First, Wal-Mart tried to endear themselves to the online world with a thoroughly corporate website full of "Facts." Then, they tried a fake, secretly corporate-sponsored blog. Now, it looks like they've learned their lesson about openness and disclosure; they've started an (apparently) uncensored corporate blog that proves once and for all that free speech is nothing to be scared of, because even high-level Wal-Mart employees are just as gee-whiz predictable and goofy as you would have imagined. Evidence of the fundamental nerdiness of the corporate steamroller—and a fun quiz!—after the jump.
The "Check Out Blog" is basically just a jazzed up version of a Blogspot site. On it, a bunch of WM's top buyers go on about...well, about a bunch of the same boring shit that comprises 98% of blogs in the universe. Lightweight predictions. Movies they've been watching lately. And, of course, yogurt. This, finally, is what the company's millions and millions of dollars spent with self-proclaimed online PR experts Edelman has bought them: the realization that they have nothing to fear from turning their Wonder Bread-like executives loose on a blog.
The Times huffs and puffs around the blog in a story today, looking for an angle. But after doing the same myself, I've come to the conclusion that the life of a Wal-Mart buyer really is as boring as you might have imagined (please feel free to look through it yourself and prove me wrong). So to salvage it as an interesting cultural artifact, try matching the self-descriptions of these buyers with their photos:
1. "I greatly enjoy my role with the company that harvested me out of the University of Arkansas of which I am a very proud alumni....Woo Pig Sooie, Go Hogs!"
2. "While I am not a gamer I could bore you endlessly with video game speak. When I am not working, I try to spend as much time as I can with my family and if possible time with them on the ski slopes."
3. "Before working on sustainability, I spent many years as a buyer/category manager where I worked on all kinds of food products; from fresh brussel sprouts to flaming-hot cheese puffs."
[Answers: 1A. 2B. 3C]