Robert Scoble for President

Posted: May 18, 2005 in Uncategorized

Got to catch up with (now) fellow employee Robert Scoble yesterday — of Scobleizer fame.

Everyone is fond of saying he’s the guy that’s making his most out of his 15 minutes of fame.

He’s actually the first to kid himself about this, which starts giving you some insight into why he’s just so bloody successful at disarming and humanizing.

And why is this important?

Because part of his unofficial job is to disarm and humanize Microsoft.  No small feat.

And — listen up everyone at MSFT — he’s doing it.  I’ve been to a zillion tradeshows and the theme was always consistent:  Microsoft was the enemy.

Now, Microsoft is part of the club… and the theme is, "how can we all work together to make all of this even better?"

A little bit nirvana-ish, but there you have it.

All the, "Microsoft is a good community citizen" press releases in the world don’t equal what Scobel has done:  Made Microsoft accessible.  Given Microsoft a public, 2-way voice.  An insider who calls a spade a spade.

Just what the doctor ordered.

He’s a PR person’s nightmare come true, but who would have thunk a little less control and a little more honesty would yield these kinds of results?

No one, and that’s what makes this story even more remarkable.

Cheers to you, Robert, for helping humanize one of the most feared and, yes, disliked companies on the planet.

Can’t wait to see what you’ll tackle next!


  1. Unknown says:

    Royal – found you via a link from Brad\’s blog – really sorry I missed the SDForum event and a chance to meet you – anyway, the impetus for a comment here is in response to your question but who would have thunk a little less control and a little more honesty would yield these kinds of results?Well Chris Locke, Dave Winer, Doc Searls and David Weinberger were some of the first back in 2000 or so – and then of course the million plus readers of the book – but I am not writing to flame, I am writing to correct the direction of that question, because the real question is "who would have thunk MSFT would allow its people to engage the world around it as a collection of human beings" with a corrollary being, "is this just more of the embrace and extend philosophy Bill is famous for and thinks he needs to apply in order to survive in the current client, or does he really see the world differently and want to be a good corporate citizen?"Now dont get me wrong, I am not a Bill Basher per se – especially since all the good he has been doing with the Foundation, but I think the corrollary question is valid – what are your thoughts on this now that you are on the inside?

  2. Royal Farros says:

    Chris, sorry for delayed response.Also, didn\’t mean any disrespect to the pioneers, I thought it was clear I was talking about, "who would have thunk at MSFT," sorry for any confusion.Of course, I\’m about 72 minutes old within the company so it\’s not like I have an infinite observation… yet. <smile>But, from what I can see, I don\’t think even Microsoft knows the answer to your question. But — practically speaking (not philosophically speaking) — does it matter?Microsoft, like most other for-profit corporation in the world, wants to communicate with its customers better/cheaper/faster… that\’s only good business.While not everyone is on board with this… yet… the evidence is piling up: Blogging helps achieve this… a rare instance in business where everyone wins.The good news is that even those not on board are smart enough to realize a good thing when it hits them in the face.[P.S. See you at Gnomedex.]