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GE’s ‘wired’ blog

In a short article, the National Association of Manufacturers reports that General Electric (GE) has opened a new blog. What is more interesting is that GE has teamed with WIRED and its annual NextFest event being held in New York this weekend. So I’ve looked for you at bloggingNEXT, the new GE blog. Read my impressions…

At first glance, it looks like a strange alliance: GE, a company with a $364 billion market capitalization and annual sales of $149 billion, has teamed up with WIRED, which belongs to the Condé Nast publishing group, to promote the WIRED NextFest.

But let’s look at how WIRED introduces the concept for this event: “This fall, WIRED Magazine is bringing its vision of a new world’s fair to New York City. Experience more than 130 exciting exhibits from scientists, researchers, and inventors around the globe. WIRED NextFest features innovations in communication, design, entertainment, exploration, health, transportation, security, and green living.”

Clearly, GE is working in many of these areas. So a GE blog about NextFest makes sense and is a good ‘promotional’ tool. Let’s look at this blog.

As you can read on this post, bloggingNEXT will be written by 15 authors coming from various divisions of GE, with a large majority involved in marketing communications.

Does this mean that bloggingNEXT is a new marketing vehicle for GE? The answer is a clear “No” according to “GE is WIRED!,” the first post which appeared on September 27.

We don’t want it to be a commercial for GE. We are not going to spend this week talking about how great our exhibits are or the fastest route from the entry point to the GE pavilion. NEXTFEST is a tribute to technology and creative thinking. We believe in that and GE and salute it in others. Our hope is to seek out the best; document and share it with you here. Consider us your eyes and ears at NEXTFEST this week.

There are now 25 posts on this new blog, with subjects going from prosthetic legs to space trips. And you can comment on all these posts without a need for registration.

Overall, this is a fine blog, but what will happen to it when NextFest is over? Will it continue or will it stop? I haven’t found the information, so drop me a note if you know more about the future of bloggingNEXT.

Finally, if you want to see what will be shown this weekend during WIRED NextFest, Wired News offers a photo gallery of many inventions on display such as lifelike robots, homes of the future and immersive games.

Sources: National Association of Manufacturers, September 28, 2006; and various websites

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Roland Piquepaille
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