Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Wal-Mart scream marketing social media site a flop

Wal-Mart’s brief fling with online networking appears to have come to an end, with several blogs saying the retailer has closed its teen-oriented social networking site - called ‘ The Hub ’, among other things says e-consultancy.

The site, temporarily launched this summer as a promotion for the start of the school year, aimed to copy Myspace et al by encouraging ‘hubsters’ to set up their own personalised web pages.

Apparently, features such as parental approval and photos like the one below (courtesy of The Blog Herald) weren't as appealing as hoped.

My impression of the site was that it had been designed by a control freak who wanted to blast Wal-Mart adds at everything in sight.

Aimed at a generation that counts the number of pay-as-you go text messages left on their phone, the targeting was awful.

The issue here is that people imagine that these sites are a communications channel. Yes they are but only if they facilitate community building.