08:27 AM

Microsoft's top blogger Robert Scoble is leaving....

Filed: 2006-06-10 17:27:26

Andy Plesser from Plesser Holland and the videoblog Beet.tv just called and told me Robert Scoble is leaving Microsoft and will join PodTech.net, the podcasting network. He will be moving from Seattle to Silicon Valley.

Mr Scoble has sometimes expressed frustration working at Microsoft and he has also been unhappy with his compensation. He has created a tremendous amount of positive publicity for Microsoft but there have been many within the organisation that have resented his very public position. The company has not been able to control his views or his travels to various conferences and blogger meetings.

It is only within the past year that MSFT has tried to use his position as one of the most popular bloggers to its advantage, in public speaking engagements and other events. Before that, Mr Scoble had no travel buget and often would have to share hotel rooms and use his personal vacation days when speaking at various blogger conferences.

Mr Scoble might not be as interesting to some readers now that he is not at Microsoft but he is certain to retain his rock-star status within the blogging community. PodTech.net recently raised $5m in venture capital and this is a coup for the company. For the price of a salary and stock options, PodTech.net has a high profile evangelist that can create a tremendous amount of buzz for the company.

It is interesting that Microsoft did not move heaven and hell to keep him at the company given the many millions of dollars of positive publicity that the company has reaped from his efforts. He put a human face on the company during a time when many in the tech community were still upset with the company for its illegal business activities in regard to Netscape.