Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Wal-Mart Blogger Conspiracy

Marquette Warrior: The New York Times and the Great Wal-Mart Blogger Conspiracy I'm no fan of Wal-Mart, for one reason only, though, based on evidence rather than hearsay. On one of Malcolm's trips to the US he bought a phone card, as it happened, a Wal-Mart card. When he'd finished his call, a computer voice intoned "press 1 to donate your unused units to support the US troops in Iraq" (I haven't got the exact wording right, but you get the drift). I hadn't heard before of such a clever way to get funds, as there must be many people who buy phone cards while visiting a country who have unused units when they leave it. But I was outraged at the use to which the function had been put, not least because there wasn't a "press 2 to donate to the anti-war effort" option. And it would have been better anyway to have had a charity donation message instead of a political one. I am ambivalent about the Great Supermarket Debate, so not sure what to think about Wal-Mart on that one. I know I have used Ocado (UK internet supermarket in partnership with Waitrose) every week since it started to do the family food shop -- which makes me guilty of various politically correct no-nos but does mean I don't waste 3 hours of my life each week on a menial task and can use my brain to do something instead, even if I do get the odd cracked egg or squashed tomato in my shopping and have probably supported the building of some vast shed somewhere at the cost of n village shops. (But having lived in several villages during my life, these aren't all they are cracked up to be either.) I digress. I did like this post linked to above, which I discovered via Instapundit (whose rss I've now subscribed to since this Army of Davids thing -- Instapundit appears to be a blog and a blog aggregator based on one day's inspection). The Wal-Mart post is a nice mix of various controversies of the marketing and liberal scene, told in dry personal style. Interestingly in view of the poor World Weary Detective (previous posting), the Wal-Mart posting is on a blog called the Marquette Warrior , whose mission statement includes the words: "We are here to provide an independent, rather skeptical view of events at Marquette University. This site has no official connection with Marquette University. Indeed, when University officials find out about it, they will doubtless want it shut down." Hope not, it's a good read (on day 1 anyway. I'll vote with my "unsubscribe from bloglines" finger in future if not). And long live bloggers doing what WWD and Marquette Warrior are doing.