Microsofts Blog: The Scobleizer
Can managers stop worrying and learn to love the blog? As the payoff becomes apparent, more companies will open up. Microsoft's Robert Scoble is a perfect example. (Baseline)The most powerful piece of software inside Microsoft may be the $40 application from a tiny vendor called Userland that Robert Scoble uses to write his weblog. Scoble, part of the Windows marketing team, publishes his personal observations at the Scobleizer Weblog . His daily ramblings, unedited by corporate brass or media handlers, give the world a window into Microsoft, building buzz for its products such as Office 2003 and creating a human face for a company that needs all the humanizing it can get. "Ive gotten email from people telling me they have changed their attitude about Microsoft because of my blog," says Scoble. "It helps me share the companys beliefs." It also helps Microsoft hear what the market is saying, both good and bad. "I link to everyone who hates Microsoft, and I send the negative stuff to the executives," he says.
The blog, which Scoble established before hiring on with Microsoft, comes off like a conversation with a smart friend. He links to other bloggers, makes recommendations about Windows-related products, talks about his own upcoming demo of the next version of Windows, known as Longhorn, and mentions the need to balance his personal and professional lives. Almost anything is fair game. "That is the first Apple marketing in a long time that makes me want to buy an Apple product," he wrote recently about an ad for the iPod music player.