WalMart Uses Bloggers, Doesn’t Listen to Amex or Businesspundit

Obviously no one at WalMart reads this blog. Otherwise, they wouldn't have made such a mess in coaxing bloggers to say certain things.


Long time readers will remember that in October, American Express hired me to cover an event, and as I wrote they "got" blogging. I was told to write what I wanted and what I found interesting. Blogging is built on the idea of open and honest conversations ("naked conversations" as Scoble would say). Telling bloggers what to say and do just cheapens the medium and the message.

  • Jay

    I haven’t follwed the matter closely, but I understood it to be press releases to bloggers, or something amounting to that. This is the very first mention I have seen of anyone being paid by Wal-Mart.

  • Jay

    Yup, the article specifically says that bloggers were *not* paid. It’s all about failure to cite sources copied verbatim, the kind of thing a past reputable media source like the Times would never do.

  • Oh boo hoo a blogger made an error in judgment.

    How much hidden agenda driven crap makes it into the NY Times or onto NBC? I heard from an NBC newsbunny today that “second hand smoke” is virtually proven to “cause” lung cancer.

    Yes transparency is alway right. But what’s the bible say about noticing the “mote in thy brother’s eye but ignoring the beam in thy own eye?” Oh yeah “thou hypocrite.”

  • Rob

    Weird…. I could have sworn it said paid but you’re right, it isn’t in there anywhere. Time for some editing!

  • SW

    Why bother in the first place? Prompting discussions seems to defeat the purpose. Why not engage in activities or actions that actually create the desire to have people speak of them?

  • Undecided

    A point that nobody mentioned is that you were paid to write about Amex. Wouldn’t you say that strongly encourages positive feedback? In actuality, that is the same as being paid to portray an image anyway. The only difference is that you are being manipulated with a suggested direction rather than a requested one.

    In addition, blogging blatantly incorrect information damages your credibility to the nth degree in regards to past or future opinions.

  • Rob, as you’ve noted Wal*Mart and (my good friend) Marshall Manson do not pay bloggers.

    I know. I asked for dough.

    Or at least expenses. Marshall offered me a tour of Bentonville — me and Glenn Reynolds on the same bus! — but I would have had to pay my own way down there.

    Goodness. I do enough free consulting.

    Didn’t need to do that.


  • Rob

    Actually, I said Amex “hired” me, which in my mind implies payment. The whole point here is that the other bloggers were only willing to do this if Amex let us write what we wanted. I even expressed that my normal comment policy wouldn’t change. So, if someone said something totally ridiculous and full of profanity and hate, then yes it would get deleted (on any post) but Amex was told that if people had legitimate challenges or points to make, those comments would not be deleted, but Amex could leave a comment response just like anyone else.