Robert Scoble leaves Microsoft
12 June 2006 - 09:20
Microsoft's top blogger (or least their top blogging proponent) Robert Scoble has decided to leave the mega-corp and join a start-up specialising in podcasting and video blogging. Although his job at Microsoft was all-round image-enhancer, his main job as far as I was concerned was co-founding and producing a large proportion of the videos on the Channel 9 site. There's a lot of stuff flying around about Robert's move - he sets a lot of things straight with two long posts on his own blog and another post on Channel 9 explaining how this doesn't mean Channel 9 is over.
Personally, I think if this was anyone else leaving Microsoft, or Scoble leaving another other large company it wouldn't be nearly as big a deal. The anti-Microsoft mob are always going to look for some angle on how Microsoft's evil made it impossible for him to stay. The anti-blogging mob are going to look for some angle about how this means Microsoft doesn't really like staff bloggers after all. When it comes down to it, the company he's moving to is the perfect setup for Robert and if you had the chance to take the job that's perfect for you, you'd do it even if it meant taking a bit of flak in the meantime.
Scoble has been described as Microsoft's "Cheif humanising officer" and for sure, I feel better about Microsoft being a large group of people instead of the huge faceless corporation it seemed before. And I wasn't even in the anti-Microsoft mob to start with. Things have changed at Microsoft over the past few years and it's not all down to Scoble, but he does symbolise the changes that have occured in many departments. It used to be that if you found a bug in a product you'd have to go through support (if you had a support contract with them) or try emailing a general bug report address. You might get a response, you might not. You probably wouldn't get any communication from the people that actually developed the product that's for sure. Now you have developers blogging about what they're doing. They take feedback, some teams even give the great unwashed access to their bug tracking systems, and of course there are those crazy enough to appear on Channel 9 videos.
So good luck Robert. I hope it works out with the startup and it makes you rich! Microsoft will manage without you I feel and at least Channel 9 videos will no longer be punctuated by your manic laugh :)