Is Robert Scoble Still A Blogger?
I've known Robert Scoble for a long time, nearly ten years. Shortly after I left the Financial Times in mid-2004 to become the first newspaper journalist to make a living as a blogger-journalist, we met in a Manhattan bar.
He was working at Microsoft at the time, and I remember we talked about how difficult it was to hide your true feelings when writing blog posts.It's easy to see if the writer is authentic or not — there seems to be a sort of Turing test at work, an authenticity test that can't be faked.
Over the years Robert has pioneered and greatly boosted the growth of most, if not all the major social media platforms, as an early adopter. His naked enthusiasm is infectious.
I was recently on a Bulldog Reporter panel with Robert and he said something that surprised me. He said he no longer posts on his Scobleizer blog. He has moved over to Facebook because major brands have told him that's where they get the most traffic and engagement. He is also active on Twitter and Google +.
It's a very bold move, especially since posting on Facebook means only a small percentage of your posts are shown to your friends/followers. Prior bold moves included deleting his LinkedIn account and tens of thousands of contacts.
Leaving your own blog when others are talking about a revival of blogging as a core repository amid a fractured world of social media platforms shows that Robert sees something others don't, like a cat watching something intently that you can't see.
But maybe it's because Robert doesn't have to make a living from his blog. He's living the dream, he's paid well by Rackspace, a fast growing cloud hosting company, to interview startups, to write and tweet and post all over the place. He is doing what he loves to do.
His identity has been so closely meshed with the rise of blogging that it's difficult to imagine him any other way. But is Robert still a blogger?
Or is "blogger" an attitude, a cultural identity defined by what you publish, that's no longer defined by how you publish.
He is still a blogger in my book, a blogger that doesn't need a blog. Robert's publishing platform is the Internet itself.