Robert Scoble describes his role at Rackspace as “weird.”
“I’m like a strategist, only I do not bring my learnings back into the company. Instead I put them on YouTube.”
The technology evangelist, author, and video blogger, famous for his
influential blog Scobleizer, was hired by open-cloud company Rackspace
four years ago, after conducting a video interview with the
“Rackspace began to see that traditional advertising was not working
well and people liked doing business with a company where they knew
someone – for instance, I know Scott Monty at Ford because of social
Rackspace enlisted Scoble to create video interviews with technology
executives and innovative startups. On an average day, Scoble will
conduct one to three video interviews to post on both his and
Rackspace’s blogs, as well as Google+, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
As well as regularly speaking at events – most recently at Midem in
France and Startup Grind in the Silicon Valley – Scoble is co-authoring
his next book, set to publish in six months. Age of Context examines
the coming together of responsive wearable computing, social network
data, and technology to let companies build personalized products such
as the new Google Glasses.
Having held a range of communications roles, including technical
evangelist at Microsoft, Scoble has ridden the wave of change in the
He says PR professionals now have to “play a different game” because the way a message gets to consumers has changed.
“People in communications require new skills and have to be more
adept at technology,” he explains, saying there are more ways to be
filtered out and for incorrect information about a company to circulate
Despite this change, however, communications is “still a business of relationships,” he adds.
His golden rule for professionals is surprisingly old school: Make
lists of tech journalists and influencers on social networks. “I’ve
created a list of every tech journalist I need to find. I have been
watching them for years and know what they care about so I know how to
approach them,” he says. Building personal relationships is still
important in this era of digital media, he adds.
Scoble is always switched on. Following thousands of people on
Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Quora, and Techmeme across three
screens keeps Scoble up at night. That and chasing his kids.