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Posts Tagged ‘Craigslist’

Walmart Is America’s Greatest Source of Love

Today in News That Has Absolutely Nothing to Do with PR, we are pleasantly surprised to learn that, despite all the millions spent on eHarmony‘s “algorithm of love” (which presumably had something to do with “figuring out” all those gay people), Americans most commonly name Walmart as the place where they met “the one” — or someone who looks, at first glance, like he or she might eventually become “the one.”

A report in Psychology Today last month found that Walmart is indeed the spot most often cited by Americans who post “missed connections” notes on Craigslist. The article’s author thinks it’s a bad thing that “Americans are selecting heterosexual partners with no regard for compatibility” and even subtitled his piece “A desperate America seeks love at Walmart.”

We guess that buzz-killing sentiment could be true. We only mention the story because we find it hilarious and we think it should inspire a great CSR campaign from Walmart, a company that’s always trying to counteract “unfair” media coverage or some sort of PR “disaster” that no real American knows of or cares about. For a tagline, we’re thinking of something like: “You Think We’re a Heartless Corporation That Treats Its Employees Terribly, Uses Its Considerable Leverage to Put Other Retailers out of Business and Conducts Shady Business Down in Mexico, but We’re Really All About Love.”

What, too heavy-handed?

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Social Networking Sites Now Encourage Face-to-Face Meetings!

In the past, Craigslist killers and Match.com horror stories often led the public to view social networking sites with one eyebrow raised. Now the stink is finally lifting.

We get it–any platform that provides the opportunity to pose as someone other than yourself will attract a certain number of dubious characters.

Now, however, social networking sites have begun to leverage the power of people with nothing–or at least nothing felonious–to hide. In other words, it’s now okay to tell your grandmother that you met your new boyfriend online or to tell your boss that you’re joining some online friends for a social dinner. This element of our culture and reality has changed. Online networking is the “new normal.”

Our ironic society has no problem understanding how living in a big city can be a lonely existence, and sites like Meetup, Grubwithus and Grouper now thrive in metropolises because even independent city folk want things like friends and significant others (go figure). These sites encourage users to meet not only in virtual reality but in real life–the part of life that requires one to get a hair cut and feed the dog. In fact, real-life interests like these provide perfect starting points for bringing people together.

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Yelp Cracks Down on Fake Reviews

Regular readers will know how much we dislike the “fake ‘user’ review” phenomenon, so we’re somewhat encouraged to report that Yelp, that notorious bastion of foodie self-promotion, recently made some big moves to crack down on the cheaters.

Want to see the practice in action? Here’s a craigslist post specifically offering to pay for positive Yelp reviews. The site’s famous review filter can only get rid of so much of this stuff.

OK, we get it: Yelp is extremely influential within the hyper-competitive restaurant world. Bad Yelp reviews can be worse for business than negative editorials in local papers. We can see why the temptation to encourage friends, employees and paid “freelancers” to post glowing write-ups might be hard to resist, but that doesn’t make the practice acceptable. It’s fake, cheap PR.

In a possible attempt to justify its dubious “Real People. Real Reviews.” tagline and acquire something resembling credibility, Yelp decided to adopt an unusual strategy: publicly shaming any businesses caught cheating.

Here’s the deal:

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Liveblogging, Blackouts, and Protests! The Internet Takes On SOPA

Top row l to r: Google, Converseon, Craigslist. Bottom row l to r: Wikipedia, Wired, and Google. Click here to get a better look at Google’s infographic.

We are losing the Internet, site by site. Google has a big black box on its logo. Wikipedia is dark. And dozens of New Yorkers may be out on the street because they can’t get to the rental listings on Craigslist.

Websites are taking their opposition to SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) to the Web, protesting the bill by demonstrating what they think will happen should it go into effect. Still a little fuzzy on what it all means? Fast Company has got a quick summary here. A few other screenshots are available on Poynter.org.

The Guardian is liveblogging the protest, updating this webpage with a list of sites that are joining in. A full list of participants and how to turn your site into a site of protest is available on the SOPAStrike site.

After the jump, we’ve got a poll to gather your thoughts on the impact that SOPA would have on your business.

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Research Shows Female Consumers Are the New Salesforce

Guilty as charged: A new study by Women at NBCU right in time for the shopping season shows a big change in women’s shopping habits, with more than 75 percent considering a retail product’s resell value at the time of purchase.

I know I pick out my daughter’s ridiculously expensive Gymboree ensembles a little more carefully now, knowing I can recoup my money on eBay or use San Francisco’s kid-swap site ThredUp when she outgrows them.

Craigslist has definitely contributed to this peer-to-peer resale market too, expanding it beyond the ancient newspaper ads that  limited sales to a certain region.

The authors of the study use the term “Auctionomics Marketplace” to describe a world where we women don’t buy anything without an end-strategy in mind.

Lots of News, Little Substance, FCC Says

When it comes to news, consumers are being offered more choices than ever but little information on important events nearby, according to a new FCC report, “Information Needs of Communities.”

The report, which has been 18 months in the making, outlines how the media has changed dramatically within the last decade. As advertising moves online to Craigslist and other websites, newspapers are closing and cutting staff, which means fewer reporters to write in-depth stories on institutions that really impact people’s daily lives, such as city councils, schools and local developers.

Dramatic? Yes. C-Net declared that the internet helped “suffocate local news.”

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Has The End of Craigslist Finally Arrived?

It’s been many years and no one has managed to get even close to toppling the empire that Craig Newmark has built with Craigslist. But given the increasing anonymity and the occasional murder, Craigslist has gotten pretty skeezy.

Do you really want to look for a car on there? A roommate?

We didn’t think so. Enter Friendslist!

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