Interview: ‘Super blogger’ Robert Scoble on the magical age of tech we are living in (video)

19 Oct 2012

Scobelizer’s Robert Scoble was in Ireland this week to check out the Dublin Web Summit and F.ounders. He spoke to John Kennedy about the speed of innovation and how he sees the future internet impacting our lives.

There is no one in Silicon Valley who hasn’t heard of Robert Scoble and few in the global technology world who haven’t either. The man is a social media and technological maven who has built up a loyal and constantly growing army of friends, followers and connections across the social stratosphere.

Just to give you a picture:

  • 294,000 followers on Twitter
  • 413,000 subscribers on Facebook
  • 2.6m circles on Google+

A tech enthusiast who grew up just a mile from Apple’s headquarters in San Francisco, California, Scoble began selling cameras in San Jose and was a regular at various Apple and Microsoft user groups. While working as a sales support manager for NEC Mobile Solutions’ Tablet PC group, his hands-on approach led to him using blogs as a way to support customers.

Google’s Vic Gundotra (at that time general manager for Platform Evangelism at Microsoft) spotted Scoble’s blog and brought him to work at Microsoft as a tech evangelist.

Scoble’s approach, which as well as explaining technologies included scathing criticism of his employers as well as honest praise for rivals like Apple, endeared him to many and helped to improve the perception of Microsoft among lovers of technology.

Scoble left Microsoft in 2006 and after a stint with PodTech he began working with Fast Company where he launched

Scoble currently works at Rackspace where he is developing Small Teams, Big Impact (formerly Building 43), a new content and social networking website.

When we caught up with Scoble at the Dublin Web Summit, he described the sheer size of his audience across social media and the blogosphere as “doubling penny; a lot of hard work is what it takes.

“Now I’m coasting a little, but even then I was up at 4.30am this morning and there were 30,000 people aimed at me.

“Old media was when you talked at the audience and they never talked back. I like this new media where you can have a two-way discussion.”

Scoble recalled a recent interview he was conducting with a lady from Pakistan who when he asked can he record the interview asked what SoundCloud was. “I described it as a radio station in your pocket. It’s a magical age we are living in.”

Looking to the future, Scoble envisions deep societal changes happening because of mobile. “Google is turning on more than 1m Android devices a day – that is a force that can’t be argued with and that is just going to increase in speed as these glasses (Google Glass) come out.”

He reckons the internet will change to become more ingrained in our lives and devices and services will be more contextually aware – imagine having a conversation with a Siri that knows you rather than asking basic questions.

“It’s a crazy world we’re heading into where we are going to augment human performance and human experiences.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years