The major weekend news, at least according to Technorati's blog search, was A-list blogger Robert Scoble leaving Microsoft to join PodTech.net. News of Scoble's change of venue outranked the World Cup on Technorati as the top ranked search term on Sunday (what does that say about the Technorati audience?). Scoble news was the number the seven most emailed story on Yahoo News this afternoon.
The news broke when PR agent and video blogger Andy Plesser posted the news on his site, beet.tv, Saturday night after hearing it from Scoble during conversation at Vloggercon in San Francisco.
TechMeme aggregated the dozens of follow-ons, including a post from Scoble that sets the record straight about his time at Microsoft. His post begins: "First, I love Microsoft and Microsoft did not lose me — at least as a supporter and friend. I am not throwing away my Tablet PC or my Xbox or my other Microsoft stuff. :-) Second, my management team is awesome and I don't have a beef with them at all. They have ALWAYS supported me."
Robert Scoble, Patrick Scoble and news breaker Andy Plesser
Using his blog as a soapbox, Scoble came to personify a new style of corporate honesty in which he publicly spoke his mind on controversial topics. He was often willing to judiciously criticize Microsoft or praise its most fierce competitors. By resisting the role of corporate propagandist, he has won a following among millions of blog watchers as an insightful commentator on blogging, the software industry and the insular world of high-tech culture.
I ran into Scoble and his new boss, PodTech.net CEO John Furrier today at Vloggercon.
Furrier told me that he was going to build an offense, in football parlance, around Scoble. "He's his own brand, and we'll invest in him," Furrier said. Part of the investment is giving Scoble a significant equity stake of the PodTech.net, which received a $5.5 million round of funding in March. Furrier and employees still own more than 50 percent of the startup, Furrier said.
Scoble will serve as vice president of content media and will host a weekly, if not more frequent, tech podcast show, and help PodTech.net move deeper to video programming, Furrier said. While at Microsoft, Scoble did numerous videos as part of the company's Channel 9 developer site. He will continue to maintain his personal blog, Scobleizer.
Furrier views Scoble's addition to the PodTech crew as a step in his goal to become the "Salesforce.com for media." That could have multiple connotations--Scoble becomes a PodTech.net megaphone, a la Salesforce.com's highly visible and vocal Marc Benioff, and the company becomes a mighty new platform for creating, delivering (RSS) and monetizing rich media content, starting with tech and later expanding to other categories. That story is still to be written...