I was pretty much unplugged when the news came out this weekend. I lost one day driving my family back from Michigan (if you follow Live Local’s Streetside project, check out what I saw on the drive), and I had a lot of schoolwork, so reading feeds was backburnered. But I heard the news anyway. From my wife. My wife is not a blogger. She doesn’t knowingly use RSS. I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t even read my blog (correct me if I’m wrong 😉 ). My wife normally gets her news by typing “http://news.yahoo.com” into the address bar and then poking around. She was catching up with the news on Sunday morning, and she started reading me the story about Robert.
My reaction? I was not surprised in the least. I was more shocked that my wife knew the news before me.
The significance of this should not be downplayed. The Scobleizer’s fame has hit the mainstream.
This is obviously great news for PodTech.net, and bad news for Microsoft. The bad news for Microsoft is complicated. First, they’ve lost a dedicated employee. Second, they’ve lost an influencer. Dave Winer put it best when he said “A person like Scoble can have enormous influence just by adopting some very simple ideas”. The most important reason that this is bad for Microsoft is that it highlights the fact that Microsoft is not the kind of place that someone like Scoble would want to stay. Robert seems like he’s driven to change the world for the better, and the fact that he left Microsoft carries a message, right or wrong, that Microsoft isn’t as much of a “Change the world” kinda of place as it used to be.
But back to the inflammatory headline I used to draw you in… Robert, regardless of how you feel about the label, you are an edge case, leading edge. You’re an early adopter, and you have a pretty decent track record for picking the technologies that will make it to the mainstream, although I think I’d side with Chris Pirillo on the Second Life debate. The fact that you are going to PodTech makes me really think about their business model, and consider the fact that it might take off. I’ve written a couple of times about what I think the new media model should be, but I was thinking about how big media could get onboard. Seeing a company like PodTech gathering steam makes me believe that it might be possible for the little guys to disrupt the hold that big media has on entertainment and information. It’s going to be interesting…