As the upfitted GMC TopKick blogger-hauler crossed through fortified gates into the forbidden General Motors Tech Center, I felt like a spy. A time traveler. A trusted friend, but a careful messenger. I was one of 100 “social media influencers” invited to the most holy automotive land to preview the General’s powertrain research and future design direction. My camera was taken, my cell phone was blinded by a serialized PicPatch, and photography was further prohibited by smiling security guards posted in every presentation room. However, at no point were my microblogging colleagues told not to reveal our observations through text.
Most program attendees’ passions lay in non-automotive areas. Therefore, most didn’t realize the deeper magnitude of many minuscule details revealed. @RaymondKing and I were an exception. One overexposing tweet could destroy my career. Thankfully, years of practice crafting oblique automotive prose helped to preserve my integrity while capturing followers’ interest. Until Automotive News and Autoblog pieced together most of what I was nervous about reporting, that is. Now that GM’s secrets have been told with varying degrees of accuracy, I’ve got a few blanks to fill in — while preserving a little mystery. And my career, of course.