From Michael's Internet Database
Robert Scoble is an American blogger, technical evangelist, and author. Scoble first came to prominence during his tenure as a technical evangelist at Microsoft, due to his blog "Scobleizer."
Early life and education
Scoble grew up in Silicon Valley. His father was an engineer at Ampex and Lockheed Martin. His mother worked for Apple Inc as a member of a group of women who built Apple IIs at home. Robert learned how to solder a motherboard together when he was 11, and helped his mother build several hundred Apple IIs.
He studied journalism at West Valley Community College and San Jose State. In 1989 he persuaded Steve Wozniak to donate $40,000 worth of Macintoshes to the WVCC journalism department, and then took responsibility for setting them all up. At that time he was a Mac Evangelist, fond of installing beta software and performing weird hacks on other people's old Apple computers to improve their performance.
After college Scoble worked for Fawcette Technical Publications and then for Winnov, a manufacturer of webcams. His job supporting webcam users led him to be active in Microsoft's NetMeeting support newsgroups, for which activity he was named a Microsoft MVP. He left Fawcette to join Dave Winer's UserLand Software, a blogging software startup, as Director of Marketing, until the startup ran out of money. He found a job at NEC Mobile Solutions as Sales Support Manager for TabletPC, where he used a blog to provide tech support and listen to feedback from NEC customers. This blog was noticed by Vic Gundotra, then General Manager of Platform Evangelism at Microsoft, who invited Robert to work at Microsoft.
Scoble joined Microsoft in 2003 as part of the Channel 9 MSDN Video team, producing videos that showcased Microsoft employees and products. While promoting Microsoft products like Tablet PCs and Windows Vista, Scoble also frequently criticized his own employer and praised competitors. His blog offered an unusual level of access, including accepting comments from readers, and publishing his cell phone number inviting people to contact him directly with issues. He helped Microsoft appear less evil to the independent software developers that were his core audience. In February 2005 he was the first person to be called the newly-coined term "spokesblogger."
Podtech and FastCompany
In 2006 Scoble announced he was leaving Microsoft to join Podtech.net as vice president of media development. At Podtech he produced the Scoble Show. In early 2008 he left PodTech and joined Fast Company, where he launched FastCompany.tv, with two shows. The first was FastCompany Live, which was done totally on cell phones. The second, ScobleizerTV, was similar to his previous show on PodTech, only with better equipment and a camera operator. Scoble no longer produces videos for FastCompany, but he continues to write articles for their magazine.
Rackspace and Building 43
Blogging and videoblogging
Scoble originally gained notoriety as a blogger. He has repeatedly been called an "egoblogger," which is defined as a blogger who spends "as much time promoting themselves and trying to get famous as they do writing their blogs."
In January 2008 Scoble's Facebook account was disabled after he used automatic scripts to download his 5,000 contacts (known as a social graph) from the site. Scoble annouced the ban first on Twitter and then on his blog. The news quickly spread, with diverse reactions. For example, TechCrunch Europe seemed to support Scoble, but then Michael Arrington of TechCrunch blamed Plaxo for prompting Scoble to violate the Facebook Terms of Service. Scoble's Facebook account was quickly reinstated after he promised to stop scraping data from the site.
While Scoble has a large number of followers on various social networks, he is particularly distinguished by the time he spends following others. In March 2008 he wrote on his blog that "the secret to Twitter isn’t how many followers you have, but how many people you are following." In December 2008 Michael Arrington suggested on TechCrunch that Scoble was addicted to Twitter and FriendFeed. Arrington reported that Scoble admitted to monitoring those services all day long, "hitting refresh over and over on both," and to spending at least seven hours a day, seven days a week, reading and responding on those services.
Perhaps in response to Arrington's concerns, in June 2009 Scoble announced that he would pay more attention to his blog. And in August 2009 he used an automated script to unfollow 106,000 people on Twitter. (Though as Loic Lemeur has pointed out, Scoble was following all those people because he had automatically followed back anyone who was following him, but he only really followed systematically the output of a much smaller group, principally made up of his contacts on FriendFeed.) Only two months after the purge, Scoble revealed that he was already back up to following 4000 people.
Despite his efforts to reduce the time he spends on them, Scoble remains convinced of the value of social websites. In August 2009 he estimated that Twitter was worth 5 to 10 billion dollars. This estimate was widely contested, but Scoble has suggested that his blog post helped Twitter to raise additional funding based on a valuation of one billion dollars.
Scoble is the co-author, with Shel Israel, of the book "Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers."
He supported Kathy Sierra when she was victim of hostile posts.
- Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Scoble
- Building 43 website: http://www.building43.com
- Scoble's Wordpress blog: http://scobleizer.com
- Scoble's Posterous: http://scobleizer.posterous.com/
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/scobleizer
- Scoble's Twitter favorites: http://twitter.com/scobleizer/favorites
- Friendfeed: http://friendfeed.com/scobleizer
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble
Some recent Scoble posts:
- Scoble asks who is taking over who's castle: http://friendfeed.com/scobleizer/2deebf22/on-my-whiteboard-is-battlefronts-ie-who-in-tech
- Scoble's Twitter Significant User List (SUL): http://scobleizer.com/2009/09/26/youre-not-on-twitters-suggested-user-list-but-you-are-in-good-company