Tom Forenski has a scoop that Robert Scoble, the famed A-list blogger and Microsoft employee, is leaving Mr. Softee for a job with PodTech.net. If the scoop is true, it's interesting on a lot of levels.
1) For Scoble, it sounds like an exciting and interesting opportunity but one can't help but wonder how on Earth Microsoft couldn't have blown PodTech.net out of the water with a matching offer if they were serious about retaining him.
2) If Scoble does, in fact, leave Microsoft, will he actively continue to speak about the company? If not, how will that alter (i.e., diminish) his readership? If he DOES, will he be able to offer even more candor on Microsoft than he has the last few years?
3) For the broader blogosphere, I hope this isn't a setback for enterprise blogging. Scoble was a beacon for the power of blogging within a large enterprise. He started as an irritant with little internal support and built himself into one of Microsoft's most public influencers and outbound voices. We've got a LOT further to go in terms of people being encouraged to blog within large companies and having an A-lister at one of THE biggest companies leave for a startup sends a tenuous message to potential independent voices within large companies everywhere.
Update (6/11/06): Scoble has chimed in. He seems to want to clear the air now that this story has gone in a lot of directions. The bottom line is, a) yes, he's leaving, b) he's happy at Microsoft and still thinks they're the best big company in the country and c) he's not quite ready to talk about this move in detail yet.
Note: At the time of this writing I, and/or funds I maintain discretionary control over, maintained a long equity position in MSFT.