Scoble In The Blogger’s Lounge

    October 3, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Getting to Robert Scoble is like trying reach something that fell behind the refrigerator; he’s right there, you can see him, but people-shaped obstacles are preventing you from really being in the room with him.

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Eventually, the CBS MarketWatch reporter scampered off with his own piece of the Scobleizer, and just as I was settling in for an interview, someone else plops down on the beanbag chair next to him. Robert was reclining on the floor, using the beanbag chair as a pillow, taking a break from the hectic pace of the Podcast and Portable Media Expo.

I’m from the South, where manners and politeness are important. I was taught not to interrupt, but something had to be done or I may never actually get to interview him.

“I know how to settle this,” I thought. I tossed a beanbag chair next to Scoble’s, and spread myself out on the floor next to him. A 250-pound reporter lying in intimate proximity to Robert Scoble was a bit difficult for everyone in the Blogger’s Lounge to ignore. People were staring immediately, their heads cocked doglike to the side with curious smiles.

Gotcha! Roll camera.

“This is going to end up on Valleywag,” he said. And so begins my interview with the former Microsoft blogebrity, Vice President of Media Development at, and author of the book Naked Conversations. Fortunately for all involved, neither of us was naked for this conversation.

Also fortunate, as his position in the Blogger’s Lounge would indicate, Robert is a pretty laid back guy, engaging a man he’s barely heard of, who’s certainly not from CBS MarketWatch, who just threw all the rules of interviewing out the window.

But if you don’t really know the rules, you can’t really break them now can you? Or maybe it’s more that you’re more easily forgiven on your first day on the job. I’m a writer – what do I know about video interviews?

But then again, that was a major theme of the conference: anybody can do this podcast/vidcast thing. It’s raw, honest, unpolished. With that in mind, I think it fits.

We talked about what Robert was doing with his new company, the photo-walk with photographer Thomas Hawk on his new show, the ScobleShow, whether or not Steve Ballmer actually throws chairs, and about swimming in the lake outside Bill Gates’ house.

I asked him if he ever thought blogging would lead him to celebrity status.

“I’m not exactly Paris Hilton,” he said.

Well that’s true, and Miss Hilton probably would be better to look at across the beanbags, but who could stand a conversation with her?

After the interview, Scoble sprang up and switched his attention to the shotgun mic and tripod our videographer was using, more interesting than me no doubt, and began asking Richard questions about where we got them. And who would blame him? We did have some of the sweetest equipment at the conference.

Editor’s Note:  Web 2.0 has largely been about the liberation of content producers and content consumers to interact with, promote, and build upon each other. Podcasting, as it fits into that world, is both loved and criticized for it’s rough edges, it’s casualness, it’s disregard for the rules of conventional media. Is this, in your estimation, a good thing? Share your comments with us at the WebProNews Video Blog.

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