Chris Pirillo reports that Robert Scoble, the world’s most famous corporate blogger, is leaving Microsoft and heading to PodTech.net. I haven’t seen a confirmation from Scoble himself yet, so for the moment we’ll put it in the realm of a rumor with a high likelihood of veracity.
Some of you will be interested in the news itself, but I was wondering more generally about what happens when a prominent corporate blogger leaves the company. I’m sure Scoble will still maintain somewhat of a following, as he is so well-known in the blogosphere. But I’m thinking he’s going to lose a big part of his audience. Sure, readers have developed some attachment to him personally, but let’s face it — most of the people reading his blog aren’t just reading it because he’s a great writer, but because they’re interested in knowing what’s going on at Microsoft and he offers more of an inside scoop than anyone else. But he’ll build a new audience. Podcasting is hot now (although I have to admit that I’m ambivalent about it myself). I’d be curious to see his traffic stats over the next few months (hint-hint, Robert!).
Now what about Microsoft? Who will become the new principal voice of Microsoft in the blogosphere? There are certainly plenty of popular Microsoft bloggers – Eileen Brown, KC Lemson, Raymond Chen, Michael Kaplan, Heather Leigh, Larry Osterman, et al. (my apologies to the other several thousand I didn’t list here). And no, while he may be more “famous”, Ray Ozzie’s once-a-month posting habits won’t cut it.
But Scoble definitely leaves a void there. Does Microsoft need to deliberately attempt to fill it? I think if they’re smart, they won’t. It will happen like most things do in the blogosphere – organically.
What do you think? Will you continue to follow Scoble’s blog or no? Who would you like to see as the next prominent “voice of Microsoft” in the blogosphere?