Walmart and other big businesses should stay away from the blogosphere. We'll eat their eyeballs right out of their sockets. We don't like arrogance, domination, or using blogs as pulpits to preach the same old non-Cluetrain sermons. How we should love them and keep buying their shitty outmoded products from China, an oppressive country.
I am only mildly curious about the whole affair.
Authenticity. Transparency. Integrity. It's just adherence to the 9 core values of blogging. Either you comply with blogospheric ethics, or you brush them aside in pursuit of the unmighty dollar.
All I'll say is that blogs are not good vehicles for most businesses. It makes them look like they'll use anything to further their agendas. Most businesses want to import their loser Business As Usual junk into a blog, and it won't work. It never does. It just increases ill will and public animosity.
Business blogging is very tricky and difficult. One false step and you've got the full weight of blogospheric fury on you. It's not easy to shake, once you've made the mistake.
These blogs are repulsively self-serving, just the same old yelling and whining, in a new medium.
"We're innocent. We're good people. We keep prices low, and working families appreciate that. Unions attack us, but look at their dwindling membership. Our vile detractors, let's look at their selfish, hidden motives..."
The WalMart blogs violate every principle of blogging. No comments. No desire to engage in a candid conversation with the public. No content of true value to anybody. No reason to read it.
Using blogs as megaphones, that's all it is, like that stupid WOMMA web site and all its crap propaganda and weak ethical formulations.
From "Word of Mouth Marketing Code of Ethics":
The Honesty ROI: Honesty of Relationship, Opinion, and Identity[END QUOTE]
Honesty of Relationship
We practice openness about the relationship between consumers, advocates, and marketers.
We encourage word of mouth advocates to disclose their relationship with marketers in their communications with other consumers. We don't tell them specifically what to say, but we do instruct them to be open and honest about any relationship with a marketer and about any products or incentives that they may have received.
We stand against shill and undercover marketing, whereby people are paid to make recommendations without disclosing their relationship with the marketer.
We comply with FTC regulations that state: "When there exists a connection between the endorser and the seller of the advertised product which might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement (i.e., the connection is not reasonably expected by the audience) such connection must be fully disclosed."
Word of Mouth Marketing, so called, is offensive to me in several ways. The main problem is that there is no place for it. You are either a paid salesman, who is an expert about the product and the problems it solves -- or you're a satisfied customer who really loves the product.
There is also the advertising writer, who is paid to learn about the market, manufacturing process, competition, and benefits of the product, and then speak on behalf of the company, in its voice, in its presence manifested in ads, commercials, and other promotion material.
For a person to pop into a blog, forum, discussion list, acting like a normal user, but unleashing an ad campaign in comments and debate, this is sick. It's called "blog whoring". What if your husband or wife often said, "I love you"...but one day you found out the frequency was because someone was paying them $100 each time they said it? Wouldn't that be creepy?
Pay me to act all happy about your product? Why should I shift from confidante to con? From impartial advisor to product pusher?
Word of mouth must come spontaneously or not at all, and it's based on product quality and usability. If your product solves a problem for, enhances the lifestyle of, or entertains someone, you might receive praise after a few Blue Moons. Who knows? Maybe two Fours.
Check out these pathetic, lame ass blogs:
Working Families for Walmart
Let these blogs teach how NOT to use a blog. Learn from the sewage of corporate greed trying to worm its way into the blogosphere.
WalMart: Tear down these blogs!