spot the guest that was the most over the top" Roth tells me. "It was kind of on a whim that we decided we should start a blog about it."
Roth admits the group was indeed inspired by PeopleOfWalmart.com, but that they didn't set out to be a carbon copy, either.
"You see, the guests that grace the pages of our blog are not making a quick run to a grocery store. They're visiting a place where they know the'll be seen by thousands of other people," explains Roth. "We are flabbergasted at the amount of people who overlook that and think, 'Meh, this will do,'--or even better, 'I look great!'"
And I know you're wondering: Roth, VanDerMere and Raquel are all indeed Annual Passport holders and yes, even fans of Disneyland. Roth tells me they actually don't receive as much hatemail as they expected--"It's down to a couple per week." Though the site has been the topic of discussion on several online forums, where it is expectantly met with much disapproval, it's also been the subject of praise on Twitter and humor sites like CollegeHumor.com.
But the three want to clarify their harmless intentions with PeopleOfthePark.com, stating that the patrons photographed were snapped in a very public place with thousands of people. The site, they say, is for entertainment purposes only. As stated in the site's FAQ, anyone who finds themselves the subject of a photo and would like it removed, they can simply contact the site and it will be removed.
Roth, Raquel and VanDerMere would also like to express their gratitude to the site's visitors: "We'd just like to give a huge thank you to our fans, our followers on Twitter and Facebook, and anyone who has submitted a photo. Keep 'em coming! Your support has been phenomenal!"
So what's next? The sign of success for any website: A potential iPhone app, naturally. On the next page: A few more favorites from People Of the Park.
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