Wal-Mart Finally Tellin’ It Like It Is. A Bit.

The New York Times (login may be required) posted an article today about Wal-Mart’s new product review blog, which they call Check Out. I had previously only been aware of Wally World’s crap-orate BS sites, aimed at polishing the company’s increasingly tarnished rep, and which were finally shut down. Kudos to Wal-Mart for giving up on pulling the wool over our eyes.

Dear friends and family, who are likely the only ones reading this blog o’ mine, you may be aware that I’m not a huge fan of Wal-Mart. Even so, I’m smiling to read the Times’ assessment that Wal-Mart has really and truly unleashed its buyers to speak freely. And not only about laptops and video games, although tech reviews are a foundational part of the blog. These are apparently real people, speaking up in their own voices in real time, and without much editing of their content by the higher-ups.

My God, they are even quoting Robert Scoble. What is the world coming to?

I’m choosing to believe that the world is moving, if oh-so-agonizingly slowly, toward the point where corporate-washed PR attempts to disguise the true inner workings of a company no longer work, and that we’re getting a peek into the testing of a more open, people-centered business culture. I’m betting that the results of this test will be very positive, and that the “preserve and protect” cultural and business model has got one more (granted very, very tiny, but hey, they all count) chink in its well-oiled armor. After all, everything Wal-Mart does, whether for good or ill, is hugely impactful. What if all that inertia were to moving toward a model of openness, inclusiveness for all, evolution and aliveness? The mind boggles.

That doesn’t mean I’ll be shopping there anytime soon, though.

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