It was pretty obvious from the outset that Wal-Mart's attempt to create a MySpace-like social-networking site was a non-starter. The G-rated site with limited functionality had all the makings of a politician wearing a backwards baseball cap in a bid to win the youth vote. So it's no surprise at all that the project has been abandoned. It's not clear that the site ever had any users, though the company apparently tried propagating the site with fake profiles of hip kids wearing Wal-Mart gear. The dead giveaway was that the kids were talking about Wal-Mart clothes in their profiles. The failure doesn't mean that it's silly to use social networking to promote retail. There's obviously a major social component to how young people make their purchases, and retailers would be wise to keep experimenting with ways to tap into that. And so for future reference, trying to trick kids with phony sites that are little more than marketing ploys doesn't work too well.
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