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Friday, March 3rd, 2006, 4:51 am

Why I Gave up on Scoble

Bill Gates
Bill Gates arrested in his younger days (photo in public domain)

Foreword: I syndicated Robert Scoble’s blog for a few months in the past, mainly in order to keep an eye on Microsoft’s ‘software politics’ and developments. I thought I would see the nicer face of an aggressive corporation, but I soon dropped it like a hot plate.

I consider very few things to be “shocking”. There are very few things as adverse-to-logic and even shocking as Robert Scoble using Firefox and running his blog on WordPress (LAMP technology). This has been the case ever since his so-called ‘Net dad’ had weblogs.com sold out to VeriSign — a rather evil company. Scoble is a Microsoft evangelist, but he decided to practically infiltrate a world of Open Source. At some stage, it ended up badly.

Before Scoble became Dave Winer’s ‘surrogate child’, he wasn’t doing anything too admirable, but he was among the first people to blog. Then, years later, he would rave about ‘RSS this and RSS that’. It was Winer’s technology. Scoble only understands computers as a user, rarely realising the underlying issues in depth. He is no developer and no great writer either, yet his reputation and momentum, as well as being outspoken and critical of Microsoft while being paid by them is what makes him somewhat exceptional. His reputation is overrated.

When it comes to technology, I found that Scoble cannot tell his ass from his face. Microsoft employed him only because of his Web statistics. It is a public relations trick — companies buying readership (through popular voices) and promote propaganda to improve the Windows brand name and image. Microsoft had plans of employing many freelance bloggers to promote evangelism, using money. Scoble now runs on Linux and when I mailed him about it, he could only come up with a lame excuse about this choice.

If you seek a popular blog to aggregate, skip Scoble. It is an utter waste of time. Grossly overrated.

8 Responses to “Why I Gave up on Scoble”

  1. Guzzard Says:

    I have been reading Scobles “Blog” for a few years. I have to agree with you on some points. The thing that makes me believe you more, besides the LAMP reference, is Scoble himself, when he is “Interviewing” people he continually laughs like a complete doofus. I can’t even sit through one video. He is good at making friends in high places for the day the Microsoft shows him the door.

  2. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    If I recall correctly, what jumped the shark (for me at least) was an interview he did for some dodgy Web site. I suddenly came to realise that the guy’s reputation was merely a cyclic phenomenon, but not earned justifiably. Precedence should not warrant traffic.

  3. vowe dot net Says:

    Hey, there is a bloody ranting going on over there!
    Roy Schestowitz, a PhD student at the Victoria University of Manchester UK, gets into a hefty rant and explains why he gave up and unsubscribed Robert Scoble’s feed: When it comes to technology, I found that Scoble cannot tell his ass from his face. D…

  4. Zoli's Blog Says:

    Are we Men or Children? But Sometimes the Children are Men :-)
    This is one of those cases where I had the urge to quickly comment on a post by Ken; then all of a sudden I realized it has it’s own place on my blog.

    Ken laments on how “little blogospats that are popping up all over the blogosphere sound more…

  5. Rafe Says:

    That’s a nasty attack, although somewhat justified as I agree he has a great deal of overrated influence: people like Steve Gilmor treat him as the public face of a new, friendlier Microsoft. The company may have a few new faces, but Ballmer & co still rule the same old evil empire.

    I’ve also unsubscribed, but what I found irritating was his predictable theme:

    “Maybe Microsoft did some bad stuff in the past, but we’re angels now, and did you know that Google, Yahoo, Apple, etc (whoever has the news that week) are actually more evil than us… so look at what we’re doing instead, it’s great!”

    Virtually every frickin’ post.

    Evangelize the evil empire if you must (like it needs it though), but doing it by pretending Microsoft is the underdog when it already dominates the industry and will continue to do so for a long time just rings hollow.

  6. Roy Schestowitz Says:

    Rafe, I only regret to have used the phrase “tell his ass from his face”, which was probably impulsive. The rest of the arguments still stand. I could elaborate, but I will not retract or even detract from my statements.

    Readers, as well as my colleagues, seem to think that my incentive (or lack thereof) to defend Microsoft is driven by jealously. Let me assure you that it is not the case. I use *nix technology 100% of the time because it serves me better than Microsoft technology has ever served me since the age of 5.

    Scoble only helps propagation of FUD (recommended reading), which hinders the adoption of better technologies and leaves people in a ‘stone age’ of computing. So how can I ever look at at Scoble with respect? Will he be able to comprehend that the lack of modularity in Windows will make any of XP’s successors prone to breakage? It is a fact.

    Some people suggested that my rant was intended to gain traffic, which was uncalled for and unexpected. While we are on the subject, approximately 1,500 Windows zombies (yes, hijacked machines) have been attacking my site since September 2005. They attempt to hammer on the database every single day. Can this please be rectified? Can Windows develops get their act together, please? The RPC model, which Windows depends on, simply does not work. Only firewalls prevent my host’s servers from collapsing. Meanwhile, I continue to pay the bill for excessive traffic.

  7. Dan Guy Says:

    I am so with you, previous commenter, about his annoying laugh. Scoble’s near-constant nervous laughter sets my teeth on edge and makes me want to jam pointy things in my ears. It’s bad enough that he can’t get a question out without giggling like a maniac, why must he INTERRUPT the person he’s interviewing to make asinine, pointless asides, giggling all the while. Just let the smart, composed people talk!

    I also dislike the tone of voice that he blogs in, wherein he poses non-questions to himself. Like he’ll say, “The Origami is going to change your life. Whaaat??? you say? It will!”. (not an actual quote)

  8. Dave Says:

    Keep up the posting on COLA and never mind that fuck Erik F.

    Fuddie always resorts to the personal attack when losing the battle. Where ever he goes, he leaves a trail of slime behind.

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