thanks to John Bell for alerting me last night that Microsoft uber-blogster Robert Scoble is moving on to a startup. I have no hands to wring or thoughts to cogitate on his decision, but Microsoft will suffer the loss of a highly visible ambassador that won’t be easily replaced by an expensive Spencer Stuart executive search.
This opens the question of how valuable a corporate blogger is in the market today as the medium becomes au courant with every company under the sun getting the advice to start blogging. I believe the best corporate bloggers emerge organically within the organization — not a hired gun riding in from the outside — which would dash the notion that there is going to be an active free-agent market of hot bloggers going to the highest bidder.
It’s also crucial to note that Scoble was not Microsoft’s official, nor certainly Microsoft’s only blogger. He was an evangelist and primarily focused on Channel 9 who happened to run his own personal blog on the side. The fact that he was an extrovert who was adept at wading into the sometimes savage world of Blogistan stood him, and by extension, Microsoft in good stead. But he was not the holder of an official square in the MSFT org chart.
Now, with PR firms recommending that a company get on the blogging band wagon, the notion of opening searches for effective bloggers to ride in and start a strong program seems a bit doomed. The companies that are known for good blogging practices rely on grassroots voices to emerge from their ranks.