An Open Conversation with Robert Scoble, Microsoft Geek Blogger

Transcript of 38-minute interview with Robert Scoble, March 7, 2005.

Yesterday, Shel and I interviewed Robert Scoble, the Scobleizer, in the March 7 edition of The Hobson & Holtz Report.

In a 38-minute conversation, we discussed a wide range of topics, including evangelism, anti-marketing, blogging, RSS and reading feeds, email mailing lists, relationships with colleagues, internal blogs at Microsoft, The Red Couch book project, a blogging ombudsman, and advice for communicators.

You can download the conversation (MP3, 25Mb) and listen to what we talked about. Follow the overall show with the show notes. And, sign up to the RSS feed to get future shows automatically in your RSS reader.

As we always do our show and interviews over Skype, this one was the same. We Skyped Robert in from his office in Redmond, USA, and, after fixing a few little sound glitches at the start, had a terrific discussion!

Here’s the transcript of our conversation. For clarity and continuity, I’ve edited out the little sound or connection glitches we encountered in a few parts of our conversation.

Posted by neville on 03/08 at 03:07 AM
  1. Great podcast, gentlemen. The transcript is awesome; what a lot of work. (Did you use a voice recognition product?) A couple of comments on the Robert Scoble segment.

    The transcript has Robert saying: “So I’m just sifting through these 3500 items a night looking for, you know, 100 things that my readers would be interested in…”

    This seems like a great opportunity for some personal software that can sift while we sleep. A distiller? A dis-aggregator?

    The transcript also has Robert saying: “Most people think I’m reading but I’m scanning for information…”

    I would hope his readers dig below the headlines to actually understand the information. I picture in my mind legions of bloggers passing around headline links without ever getting to the underlying stories. Many of us suffer from too much information and too little knowledge gained from it. In other words, overload.

    Thanks again.

    Posted by Richard Rowan  on  03/08  at  08:34 AM
  2. Interesting comparison of blogs to e-mail for internal communicationand knowledge management. But the real reason I’m commenting is about publishers choosing book titles. (You didn’t come up with Coporate Conversations, Shel?) I actually have a book on my bookshelf right now called The Red Couch. So it’s already taken! It borders on being a coffee-table photography book. Two photographers took a really tacky red velvet couch all over America in the ‘80s and shot pictures of it in the oddest places with the oddest people. It’s a wonderful book. Thanks for prompting me to look at it again this evening.

    Posted by Sheri Rosen  on  03/08  at  06:29 PM
  3. Thanks Richard. Glad you enjoyed the show!

    Re the transcript, I wish I knew of an automated way to get the audio into text. But I did it the old-fashioned way. You know: listen, pause, type, listen, pause, type…

    Very interesting point re automating the RSS feed-sifting process. I can imagine a tool where you can set up search parameters to automatically find things by key words or phrases, much as Robert mentioned the kind of manual process he does every day.

    So you go to bed at night and when you check in the morning, your searched information has been blogged already (or manipulated in whatever way you’ve specified). Perhaps there are tools like that out there, but I’ve not seen any.

    Hi Sheri, thanks for your comments.

    That’s interesting re The Red Couch. Why not post that on The Red Couch blog? That would throw the cat among the pigeons!

    Posted by Neville Hobson  on  03/09  at  09:45 AM
  4. Neville, Shel and Robert,

    Once again, I enjoyed listening to the broadcast.

    In reference to the first comment, with RSS you are not reading all of the articles, but just the headlines.  If the headline catches your interest, maybe you will read the teaser or article abstract for more detailed information.  One cannot possibly read all of the articles in full, but will read the ones he/she is most interested in.

    Compared to a search engine where you input the search terms and the content is predefined; - the search is limited by the content; in an RSS the sources are predefined.  The content will be whatever the sources provide as content, which is just about everything.  But, you are still given the opportunity to search by content within the RSS.

    So when Robert says he is reading all of these, I interpret that to mean he is seeing overall topic trends, he is looking from a big picture viewpoint.  Indeed, articles are reprinted verbatim to multiple sources and so it would be redundant to read the same article twice.  Robert is looking for new information, not rehashed versions of stories he has already read, and that narrowed pool is more manageable.

    Scott S.

    Posted by Sloth  on  03/10  at  04:35 AM






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