Walmart in the Metaverse? Maybe.

Greetings from Terminal 1 at JFK. I’m on my way to Frankfurt to speak at “Block Im Park 2022: Tokenization in the real economy.” The title of my keynote is “Tokenization – real value, pure speculation or Ponzi?” The event is super-focused on value creation, and I’m excited to meet this crowd.

While we’re on the subject, CNBC has a story about Walmart entering the metaverse with Roblox. The most important part of the article is that Walmart is doing its best to connect the digital and physical worlds. From the numbers, it looks like they are making progress.

This brings me to a definitional issue we are all having right now. Roblox is… (1) a metaverse, (2) “the” metaverse, (3) a virtual world, or (4) a global platform that brings people together through play.

I’m at the point where I’m going to give up on any potential for a universally-accepted definition for the word “metaverse.” It has devolved into a key ingredient of word salad.

It’s up to you to ask for clarification when someone uses it. Do you mean a 2D or 3D virtual world? Do you mean the bridge between digital and physical worlds? Do you mean using streaming data to enhance the quality of a user’s experience? Without the extra clarification, the word means everything, which is to say it means nothing.

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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