New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Wal-Mart blog goes authentic

Whoa, it's relly happening... web 2.0 has begun to morph into authentic corporate blogging, or has it? An article in the N Times reports that Wal-Mart has. Will others follow? Will libraries actually begin allowing comments on their public blogs? Ah the questions that remain to be answered.... :-)

Wal-Mart Tastemakers Write Unfiltered Blog

Microsoft is one of Wal-Mart’s biggest suppliers. But that did not stop the Wal-Mart employee in charge of buying computers from panning Microsoft’s newest operating system, Vista.

“Is it really all that and a bag of chips?” he wrote on his blog. “My life has not changed dramatically — well, for that matter, it hasn’t changed at all.”

His public burst of candor was not isolated. On the same blog, a video game buyer for Wal-Mart slammed a “Star Wars” film as a “debacle” even though Wal-Mart still sells the movie.

Known for its strict, by-the-books culture — accepting a cup of coffee from a supplier can be a firing offense — Wal-Mart is now encouraging its merchants to speak frankly, even critically, about the products the chain carries.

This unusual new Web site, which was quietly created during the holiday shopping season, has become a forum for unvarnished rants about gadgets, raves about new video games and advice on selecting environmentally sustainable food.

Corporate blogs are nothing new — General Motors, Dell and Boeing have them — but Wal-Mart’s site, called Check Out (, turns the traditional model on its head. Instead of relying on polished high-level executives, it is written by little-known buyers, largely without editing.

The result is an intensely personal window into the lives, preferences and quirks of the powerful tastemakers at Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, who have spent years shielded from public view.

Their decisions about what makes it onto Wal-Mart’s shelves have enormous impact, earning (or costing) vendors millions of dollars. It was a blogger on the Check Out, after all, who first disclosed last month that Wal-Mart would stock only high-definition DVDs and players using the Blu-ray format, rather than the rival HD DVD system. The decision was considered the death knell for HD DVD. Full story

No comments: