Home > Uncategorized > Wal-Mart Flogged; Blogging for Clicks; Outing Politicians

Wal-Mart Flogged; Blogging for Clicks; Outing Politicians

Top Stories for the Week of October 16 – October 20

 The blogosphere coined a new word this week: Flogvertising. Remember Jim and Laura of Wal-Marting Across America – the ones who created all those folksy stories about Wal-Mart? (via Real Lawyers Have Blogs). Turns out the couple were hired by the non-folksy execs at Edelman, Wal-Mart’s giant PR agency (via JD on EP). Blogosphere reaction was predictably frantic. Publishing 2.0 wants to know why Edelman waited so long to respond-you call this a conversation? And doesn’t this violate the Word of Mouth Marketing Association guidelines Edelman helped create in the first place? writes Business Blog Consulting.

Micro Persuasion’s Steve Rubel, who works for Edelman, was curiously absent from the debate, then made some tepid statement about Edelman’s commitment to the WOMMA guidelines on transparency. If the first rule of damage control is to have someone else speak for you, Scobleizer swallowed the bait: After a  call from Edelman’s chief, he took the PR agency’s word (!) that misleading marketing is not acceptable there. Marketing Roadmaps blogs that Edelman’s campaign didn’t achieve its goals for the client, and spawns far larger problems for the agency going forward. Too bad for client Wal-Mart, but as gapingvoid‘s mom is fond of saying, “Education is expensive.”

It’s fine to pretend to be someone else as long as you say you’re pretending, which is what Reuters has done with its new bureau within Second Life. Reuters media correspondent Adam Pasick will be “Adam Reuters,” the news bureau’s avatar in the online world (via Smart Mobs). Reuters’ costs are lower than the real world and it may even get a few scoops, writes Mashable! Amazon.com also has an avatar in Second Life, blogs The Stalwart, who is considering becoming SL’s first virtual hedge fund manager.

In other blog news, PopSugar is looking more and more like a West Coast Gawker Media for women, especially since Sequoia Capital just invested $5 million, blogs alarm:clock. New products will include GeekSugar (a little sister to engadget), BuzzSugar (music/movies/etc.) and YumSugar (food/drink), writes TechCrunch. Sugar Publishing already has 20 million page views per month and 1.5 million uniques. And page views are what every writer and editor at Business 2.0 is now gunning for-individually. The magazine is making its whole staff blog and will compensate them accordingly for hits. BuzzMachine worries about B2.0’s bloggers whoring for clicks, but confesses that he was hit-driven at People magazine so what’s new?

 Go go GOOG. Google is expected to report U.S. advertising revenues of $4 billion for 2006-one quarter of the $16 billion to be spent and a 65 percent jump from last year. No company has ever acounted for that much Web advertising. The loser? Yahoo which reported disappointing quarterly earnings and earned a stock downgrade from Elie Wiesel (via Blogging Stocks). Also resurfacing this week are rumors of a Yahoo buyout: will it be Microsoft, News Corp or Time Warner? And is Yahoo CEO Terry Semel about to join the dead pool asks Valleywag.

The Friendster tell-all story was finally told this week and it’s not pretty, says TechCrunch. Friendster turned down a $30 million buyout offer from Google in 2003 and everything went downhill from there. Though there’s a lot of finger pointing in the story, there’s also a lot to learn from the site’s bust, says Signal vs. Noise, including: accepting too much venture capital; spending too much time on features instead of performance; and solving exciting potential problems instead of real mundane ones. Interestingly, Friendster choked even though it was initially backed by the PayPal Mafia.

 Poltical bloggers were busy this week in the runup to midterm elections. BlogActive alleges that Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) is gay, or at least has had same-sex sexual relations with consenting adults. Craig is denying the accusation, blogs Sister Toldjah, and why do those outing gays think it’s alright? Unclaimed Territory is amazed Republicans are objecting to the use of homosexuality in politics, while Wonkette blogs that as recently as October, Craig recently solicited candidates to become congressional pages.

Other October surprises abound as the November 7 election approaches. Ohio is becoming hostile territory for Republicans says The RCP Blog, and the governor’s race may become a Democratic blowout, (via Taegan Goddard). Out West, though, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) faces a real-estate scandal and questions about Christmas bonuses he gave staffers, (via Instapundit) and California should return Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to office in a walk.

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