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Attention Wal-Mart Shoppers: Black Friday, Anyone?

Whatever will it take to make those nasty anti-Wal-Mart Americans into fans of the behemoth that only wants to be loved? Oh, the dancing smiley face! Oh, the nice old folks at the door!

But of course when you're the all-powerful retailer that ate Main Street, it's hard to repurpose yourself as lovable Kong.

So it's mainly derision and laughter that rain down upon Wal-Mart in the wake of the nifty bit of puttering around accomplished by blogger Jane Hamsher.

Seems that when you plug in movie titles like "Planet of the Apes" on Wal-Mart's Web site, you got linked to recommendations for movies with African-American appeal. Ugly, but, as it turns out--see Ylan Mui's account in today's Post--totally unintentional.

Computer programming gone awry. Linkages made by machines. Not a pretty picture, but anyone who bothers to look at the ad links on Google or even right here on the big web site knows that word links sometimes create humorous or even nasty connections.

So in the end it's a tempest in a teapot, but when you run a company that treats its workers like dogs and when you write corporate memos that show the bosses scheming to avoid providing health benefits and when you storm into communities and destroy longstanding local businesses, every little error is going to be compounded and held against you in the emotional court of public opinion. That's business, guys.

By Marc Fisher |  January 6, 2006; 9:33 AM ET
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Comments

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All of the above is true, Marc.

But it does show how desperately little big companies know about how folks use those corporate web sites and applications.

And about the lack of knowledge regarding how to manage them.

Metadata and taxonomy. People just don't get it...

bc

Posted by: bc | January 6, 2006 1:42 PM

how do ou expect people on disabilities to make it if you take the lay-aways away.I heard no more after the 19th of November. well watch out people will go other places that have layaways because people with kids can not afford not to put things on layawa all year. I am disabled i get only one check a month the layaway helps. come on help the people instead of hurting them
but that seems to be what is happening the stores do not care about the people the government does not care. when i need something i go to walmart and put it on layaway because i can pay on it and do not have to spend one lump sum when i only get one check. wake up and smell the roses you will loose on black friday because people look forward to this and it helps if you can put stuff on layaway

Posted by: connie brant | September 24, 2006 4:49 AM

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