Feature: What the D23 Expo Taught Me About “Community”
When I first started using the internet back in the days of free AOL discs, the Disney community was built off of message boards. I was always a frequent visitor to message boards and the few websites that were dedicated to all things Disney. I was never a participant but always an onlooker. A few years ago I started writing for other websites and then what would eventually become Modern Mouse Radio.
The Modern Mouse experience for me has always been an online one, separated from my real life. It was a part time gig I did at night that allowed me to talk with people I didn’t know about something I was passionate about. I met Keith Lapinig through it and became good friends with him. We met in person Christmas weekend 2013. I met Angie Carriero through writing for another site and then she joined Modern Mouse Radio. When she joined the Modern Mouse Crew, we talked more often and eventually decided to date. Now we are married and talking about Disney in our home everyday! After making these two vital connections, I still felt like I was an onlooker from the outside.
Then Angie and I arrived in Anaheim the day before the 2015 D23 Expo. From that Thursday until we left Monday night, we were on cloud nine. This community we had been so closely tied to for so long came to life for us like a pop-up book we had been wanting to read. I always knew there was someone else on the other side of the conversations I had on social media or the people commenting at ModernMouseRadio.com but to see them and wander the convention with them was surreal. I’ve always called us the “Modern Mouse Crew” just to tag us as something, but it really felt like we were a team and that we all had connections to others as well and that we could co-exist in the realm of Disney fandom peacefully.
I’ll be honest in saying I critique myself harshly and am down on myself often. I went into the D23 Expo thinking, “I have a little website about Disney but I can hide as a wallflower and continue being an onlooker.” That wasn’t the case and I’m so glad it wasn’t. I heard my name from across the convention floor a few times and stopped to shake hands with people who I had somehow touched. I’m not saying that to brag (maybe a little though) but I say it because I felt a connection. I hadn’t realized that I built a community around the term “Modern Mouse”. The core team has always been Keith, Angie, and I, but we found ourselves connected with so many other people, some of which I had admired. Being able to talk with people about Modern Mouse Radio and Modern Mouse Boutique was inspiring. It gave me a boost of confidence and a passion to press the reset button and push full steam ahead.
Now I have the time to sit and think about ModernMouseRadio.com and the community around it and I think so much differently of it. What it can become! What it has been for me and so many others! What I always wanted it to be! It’s not just the core group of contributors at the site, but an entire “Modern Mouse Crew” of people who listen, read, watch, and participate along with us! Thank you to all of you who shook my hand, took pictures, and had a conversation with me at the Expo. You’ve brought me joy I couldn’t dream of experiencing otherwise and you make me proud to be part of the Modern Mouse Crew along with you!
Posted on August 18, 2015, in Articles and tagged #D23Expo, Community, D23 Expo, Disney, Disneyland, Feature, Fun, Funny, Josh Taylor, mmr, Modern Mouse, Modern Mouse Crew, Modern Mouse Radio, thank you, Walt Disney World, WDW. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.