Wallmart co-opting independent bloggers?

It seems that some bloggers’ doubty claims to be the watchdogs of an untrustworthy fourth estate have been severely challenged by one international company’s attempt to harness the networking power of the blogosphere.

  • Pete Baker

    Not sure how severely challenged that, admittedly doubty claim, actually is Mick.. It’s a PR campaign that’s trying to use bloggers, nothing more..

    Under assault as never before, Wal-Mart is increasingly looking beyond the mainstream media and working directly with bloggers, feeding them exclusive nuggets of news, suggesting topics for postings and even inviting them to visit its corporate headquarters.

    But the strategy raises questions about what bloggers, who pride themselves on independence, should disclose to readers. Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private employer, has been forthright with bloggers about the origins of its communications, and the company and its public relations firm, Edelman, say they do not compensate the bloggers.

    Whether those bloggers co-operate in that strategy is up to them.. I’d suggest that if they were to do it repeatedly, without acknowledging what was happening, they’d lose out in the long-run..

    ANYway.. as ever, The Professor points us in the right direction –

    Glenn Reynolds, the founder of Instapundit.com, one of the oldest blogs on the Web, said that even in the blogosphere, which is renowned for its lack of rules, a basic tenet applies: “If I reprint something, I say where it came from. A blog is about your voice, it seems to me, not somebody else’s.”


  • Pete Baker

    Btw the NYTimes article is here

    and, as well as being quoted in it, the Professor has added his own extensive view on the general point

    Every successful system attracts parasites. The blogosphere is a successful system. That doesn’t excuse bad conduct, of course. But I hope that nobody will try to pretend that this sort of thing is new or unusual, even if the setting is.

    and he has a post with links to several other blogs about the article

  • topdeckomnibus

    To my mind “Blogging” can also be about selective communication. Unlike the media.

    Perhaps 99% of readers of a thread contribution may not grasp what the hell is really being said.

    But it goes on search engines

    And then the emails, or letters, come in.

    And, for example, I was contacted some years ago by General De Chasterlain after his attention was drawn to my web communications. And he ended up submitting a report (written by me) to the NI Secretary.

    It is not all about mass communication.