I have been skipping through my accumulated feeds and I see that Robert Scoble is leaving Microsoft. I didn’t think that would even be possible. It turns out that he is heading off to join Podtech.net as a video blogger. There is quite a bit of speculation in the blogosphere about Scoble’s reasons for leaving Microsoft. For a sample of this speculation, take a look here and here. Niall Kennedy has posted a fair article about Scoble’s change in career. Here is an extract:
Robert Scoble was employed as a videoblogger at Microsoft’s Channel 9 developer center, interviewing teams across Microsoft on their latest releases and features. Later in his Microsoft career Scoble’s popular blog became a part of his job as well, connecting his readers to Microsoft teams, announcements, and people and company using Microsoft products. He was originally hired as a developer evangelist for what was then Longhorn, now known as Windows Vista.
The news does not surprise me, as Scoble’s tour of corporate campuses and PR firms over the past year undoubtedly yielded some lucrative job offers. Working at PodTech allows Scoble to continue chatting about technology every day with executive clients of the corporate communication network. Scoble’s readership in the blogosphere will be a selling point for new clients. allowing them to have an amplified message in this new communication medium. PodTech is early stage and I’m sure Scoble has a good sized equity participation.
What does the news mean for Microsoft? More people in large companies now realize the value of an information aggregator for internal and external communication. In a 60,000 person company you need some internal connectors to help keep teams and projects working together and benefitting from the work and knowledge of others. If Microsoft does not already have a team or teams dedicated to internal corporate development, hopefully they’ll realize the value and create such a team.
Scoble has published a post dispelling many of the inaccurate rumours on his blog.
To me, Scoble has become synonymous with Microsoft and has become an important voice for Microsoft, a la Cluetrain. He has become a classic example of employee evangelists with a reputation for being fair and open about his views on Microsoft, both positive and negative. Working at Podtech.net is, no doubt, going to widen his scope considerably and I look forward to seeing how his blog’s focus shifts to a more general focus, or not. As “they” say, the only constant in this universe is change. Let’s see what this change brings.
Good luck Scoble!
Scoble explained to his new colleague, Jason Lopez, from PodTech.net why he is leaving Microsoft. Basically it has a lot to do with the anticipated growth in the video podcasting market. That and HD video. To listen to the podcast, click here.