Robert Scoble is leaving Microsoft — and why it matters

Robert Scoble is leaving Microsoft — and why it matters: I don’t like blogging about the “transactions” of business — the movement of people among jobs, the mergers and acquisitions, etc. That is the “business-to-business” news flow that I find a chore to track and, frankly, while is takes up most of the space in trade magazines, it is the part of b-to-b media that bores me the most. The blogs I follow are less about transactions and more about personal observations — and personal stories: be they about work or about the person’s life and passions.

With that as my preference, it is no surprise that Robert Scoble is among my most favorite “A List” bloggers. He has (without him knowing it at all) done more to influence my understanding of the role of personal media (blogging, vlogging, sharing photos) than anyone else. He demonstrates daily — many times daily — how “business” news is better conveyed by focusing on personal stories and observations — than simply transactions. By example, he has influenced both the way business is now “covered” and the way public relations practitioners will do their jobs from here on out. In some ways, he has helped change the practice of corporate public relations more than anyone since Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays. (I’ll leave that debate to people who’ve heard of those folks).

Robert is leaving Microsoft. If you follow anything about the blogosphere, you already know that. The rumors exploded last night (as tracked by techmeme.com) and the confirmation came from Robert early this morning (eastern time).

All I can say is congratulations to Microsoft to whoever was able to keep Robert there for as long as they did. He did more to humanize (and soften) Microsoft’s perception in the minds of a small, but influential, community of geeks than anything in the company’s history.

And kudos to PodTech.net for an amazingly successful move.

Congratulations, Robert. I look forward to telling you the same in person.

  • Harry Chitenden

    The last time I thought about Bernays was when I was reading about an astroturf scam campaigning against net neutrality.

    If you mean effectively changing the practice of corporate PR, I have to agree with you. However, technology might be the real mother of the change with Scoble being the first of many more examples.

  • rex

    I only mention Ivy and Bernays as they are the two names I can recall from my memory bank of anything related to the origins of the “practice” of PR. I think Robert is a role-model of how those inside a company will be learning how to talk WITH the world. I believe Bernays and Ivy were among the first to see this as something a company could “manage”…Scoble actually took the teachings of Doc Searls, Dave Weinberger, etc., and applied it to one of the largest corporations in the world — and lived to write a book about it. Was it perfect? No. Will others do it better? Yes. There will be many more examples, but he has blazed a trail.