The TechCrunch Aftermath. Scoble just punkd you all.

I deeply regret ever engaging anyone in this twitter dust off, mainly because it was just stupid 🙂 No excuses, just stupid.

I've gotten a lot of positive emails about how well I held my composure and how folks thought Michael was in poor form. 

The part that I'd like to highlight is that everyone has a bad day, and at times it can play out in twitter or blogs, which in turn means that everyone is watching you have that bad day. Mercy is rarely given.

Michael updated his original post, it removed the quote that annoyed me about how Microsoft was plotting to take out TechCrunch through proxies like Dare.

This got missed in the saga of words, and this in my opinion showed an element of regret on Michael's part. Like I said, sometimes people have bad days and when someone says something bad about you (no matter how bad) it annoys you. In this case, Michael got annoyed by Dare's comments. Ok, fair enough, mistakes were made.

Personally, I don't mind Arrington. I'll never go out of my way to have a beer with him, but I don't mind his writing style.

What really annoyed me was Robert Scoble getting into the mix (just totally hijacked the situation to bolster more hits for his blog). I cannot begin to express how annoyed I am with this guy these days. He's taken whatever fame he had gathered whilst being at Microsoft and continues to embarrass us daily with this "flash backs to Microsoft".

He reminds me of "Johnny Drama" out of HBO's Entourage. Constantly living in the past and never really paying attention to the future. Hanging out with fans whom remember him from the good old days, and rarely updating his resume?

What annoys me the most is he creates a storm of words, takes the aggressive stance and when the fanbase or community turn on him for being overly aggressive, plays the wounded card. "Hey I'm just creating naked conversations, have you read my book? " style remarks.

When he was at Microsoft, he did a job, he managed to be in the right time and in the right place  - that was it. Windows was being made, it was years overdue, people were wondering what Microsoft was up to as everything was quiet.

A guy with a camera roaming Redmond Campus asking people "what they were up to" didn't require a degree of intelligence to be fair. It was just access to the right people at the right time.

Office, Windows, Avalon etc were all coming off the assembly line and Robert & Channel 9 guys were there to report on it. I remember watching the Avalon team talk about XAML (which got me out of the Macromedia camp and here in Microsoft), I don't remember Scoble.

It wasn't until I joined Microsoft and he linked to my blog once that people internally went "You just got Scobled!"

My response: "Who?..oh that guy who films stuff for Channel 9 a year or two"

Today my response would simply be "So?"

*shrug* it is what it is.

Comments (5)

  1. Gary Barber says:

    You have to wonder if Scoble was relevant at all.

    Today he is just known for being a self promoting noise bag (I’m being kind).  Ask the next generation who he is.. "Scoble – what is that?"

  2. Sean says:

    I gotta tell you that I’m *not* a fan of Scoble, especially since he left the company, but you do need to give him a little more credit.

    Either by skill, luck or timing, Scoble was at the forefront of the blogging revolution at MS. He wasn;t the first employee to blog from inside and but he was definitely one of the first to be willing to push the envelope of what was generally considered acceptable practice (criticizing our actions, for example). By his actions and his advocacy, he forced a long and intense internal discussion about the attitude of Microsoft towards bloggers. It took a while, but Microsoft got over the standard big-company fear about letting ordinary employees blog. Believe me, at the time, it was not at all obvious that employee blogging would be a good idea for the company to actively support.

    Whatever else you may think of him (and again, I agree with you on this issue in particular), Microsoft is better because Robert Scoble was here.

    His work with C9 was tangential (and as you said, it’s success was driven more by the people he talked to).

  3. Garry Trinder says:

    Scoble wasn’t the brains behind the program of works, that was the hidden mistake.

    There were others along side him, to lump him with the full credit is cheating the smarts of what they all did. He just managed to cash out at the right time and leverage it for his whatever it is he does now.

  4. Sigh.  I don’t know why I bother responding to these things, but…

    I’ve known Scoble since 3 companies before he came to MSFT, and I saw what he did at MSFT first-hand.  Closer than most people.

    It’s true that people like Len Pryor and Vic Gundotra, Jeff Sandquist had a lot to do with Channel 9 success.  But you cannot dismiss what Scoble accomplished.  He is like a force of nature, and took very seriously his role as change agent.  And he did this in a time where nobody else was doing it — people like Cutts and Zawodny came after, and had dramatically less challenging environment IMO.

    He could have milked his status as "the connector to influencers".  God knows that we’ve had plenty of people like that at MSFT (not people like you, Scott, but the annointed "valley connectors").  

    Instead of milking his role into a cushy position inside the company, he took the hard road, he sincerely set out to make a big impact inside the company and outside, and he succeeded wildly.

    I thought he was out of line to call for Dare’s firing, but he apologized and retracted pretty quickly.  He’s allowed to have bad days, too.  I’m surprised that you’re willing to fantasize remorse on Mike Arrington’s part (he left the vicious personal attack on his home page), but not willing to take Scoble’s apology at face value.

    Arrington can criticize MSFT all he wants, but vindictive peronal crusades that attempt to personally destroy individual bloggers are over the line.  Are you really saying that "it’s all cool", now that Arrington is simply trying to destroy Dare, and has backed off the absurd conspiracy theories about MSFT?

  5. Garry Trinder says:


    Dare and Arrignton will always be at opposite ends. That’s a battle they need to fight out and in a way that makes sense to them both and personally, all the best to them both.

    My forgiveness kicked in the moment Michael retracted his statement, it was stupid and clearly he had remorse. I’ve not had an issue with him pre-event and post-event, I don’t agree with some of his opinions but – hey – don’t we all have varied opinions.

    Robert Scoble however, is just an ongoing annoyance. I constantly meet people both Microsoft and non-Microsoft whom are vocal about this, and it’s something I’ve slowly formed an opinion on hearing both sides and watching his behaviour for myself.

    I don’t think he’s adding value to the conversation and he’s more locked on attracting fans then he is contributing to any topic. His drunken video many ages ago where he explains the fact TechCrunch never links to him etc highlighted something in which alerted me to his behaviour. Then once you analyse and try your hardest to grok what it is he’s trying to sell/preech say it just becomes clear.

    Say something negative or agressive that on purpose gets people fired up, sit back, wait for the carnage to unfold and make decision – are the 2/3rds with me or against me. If they are with him, then this bolsters his approach even further, "the mob have spoken". If they are against him, feign wounded pout and use the "oh i’m just being real people.." card – all is forgiven.

    The behaviour patterns are there, and quite frankly everytime i’ve interacted with him in both person and digitally, I’ve never really seen what the "wow" effect he seems to bring.

    I disagree that he was the brains/architect behind the Channel 9 glow. I’ve seen enough of Microsoft from both inside and outside to formulate a clear understanding that this company has a large amount of Mystery to it. At times we at corp get lost in the campus syndrome, but people generally want to know what makes Microsoft tick.

    At the time he was here, Windows was overdue, Office was overdue not a lot was being said about these two products and this thing called Avalon was making waves. People were on the edge of their seats, having a camera and asking "whats up" gave the scobles their fame.

    Now it’s been done, like all good marketing campaigns of the past, either re-invigorate the parts that were successful or move onto the next idea.

    We sometimes need to stop rehashing old tricks. It’s a curse at times.

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