Wal-Mart is venturing into the blogosphere again. Previous forays gave the US retail giant (and its PR agency) a bloody nose.
Not being an American, I don't quite understand the degree of antipathy toward Wal-Mart. It certainly seems that if they slip up, there is a big queue of people waiting to kick them.
So how does their new blog look? It looks good, perhaps a little too good. Given the scepticism around this company's intentions, authenticity and credibility should be the over-riding priority in order to rebuild trust. In a similar vein the name - Checkout - is a tricky one, catchy yes, but with a few too many meanings to play with. Certainly the site is very clearly branded as Wal-Mart this time around.
Having scanned a variety of archived posts, it seemed to be a blog searching for a purpose. The categories suggest that too: Gadgets, Gaming, Lawns & Garden, Movies and Sustainability. That's an eclectic mix of subject matter to meld together in a cohesive way. But perhaps that will emerge with time.
Jeremiah got there first and raises similar concerns and has already gathered some vitriolic feedback too.
Jeremiah also noted that the site isn't entirely Wal-Mart's own work. Their PR agency is involved, at least in 'moderating comments'. Which is fine. I can wholly understand that. Wal-Mart execs are busy people and some of the admin needs to be shared out to make sure it gets done promptly. But just slip a sentence or two explaining that in the About section...