Saturday, November 6, 2010

5 Questions for the authors of "People Of Walmart"


Are you surprised the site took off so well?

We started this site as a small joke that we thought some of our friends would get a kick out of. Obviously when you start a website you have the hopes and thoughts that it might be the next facebook, but we were very surprised at how popular it really became and how quickly it became so popular. We believed we had a funny site that almost everyone could relate to but for it to go viral and crash our servers with the amount of traffic we were generating was definitely something we didn’t anticipate, but we’re glad it did.

What's your favorite picture?

There are so many great pictures we receive, and over a year later the fact that I’m still shocked when we get a great submission is crazy! One of our personal favorites was our first “picture of the month” winner, which was a guy with crazy hair, a tie-die shirt covered in gold paint, and his mouth was covered in gold paint like he was huffing it. If that wasn’t enough his entire shopping cart was filled with cans of gold spraypaint. Our most famous picture however is “front to back” which has appeared in many articles and on Tosh.O on comedy central. It depicts a woman whose shirt makes it look like she has big boobs on her back.

How is Walmart different in the US compared to other countries?

Believe it or not, when it comes to crazy things, I don’t think there is much of a difference. We have received several pictures from other countries and you still see some crazy off the wall things. I think most of that can be contributed to the fact that Walmart is so large and attracts so many people and so many different people that you are bound to see something crazy. Now in America you might see these things more often, and maybe because there are so many people that have the “I could care less” mindset or chalk it up to American laziness, but I think you can find that all over the world. For us it’s difficult to really judge because of the cultural differences. For instance we posted picture from Walmarts in China that show meat laying out not in protected wrap laying in bins. Now to us that is crazy, but in China Walmart has to adapt to that style so they can compete with the road side vendors. There are cultural differences and there is crazy, personally I believe both exist.

What's the best and worst thing about Walmart?

For us, the best part about Walmart is the fact that it attracts everyone from all walks of life. It’s one of the few places where it doesn’t matter what race, gender, or age you are they have something that brings you there. It’s one of the few places you can park next to a brand new Lexus and a van covered in dinosaur toys. I really believe it’s a microcosm of America.

As to the worst part about Walmart, we really don’t have anything against them. They have enough people who hate them for driving out small businesses or disagree with their labor policies or you name it, someone hates them. We shop there, we still shop there, and we will continue to do so. It’s convenient, bottom line. I suppose we could say that people are TOO comfortable shopping there, but for us that’s not a bad thing, that’s what we rely upon to run the website!

Any more projects on the horizon?

We are still working to get some sort of iphone app for the site in place. We had one up for a day that reached #234 in a matter of 12 hours but it was pulled back down by Apple and they refused to reconsider it. So we continue to look for a way to give our fans what they are asking for. We continue to add fantastic blogs to our network that otherwise might not get any attention. We were fortunate enough to go viral, but there are a lot of great blogs out there that people simply don’t know about. Hopefully our book continues to do well and the demand is out there for a second, but It’s a little too soon to be thinking about that. And of course, who knows, with all of these blogs and internet sensations becoming TV shows recently maybe someone will want to make a PeopleofWalmart show!....I’m guessing it might have to be someone like HBO since some of our content might not be suitable for basic cable! (laughs)

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