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Robert Scoble, aka The Best Known Corporate Blogger In The World, has decided it is time to quit the day job by leaving Microsoft to join a Valley-based startup called PodTech.net.

Scoble, who writes the Scobleizer blog, has won many friends in the internet industry for his non-compromising, open and inquisitive style of commentary. He managed to convey some sense of how Microsoft was reacting to other news in the internet industry, making his blog a daily read for MS-watchers all over the world, and one of the top 10 blogs in Technorati.

Microsoft's legions of PR worker bees must be feeling a great sense of relief at Scoble's departure, though maybe not so the marketing department; Scoble is arguably the best and most profitable investment MS has ever made into its brand.


Scoble single-handedly changed Microsoft's image, softening up its brand, especially among those who make the loudest bad noise (tech professionals and competitors). He regularly praised competitors and admired their products, wining and dining executives from these companies in the process.

To its credit, Microsoft allowed him something approaching a free role and appeared not to interfere, but when you read between the lines it seems clear that he wants to be freed from corporate restraints. There was also the small matter of pay, which many bloggers have suggested has irked Scoble in recent months.

And he’s chosen a good way out. He’s opted for a startup, with $5m of seed funding in the bank, and some big plans. 

PodTech.net CEO John Furrier describes Scoble as a “global brand” and given his connections, it seems that PodTech will become a huge success. Scoble has an Access All Areas pass for the internet industry. His role as VP of Content for PodTech.net will see him lining up video interviews with the internet's movers and shakers.

"I've seen the power of this new media, and how fast audiences can grow. Out of all the companies I've been watching, PodTech.Network is best positioned to take advantage of the rapid growth that I'm seeing in this marketplace and I'm thrilled to join this team," Scoble said, in a press release issued by PodTech.

We wish him well in his new venture. Now, let's see if Niall Kennedy can fill the Scoble-shaped void for Microsoft.

Chris Lake

Published 12 June, 2006 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (1)

Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein, Founder, Econsultancy & President, Centaur Marketing at Econsultancy, Centaur MarketingStaff

Interesting. Only at our "What's New in Online Marketing" event last week we were discussing how 'celebrity' bloggers like Scoble might come to represent the brand they worked for - something organisations might be worried about in case the individual left, as has happend here.

How much has Robert Scoble come to represent Microsoft? And therefore how much of a problem is that he has left? Should organisations be worried about key bloggers leaving and taking some of their brand with them?

Personally I don't think Microsoft, or other organisations in a similar position, should be too worried. As long as they handle the situation properly. Microsoft is clearly 'bigger' as a brand than Scoble is as an individual. What makes "insider" bloggers at big companies like this interesting is the access they have, not so much who they are as indviduals.

Ashley Friedlein
CEO, E-consultancy.com

over 10 years ago

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