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Walmart Tries to Emulate MySpace 345

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the trying-way-to-hard dept.
mattsucks writes to tell us that according to AdAge, retail behemoth WalMart is trying desperately to target the MySpace demographic with a new, and highly sanitized, site designed to appeal to teens. From the article: "It's a quasi-social-networking site for teens designed to allow them to 'express their individuality,' yet it screens all content, tells parents their kids have joined and forbids users to e-mail one another. Oh, and it calls users 'hubsters' -- a twist on hipsters that proves just how painfully uncool it is to try to be cool."
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Walmart Tries to Emulate MySpace

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  • Uh oh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @03:26AM (#15741628)
    I didn't think it was humanly possible, but I think I like Myspace better.
    • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @04:20AM (#15741766) Journal
      Just wait. Walmart will realize their mistake and allow kids to do things like add hot pink text on top of bright orange, move the text boxes all over the fucking page and feature looping, inane, impossible to shut off Walmart-friendly music that highlights all the best boy bands Walmart has to offer.
      • by orangesquid (79734) <orangesquid&yahoo,com> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @10:34AM (#15743197) Homepage Journal
        It looks like the goal of this is really a talent competition, but only an idiot (or the idiot's parent(s)) would actually agree to this [walmart.com]:
        "I represent that my Entry is my original creation and hereby grant to Sponsor the copyright and all other rights now known or hereafter existing to use my Entry throughout the universe, in perpetuity, in whole or in part, in edited, unedited or distorted form, in connection with this Contest, for any trade, advertising, or promotional purpose whatsoever, without review, approval, notification or payment from or to any person or entity, in all media now known or hereafter discovered. I understand and agree that Sponsor shall be entitled to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, license, create derivative works from and distribute or incorporate Entries into any form, medium, or technology now known or later developed throughout the universe, for any purpose whatsoever."

        Ouch. (1) Throughout the universe? What, are they afraid a competing alien civilization will try to infringe on the Sponsor's copyright? (2) Without payment, without approval, for any purpose, in any edited or distorted form? Erm.. so if I submitted a video of myself playing guitar, they could make an advertisement where I've been digitally inserted into Britney Spears music video, had a moustache drawn on my face, and use it as an advertisement to sell bull's-eye-targets with my head in the middle? If any kid is hoping to get famous this way, I have one suggestion: DON'T. It sounds like it's *worse* than getting the world's (err, universe's *grin*) worst record deal.

        For almost everyone I've met, the ONLY thing they like about Wal-Mart is that you can get lots of stuff inexpensively and conveniently. (I've also heard once or twice that their employees get treated well, which, I have to admit, is admirable.) Their moral agenda, tendency to put local stores out of business (of course, in some cases it's just because it's hard to stay afloat when the giant that is Wal-Mart has sucked all the water out of the pool), policies about what they will and won't carry, and some of the ways I've seen customers treated...

        [In some parts of the country, though (sometimes rural areas, economic ditches, etc.), it's the only way to buy some things without mail-ordering them... does that make it a necessary 'evil'?]
        • by Atzanteol (99067) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @11:41AM (#15743698) Homepage

          I represent that my Entry is my original creation and hereby grant to Sponsor the copyright and all other rights now known or hereafter existing to use my Entry throughout the universe

          Wow. I don't read a lot of these, but is that 'normal' or is Walmart a little optimistic about furture growth?

          • by Dun Malg (230075) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @12:02PM (#15743868) Homepage
            I represent that my Entry is my original creation and hereby grant to Sponsor the copyright and all other rights now known or hereafter existing to use my Entry throughout the universe

            Wow. I don't read a lot of these, but is that 'normal' or is Walmart a little optimistic about furture growth?
            Unfortunately, "in perpetuity throughout the universe" has been standard legal boilerplate for a very long time. Given the opportunity, lawyers tend to go for your balls, and they don't fuck around about it.
    • Re:Uh oh (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MrPsycho (939714) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @04:23AM (#15741779)
      Good Lord, there has to be an end to this. Every company with an online frontend thinks they can create some kind of social-networking infrastructure to "draw the hip kids in" with. What a load of crap. Why would I join the walmart network to hook up with my friends and buy paper towels, when I'm already connected to 15 different networks. I already have too many to be on. Not to mention, I am sure a social network like myspace, whose sole purpose is to serve as a social network, is much better at performing that function than, say, Walmart is. Walmart sells me toothpaste at a discount, it doesn't connect me to my friends. And in case they haven't noticed, teenage girls aren't going to tell each other they shop at Walmart. There's a bit of a stigma attached to that. From what I hear, they all shop at Target, or "Tär-zhAy"
      • Re:Uh oh (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Not to mention, I am sure a social network like myspace, whose sole purpose is to serve as a social network, is much better at performing that function than, say, Walmart is. Walmart sells me toothpaste at a discount, it doesn't connect me to my friends.
        True, but just because they're known for something else doesn't mean they can't throw money at the problem and come up with a good solution.
        • Re:Uh oh (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Flendon (857337) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @05:17AM (#15741912) Homepage Journal
          True, but just because they're known for something else doesn't mean they can't throw money at the problem and come up with a good solution.
          Well, they got the 'throw money at the problem' part right at least.
          • Re:Uh oh (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:44AM (#15742143) Journal
            Has anyone dicked around over there, had a looksee? I did. I created a profile and a page partway, before I got hung up in their process.

            I wouldn't say that they're trying to rip off myspace. They're using the idea of MySpace to sell product. This is about marketing back-to-school clothes in an interactive quasi-social way. It's marketing. It's marketing. It's marketing. There is a video contest sponsored by sony. You're supposed to create a video for your page. The video is supposed to be an commercial showing you doing school "your way". That's the marketing slogan: School Your Way.

            There is no social interactivity, as near as I can tell. No way to leave comments.

            They're not trying to attract the hip kids, so much as they're trying to do a makeover on kids that would normally be shopping for their clothes at walmart. There going after the kids that want to be hip, but aren't. Not ever mall contains a hot topic. This isn't about kids being hip, this is about marketers trying to be hip, tryng to understand the MySpace phenom so they can sell it back to you.

            A little Frank Zappa song would be apropos here.

            I am gross and perverted
            Im obsessed n deranged
            I have existed for years
            But very little had changed
            I am the tool of the government
            And industry too
            For I am destined to rule
            And regulate you

            I may be vile and pernicious
            But you cant look away
            I make you think Im delicious
            With the stuff that I say
            I am the best you can get
            Have you guessed me yet?
            I am the slime oozin out
            From your tv set
            • Re:Uh oh (Score:4, Insightful)

              by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @09:32AM (#15742777)
              I suspect Walmart is actually targetting the PARENTS more than the kids. By offering such a heavily-filtered, dumbed-down, bland version of Myspace (with the good ole' trusted Walmart name brand, no less), they're probably hoping to lure in parents looking to offer their kids a lame-ass knock-off of what the cool kids are using (think of it as analogous to Walmart's equally lame-ass knock-off clothing line).

              I pity the poor kids whose bible-thumping or paranoid parents force them off Myspace and onto this turd. Just keep telling yourself that it will end when you go to college, kids. And, for God's sake, DO NOT let them send you to Liberty University.

              -Eric

      • "Walmart sells me toothpaste at a discount, it doesn't connect me to my friends. "

        I believe you but that doesn't mean it's not for other people. Malls connect friends for most teenagers in the US. Walmart connects friends for most reitred people who ride around in winnebegos. It's true, look it up. These old folks park every night in a different walmart parking lot and get together.

        For americans shopping is networking. Shopping is also how they define themselves. People (especially teenagers) rely entirely
      • If the rednecks want to go form their own community, then let them I say. And it is pronounced Tarjay where I am from.
      • School My Way (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Mateo_LeFou (859634)
        Painful, but I watched all four little videos. Did anyone notice that not one of them (remember slogan is "School My Way") mentioned, um ... school? Except that singer said something along the lines of "I sing instead of doing my homework". Does the word 'school' have some strange usage that I wasn't previously aware of?
      • Re:Uh oh (Score:4, Funny)

        by revery (456516) * <charlesNO@SPAMcac2.net> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @09:33AM (#15742787) Homepage
        From what I hear, they all shop at Target, or "Tär-zhAy"

        Who told you about the secret, hilarious name that I CAME UP WITH for my favorite (pronounced "fave-o-right") store?!?! Do you people have my room bugged or something? I swear, ever since Stupert Murdoch (another little gem of mine, and no you can't use it) bought MySpace, everytime I think of something funny, like a week later, I see it on TV, and I'm getting sick of it. So back off, ok? Yesterday I came up with a hilarious pun on Hillary Duff's name and if I find out someone has been eavesdropping, I am gonna be ticked...

    • Re:Uh oh (Score:3, Funny)

      by carpe_noctem (457178)
      On one website, you can find underage booty to take home with you.... on the other, you can find low, low prices!

      hrms, tough decision....
      • Re:Uh oh (Score:2, Funny)

        by Ethan Allison (904983) *
        Walmart Hub 2.0: underage booty at low, low prices! ...Why does this sound like a profitable business model enough to scare me?
    • Re:Uh oh (Score:5, Funny)

      by aichpvee (631243) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @04:50AM (#15741849) Journal
      Our site requires Flash 8 in order to present you with the highest level of interactivity available.
      Please click here to visit the Macromedia site and download the free Flash player for your Web browser,
      then return to our site to experience our site at its best.


      It's so great running Linux. I couldn't view that crap even if I wanted to. Now if only all the other garbage on the web would take this precaution to protect me from seeing their sites...
  • This is, after all, emulating a culture that coined the term "hopster" to mean anyone who's trying to be like them, they might actually take to it.
  • AdSpace (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrynM (217883) * on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @03:28AM (#15741631) Homepage Journal
    The only thing is, MySpace didn't get created as a way to gather free footage for an ad campaign or to push apparel sales on kids. From the FAQ [walmart.com]:
    SO, WHAT CAN I DO HERE? There's tons of fun stuff to keep you entertained! Check out the latest fashion trends and make your own personalized page for a chance to win amazing prizes from Sony! If you're a little more ambitious, create your own video clip and send it in for a chance to have it turned into a TV commercial!
    The whole "Wal-MartSpace" site seems to be geared around a contest to create a Wal-Mart ad. The rules [walmart.com] of the contest state
    Entrants are asked to discuss, illustrate, express their individuality (any way within the provisions of these rules and the guidelines posted on the Web Site), how it is reflected in their personal style, taste in fashions / accessories, interests, activities, etc., and to consider how Wal-Mart helps support their personal style and self-expression through the depth and breadth of products Wal-Mart offers.
    And so much for it being a blog of sorts
    Page and/or Page and Video must be completed and submitted at the same time in a single online session.
    My personal favorite rule is the one that states
    Without limitation and in its sole discretion, Sponsor may disqualify any Entry that it deems to:... Contain any beverages, tobacco, drug paraphernalia, firearms, or any depiction or representation thereof; or
    Damn it, those kids better not have anyone drinking water in their submission! The four example videos shown would all be disqualified by the rules - most have trademarks or copyrights (music and clothing logos), one has someone with a beverage (gasp!) and one has partial nudity (shirtless boys). This is an ad campaign that is doomed to fail, IMHO. The bright side is that we will have some Wal-mart joke fodder for a while. Your kid, too, can have a Genuine Faux Blog(tm).
    • Re:AdSpace (Score:3, Interesting)

      by kjart (941720)

      The only thing is, MySpace didn't get created as a way to gather free footage for an ad campaign or to push apparel sales on kids.

      Is it just me, or is that what this site already is? I actually looked at one of the 'hubsters' (shudder) and it seemed completely 100% staged. Are there any real 'kids' on this site? Can you even make your own site/have it listed there at all? I would tend to agree with the AC above - I actually think Myspace is better (uh oh, end of the world).

  • Actually.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vix86 (592763)
    Oh, and it calls users 'hubsters' -- a twist on hipsters

    Actually I don't think of "hip" when I hear that name. If you ask me they got the name from "hub" as in a center point for many connections and a way for directing connections out in other directions. Which makes sense for a social networking site, but the fact that Wal-Mart isn't allowing users to contact each other pretty much just means theres no "outgoing" really. How is this social networking again, if you can't talk to other people?
    • ... aren't we all using layer 3 switches these days?
    • How is this social networking again, if you can't talk to other people?

      The Hot Dog on a Stick [youtube.com] analogy can be applied to this to help explain how it can be according to marketing/corporate culture. For those afraid of a link with that title, the analogy can be summed up thusly: Consumer finds something compelling - a girl making lemonade at Hot Dog on a Stick (which involves bouncing and phallac instruments and a funny hat). Corporate marketing grabs some elements of that experience, making lemonade and si

  • by darnok (650458) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @03:37AM (#15741651)
    Screened content? Check
    Parents notified? Check
    Oooh, no email? Check

    Yep, hits all my buttons.

    Unfortunately, I'm a parent, with teenagers. I'd have as much success leading them to this site as I have getting them to tidy their rooms, speak respectfully to their elders and cook dinner occasionally.
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @05:26AM (#15741933) Journal
      My Hub
      http://schoolyourway.walmart.com/index.php/Hubster Page/46700342 [walmart.com]

      The e-mail:
      From: schoolyourwayparentalconsent@walmart.com
      Subject: Your child has registered at The HUB by Wal-Mart.

      Your child has completed online registration and created a page at The HUB, Wal-Mart's "School Your Way" contest website.

      If you would like to register at The HUB and view your child's page submission, you may do so by clicking the link below:

      http://schoolyourway.walmart.com/index.php/user/do b?childId= [walmart.com]

      If you do not wish to have his/her submission included in the Hub, please reply to this email on or before August 27, 2006. Your kid's page will be removed from the Hub and the Contest promptly following our receipt of your email.
      Thank you!

      - The Wal-Mart Back-to-School Team

      Please only reply to this e-mail if requesting your child's page be removed from the Hub.

      Email Marketing, Walmart.com, 7000 Marina Blvd., Brisbane, CA 94005 ? 2006 Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC. All rights reserved.


      What a joke.
      They call that screening?
      It's an opt-out e-mail!!!

      They have to know that's a stupid idea.
      I could have sent that confirmation e-mail anywhere.
      • Actually that was something going through my head, how do walmart confiorm that it is a parent replying and not the child or a friend?
      • That's Actually True (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Phoenix666 (184391)
        I worked a stint in JWT's (nee J. Walter Thompson) Interactive Division on Madison Avenue. Creative Directors would come down with retarded ideas like this all the time two weeks before launching the TV and Print components of an integrated campaign and demand we pull something the size of MySpace out of our asses, with such detailed instructions as, "we want something really hip and cool that's 'viral.'" They asked for the same thing in the same words so often that we had a canned spiel explaining that t
    • I wonder which poor souls will have to screen all that content. I guess you'll get a "dangerous work" bonus for doing that, in case you might not be able to survive without severe brain damage.
  • Grammar Nazi... (Score:3, Informative)

    by flynns (639641) <sean&topdoggps,com> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @03:38AM (#15741652) Homepage Journal
    TRIES. T-R-I-E-S. The only acceptable time for "trys" is when you're on the way to "tryst". I've never really gotten heated about grammar in articles, but it's IN BOLD PRINT!! C'mon!
     
    /late
    //drunk
    ///please don't hurt my karma
    • ////not fark
      /////mmkay?
    • Hey Flynns, I'm sending you an email invite for the hub at walmart. I am recommending that we use underages, and use a different email addy for your parents. I don't know about you, but I can still get in trouble with my dad for doing immature stuff, even though I'm forty.
    • You missed the dept:

      from the trying-way-to-hard dept

    • I don't know what's worse, the fact they spelled it wrong, or that the original title is spelled correctly. They cut and pasted the title, yet still managed to insert a new spelling error anyway!
  • Why Walmart? WHY? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moz25 (262020) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @03:39AM (#15741653) Homepage
    A much better idea would have been to create a subsidiary and do it through them. The association with a company that works on a "mass" basis somewhat works against the desire to "express one's individuality".

    Actually, if I did want to express my individuality (which I don't, because I don't have low self-esteem), I would prefer to make my own site. That's a lot more individualistic than being part of a large mass of people on a big site.
    • by Vo0k (760020)
      Actually, if I did want to express my individuality (which I don't, because I don't have low self-esteem), I would prefer to make my own site.

      There are two other non-exclusive factors besides low self-esteem.

      If you're (too stupid to learn proper HTML and make webpages, or too lazy to bother) and (have low self-esteem) you go for sites like MySpace. Individualism doesn't trump stupidity nor laziness.
  • by Aqua OS X (458522) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @03:40AM (#15741657)
    If that site were any more out of touch it would download via Senator Ted Stevens' tube based internet.

    I think Walmart's been taking marketing advise from Steven Colbert:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PbJJUy1KD8 [youtube.com]
  • Dear Jeebus (Score:5, Funny)

    by identity0 (77976) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @03:55AM (#15741693) Journal
    Oh.... My... Gawd....

    I have finally seen it: The Worst Idea On The Internet.

    I always thought it would come from Bush, Ballmer, or Bin Laden, but congratulations, Wal-Mart, you've won! Yes, because we all know that teens are clamoring to be associated with that haven of cool, the Wal-Mart Supercenter! They'll hang out all day in chat rooms monitored by a giant smiley face that threatens to "Roll back trolls"! They want clever, yet unoffensive nicknames like 'The gr33tr' and 'mop_guy_99'! They'll argue all day over whether they should get the 80-pack of Charmin or the 120-pack of generic brand toilet paper!

    What teen wouldn't mind saying in the halls of their school, "I'll see ya on The HUB, dude!" "ya, see ya later, HUBSTER"?! (tragically these two kids were beaten to death with Abercrombie & Fitch merchandise a few moments later)

    Seriously, I can imagine the Gap or Abercrombie, maybe even Starbucks doing this, but.... Wal-mart?!?!

    I can only imagine that the kind of teen that would use Wal-mart for a social networking service are the ones who go there barefoot and pregnant because they thought Saran Wrap was a contraceptive. That and the guys who argue over Coors Lite vs. Miller Lite.

    May Cthulu help us all.
    • by cascadingstylesheet (140919) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @05:29AM (#15741941)
      >They'll hang out all day in chat rooms monitored by a giant
      >smiley face that threatens to "Roll back trolls"!

      OK, now that *would* actually rock ...
    • "Yes, because we all know that teens are clamoring to be associated with that haven of cool, the Wal-Mart Supercenter! "

      Don't laugh. They probably are in bumfuck Oklahoma. You have to remember that walmart is the center of town for most of small town america. That and the dairy queen (don't get me started on dairy queen). In bumfuck Oklahoma all there is to do is to drink, fuck, and hang out at walmart.
      • I guess it's like that in the states, but in Canada there's only walmart in the cities. The again, maybe in Canada we have a different idea of "small town". When I hear "small town" I think under 15,000 people, maybe up to 20,000 people. I don't think i've ever seen a walmart in a town that size. You usually don't see a walmart in any town with less than 70,000 people. That is definitely not small town.
    • Coors Lite vs. Miller Lite

      Well, laddy-da! Too good to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon, there professor?? Well, round these parts we don't drink fancy imports like "Miller Lite." GET THE HELL OUT OF MY TRAILER!!

      -Eric

  • Words fail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @03:56AM (#15741695)

    I can't believe how naive these failed-meme-launching marketing execs keep proving themselves to be.

    There are 95 million myspace users and every week another million sign up. There aren't enough additional people in the Internet-using public in america to even come close to competing with myspace. They'd be lucky to pick up a couple hundred thousand users. And why would you use this instead of myspace?

    This isn't intended to compete with myspace. It's just another marketing disaster.

    "You've just become a member of one of the coolest cliques on the net. Be sure to spam your friends...

    Wait for the goatse... Meanwhile I'll be uploading random copyright infringing content via tor... This must be good for something.

    • You know, I was going to give the teenage population of the US a bit of credit and assume that no-one aside from a few drooling idiots would sign up. I therefore find it absolutely tragic that anyone would be so jaded as to expect the drooling idiots to be in the hundreds of thousands instead of, maybe, dozens.
    • Re:Words fail (Score:2, Redundant)

      Hey quokkapox, I'm sending you an email invite for the hub at walmart. I am recommending that we use underages, and use a different email addy for your parents. I don't know about you, but I can still get in trouble with my dad for doing immature stuff, even though I'm forty.
    • Re:Words fail (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Chris Graham (942108)
      I agree it's a stupid idea, but don't underestimate what large companies can 'leverage'. All walmart needs to do is to promote it in their stores and create some kind of incentive for people to register to it and use it (such as store discounts); then they can build on that attention by providing a quality system (which of course, they're failing at right now).
  • MySpace (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pubjames (468013) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @04:00AM (#15741703)

    I've looked at MySpace but I just don't get it. It just full of crap. Perhaps I'm too old.

    Can anyone point out a page that's actually worth looking at?
     
    • Re:MySpace (Score:5, Funny)

      by hclyff (925743) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @04:09AM (#15741734)
      Perhaps I'm too old.

      Yes, definitely. If, by old, you mean born before 1993.
    • Re:MySpace (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BenjyD (316700) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @04:51AM (#15741850)
      Appears to be a giant dating site for people who think quoting 'meaningful' song lyrics on their web page makes them deep.
    • Re:MySpace (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gbobeck (926553)

      It just full of crap. ...
      Can anyone point out a page that's actually worth looking at?

      Here is a Myspace page kinda sorta maybe worth looking at... The Terms of Service Page [myspace.com]. After that, it is all down hill.

      Not wanting to sound like a troll, but I would describe MySpace as being something similar to the AOL effect (the legendary propensity of America Online users to utter contentless postings) plus Geocities (free websites for the masses) being applied to blogs. Sure, it gives a lot of people the means to

    • Re:MySpace (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:25AM (#15742095)
      Can anyone point out a page that's actually worth looking at?

      I think the problem is you are looking at Myspace pages as a random passerby. I use my page to communicate to people who have an interest in what is going on in my life (friends, family, former classmates). Randomly going around Myspace is like looking into random people's diaries. Maybe you'll get a chuckle, but more often you'll be bored and confused.
    • I'm not a big MySpace user, but a lot of my (adult) friends use it quite a lot for the "Music" section. By being attached to a big media company they've managed to get an official presence for almost every major label and band on that site, and they also allow unsigned/smaller bands to register themselves. My friends trawl around the music section looking for new bands, and the group of my friends that are in a band of their own use it to promote said band to fans of similar bands.

      The pure social networkin

    • Re:MySpace (Score:3, Insightful)

      by neoform (551705)
      It's simple, same syndrome as 'Windows'.

      "Everyone else is using it."
  • Walmart Trys to Emulate MySpace

    Since when is Wal*Mart good for getting laid [thepunkgroup.com]?

  • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @04:07AM (#15741725) Journal
    The website, content and contest are just a marketing campaign and a pathetic one at that. Kids "customize" their page and upload pictures and video (pending approval from the Walmart mandarins, of course). The entire exercise is directed at getting kids to shop for their fall back to school wardrobe at Wally World as opposed to Target, who apparently have the budget teen fashion market pretty much buttoned up (no pun intended). It's not a blog or even a blog with training wheels, but just a way for kids to yap to their friends about this "cool new web site" and act as shills for Walmart.
  • More details (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @04:13AM (#15741744)
    from the FAQ:

    WHO'S BEHIND THIS GENIUS WEB DESTINATION?
        The guys from Wal-Mart and Sony&#174; teamed up to bring you all the sweet stuff you'll find on the HUB!

    'nuff said.
  • by bazmail (764941) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @04:13AM (#15741746)
    This is embarrassing. This is like the federal government starting a myspace rival.
  • Has Newscorp figured out a way to actually make money with MySpace yet? I recall reading about hair brained ideas like making movies, bands and other products into "friends". I just can't wait to add next month's big budget flick or label promoted band to my friends list.

    Then again, I think I'm too old for MySpace.
  • An Idea (Score:2, Insightful)

    This is a really bad advertising ploy and a source of future labor for anyone who signs up. It is an interesting idea though, it would have worked better if they just created a seperate deparment/company to accomplish roughly the same goal, kind of what disney did with miramax. They could have just set up the site with all walmart advertisments. or just go buy the advertisments on myspace...or myspace itself. Corporate takeovers on the internet...

    On the other hand, it could be worse.
    They could have called t
    • But kids don't want to be just another brick in the wall. They don't need no education. Which makes this whole "School your way" thing such a bad idea. Nobody wants to go on some crappy social networking site to talk about school supplies, and stuff that can be bought from walmart. I understand of having a safe social networking site for teens, but this is just stupid. First it's not safe, as how do they actually notify your parents? Do you give them "your parents" email address? Yeah, because like y
  • Proof positive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kataflok (836910) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @05:07AM (#15741883)
    Aside from the entertainment of the mockery Wally World so richly deserves, this is a pretty clear example of the level of desperation the idiot mainstream marketers are experiencing. They, like the failed entertainment retailers, are coming to realize that they can't control the world anymore.

    So, they are trying to take on this runaway train we call the web. Trouble is, they have been stuck in their little castles for so long, they no longer get the new world that is. Because they do not get it, they attempt a cheesy imitation of such.

    The stunning irony here is that they actually believed this rip off would be found credible and there was no one within their ranks who was able to tell them how idiotic they looked.

    This isn't the loss of a battle -- this is a total loss of the war.
    • I disagree. If you honestly believe that advertising companies, mainstream marketers and Big Media aren't going to be able to stop the "runaway train" of the Web, just look at who owns MySpace. Look at the anti-Net Neutrality propaganda that is being pushed to idiots in Congress who think the Internet is a "series of pipes". All it takes is a bit of corporate regulation and redefinition of the word "competition" to mean "sure, you have a choice in how you connect to and what you see in the Internet -- ju
  • Reminds me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @05:28AM (#15741936) Homepage
    Oh, and it calls users 'hubsters'

    Of the founder of a space opera ufo nut cult, alas Hubbard is written with a double 'b'.

    Maybe Walmart just didn't want to get sued. [google.com].

    • "Oh, and it calls users 'hubsters' -- a twist on hipsters that proves just how painfully uncool it is to try to be cool."

      Seems "hamsters" might be more approriate.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Speaking of MySpace, are we picking up on dogshit for education? 81 comments as of this post and the headline is still an eyesore.

    Fix, editors, fix! Edit, editors, edit!
  • by NevarMore (248971) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @05:36AM (#15741957) Homepage Journal
    Well, I've been out of the country and away from my friends for a few months.

    I can't go egging houses, but tonight, yeeeess tonight we see what we can get past the censors at WalMart.

    Will post updates here.

    I should probably shave first.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:10AM (#15742052)
    Wal*Mart is simply doing this to gain valuable insight into the "popular" things teenagers think about. To do so is to "know your market," which in the ends gains them dollars. They don't give a damn about competing with MySpace - this is simply free focus group fodder. If they even get a few hundred users to post a few blog posts with useful marketing information, they'll be happy.

    Marketing data is what they are looking for.
  • by LS (57954) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @06:15AM (#15742063) Homepage
    I counted the number of times the girls said "cute" and "like" in that front page video. Here's the rough numbers:

    cute: 11111111
    like: 111111111111
  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @07:12AM (#15742210) Homepage Journal


    Emulate myspace?!?!? Slashdot is really missing a story-click headline opportunity here. Walmart is launching a mySpace-KILLER!

    Seth
  • From the Article: The Columbus teen doubts she'll submit a video or enter the contests because "it, like, takes a lot of time, and it's not very likely you'll win."

    That's the smartest thing I've heard in a while. Take out the slang "like" and this 14 year old girl analyzed, prioritized and made an executive-level decision.

  • It MUST be a raging success!

    I can see the flames from it from here already!
  • by smchris (464899) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @08:04AM (#15742371)
    Echoing SNL's insight that WalMart reversed its decision to sell birth control pills when it throught about who shops at WalMart, do we _really_ want people who would join this site uncensored and emailing each other?
  • Check #1 on this blog, amazing:

    http://neverendinglists.blogspot.com/2006/07/five- oddities-from-wal-marts-hub.html [blogspot.com]

    1. This site brought to you by Exxon Mobil
    This one weirded me out, I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation: all images are hosted at exxonmobil.download.akamai.com. Paranoid meter now officially ON.

  • I think it's becoming increasingly clear to just about every that myspace is an awful, awful thing (from just about every point of view.....)

    If people are going to start moving away from myspace to other sites and services, which ones will people flock to?

    Right now, my money's on Vox.
  • by Tom (822) on Wednesday July 19, 2006 @08:58AM (#15742592) Homepage Journal
    This is going to fail and fail badly. For one simple reason anyone who still remembers there childhood knows: Nothing specifically designed to appeal to teens ever does.

    Teens are way, way, way more interested in stuff made for adults.

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