Robert Scoble may not be a household name, but he’s well-known in the social media world. I’d venture to say, however, that few people knew his name when he went to work for Microsoft in 2003. While there, he produced hundreds of videos for Microsoft’s Channel 9, and started his own blog, Scobleizer, which continues to this day. He co-authored a fabulous book about blogging, called Naked Conversations, published in early 2006.
A few months after that, when speaking at a videoblogging conference, Scoble told 15 people (“not A-listers either, just everyday videobloggers,” he later reported) that he was leaving Microsoft. It was Saturday afternoon, and he asked them not to say anything until Tuesday, because he hadn’t told his boss yet.
Well, naturally, someone jumped the gun. Not only did his boss find out … but within two days, the report was published in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the front page of the BBC web site, and in 140 newspapers around the world.
Granted, the Microsoft platform helped Scoble gain widespread attention. But thanks strictly to his blogging his efforts, he established personal credibility and authority – to the point where a conversation with 15 unknown bloggers could spread a story about him around the globe in two days.
Scoble told this story in his introduction to The New Rules of Marketing & PR by Dave Meerman Scott in order to illustrate the power of social media. “By reading this book,” Scoble writes, “you’ll understand how to gain the credibility you need to build your business.”
Maybe you won’t make the New York Times, but social media can be a mighty powerful tool nonetheless.