Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The New Rules of Marketing and PR: Share Robert Scoble's Secrets

I've started reading David Meerman Scott's The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Looks like it's going to be a great read.

While reading the foreword by Robert Scoble I saw a section where he talks about how the news broke that he was leaving PodTech. Although he doesn't name names, I was there.

Here's an excerpt:
"Look at how the world found out I was leaving Microsoft for a Silicon Valley startup (

I told 15 people at a videoblogging conference. Not 'A listers' either. Just everyday videobloggers. I asked them not to tell anyone until Tuesday - this was on a Saturday afternoon and I still hasn't really told my boss.

Well, of course someone leaked that information. But, it didn't pop up in the New York Times. It wasn't discussed on CNN. No, it was a blogger I had never even heard of that posted the info first.

Within hours it was on hundreds of other blogs. Within two days it was on the Wall Street Journal, in the New York Times, on the front page of the BBC, in Business Week, Economist, in more than 140 newspapers around the world (friends called me from Australia, Germany, Israel, and England, among other countries) and other places. Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's PR agency, was keeping track and said that about 50 million media impressions occurred on my name in the first week.

All due to 15 conversations."
Robert is talking about Vloggercon 06, held in San Francisco. I was one of the videobloggers he told that he was leaving PodTech.

He told me not to tell anyone.

I didn't.

Did he really want it kept a secret?

Now he touts it as a success.

What happens the next time he tells someone to keep a secret?


  1. Anonymous2:24 PM

    you make an amazing point. If you leak info you want to be spread and say that it's off the record, you'll be left with no one that you can confide in within the community because everything will become public.

    I have an interesting question for you. Why didn't you tell someone? Was it because you trusted his motives when he said it wasn't supposed to get out?

  2. Anonymous2:42 PM

    It shows that there is no "off the record" anymore. No one is safe!

  3. @rob I trusted his motives and as a friend, kept the secret.

    @amani I think there still is off the record. The way I understand it, there has to be a mutual consent between the interviewer and the interviewee prior to speaking that it will be off the record.

    Should ABC have aired the private conversation they recorded between Sen. Barack Obama and Tory Leader David Cameron? I wondered about that.

  4. I was at that event, in San Francisco, and was one of the 15 people Robert told. I genuinely believe he wanted it to remain a secret until, at least, he could brief his employer (a common courtesy). It broke during one of the sessions (not by me - since I pride myself on keeping confidences) and the rest is, well, history.