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Monday, July 1, 2013

Scobleization

Scobleization refers to being referred to by Robert Scoble. Robert Scoble is a well known blogger and is known to be quite influential.

He blogs at http://scobleizer.com/.

Read this section from a book "Return On Influence: The Revolutionary Power of Klout, Social Scoring, and Influence Marketing" which refers to Scobleization.


Quora had been Scobleized.

Robert Scoble probably exemplifies the power of social media to create Citizen Influencers better than any other human being on earth. Robert doesn’t just move his 200,000 Twitter followers, 5,000 YouTube subscribers, and 5,000 Facebook fans to action; he moves markets.

After attending journalism school, Scoble fed his lifelong love of photography by taking a job in a San Jose camera shop. As a young man, he moved though a number of professional communication and video production positions before accepting the job that ignited his celebrity. In 2003, he joined Microsoft as part of the MSDN video team, where he produced and starred in videos that showcased Microsoft employees and products.
His geeky intellect and easygoing style made him an effective interviewer, but the fact that he also frequently criticized his own employer and praised competitors such as Apple and Google elevated him to cult hero. In these early days of blogs and social media, Scoble influenced a generation of bloggers and set a social media cultural tone with his direct approach and transparent communication style. He was friendly and accessible, even to the point of publishing his cell phone number on his blog. Robert Scoble may have become the world’s first professional spokesblogger.

The Economist magazine described Scoble’s influence in a 2005 profile: “He has become a minor celebrity among geeks worldwide, who read his blog religiously. Impressively, he has also succeeded where small armies of more conventional public-relations types have been failing abjectly for years: he has made Microsoft, with its history of monopolistic bullying, appear marginally but noticeably less evil to the outside world, and especially to the independent software developers that are his core audience.”

In 2006 Scoble created a ripple in the technology industry when he left Microsoft. “Somebody leaked the story,” he said. “It started to spread like wildfire. The story was pushed and doubled and went viral, and within three days, I had 15 million media impressions that all came from that one leak. It hit CNN, Newsweek, and the New York Times. My career never had had any momentous steps really. It was more like the frog that is being boiled slowly! But when this happened, I thought, Wow, this is pretty cool, and I certainly realized something was going on. I knew it would be a big story but didn’t realize how big. I knew I was starting to get attention.”

He began a series of career moves that leveraged his popularity and, more important, his access. His fame as an intellect and technology pundit made him a highly sought-after speaker and panelist at the most prestigious conferences and an A-list invitee for anybody trying to get attention for a new technology or start-up. He was invited to private parties of the tech elite, Space Shuttle launches, and government think tanks.
Scoble’s ability to influence the behavior of his followers was probably never so well documented as in the events that occurred between December 26, 2010, and January 30, 2011. On a day when most people were enjoying holiday leftovers or shopping for postholiday sales, Robert wrote a blog post titled “Is Quora the Biggest Blogging Innovation in 10 Years?”

The post was a seven-point manifesto proclaiming Quora an improvement over blogging that incorporated the best elements of Twitter, Facebook, and social bookmarking sites. “I find that there’s something addictive about participating [on Quora] instead of here on my blog,” he wrote. “Why? Because when you see people voting up your answers or adding their own replies in real time it makes you realize there’s a good group of people reading your stuff. I don’t get that immediate rush here.”

The response was profound. One man, through one blog post, had created the equivalent of a social media gold rush. Quorawas the next big thing. A replacement for blogging. The place to see and be seen. The big buzz. Account registrations skyrocketed, servers sizzled, and within one week, the website’s traffic had increased by nearly 400 percent. (At the time, I didn’t see the big deal, which prompted one of my favorite blog post headlines: “Let’s Not Have a Quor-gasm.” This has nothing to do with the story. I just liked that headline. Thanks for obliging me. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.)

Robert’s experience, access, and insight put him in a position to anticipate the company’s success. “I probably get a lot more credit than I deserve,” he said. “I see myself as somebody who has talent in doubling pennies. If you double a penny every day for a month, you are going to end up with a million dollars at the end of the month. The thing is, while it’s true that most ofQuora’s growth happened in the three days after I published my article, I had put myself in front of that curve. I was watching things and saw that Quora was in that doubling mode, so when I finally jumped on board, it looked like I was responsible. Sure, I probably moved it along a little faster, but in a sense, I just jumped in front of the parade.”

Scoble proved he was at the top of his game. Quora was soaring. His influence was at its peak. And then, in a matter of days, the unthinkable happened.
Robert changed his mind.

In his blog post titled “Why I Was Wrong about Quora as a Blogging Service . . .” published just one month after the initial missive that had ignited the Quora epidemic, he wrote, “Turns out I was totally wrong. It’s a horrid service for blogging, where you want to put some personality into answers. It’s just fine for a QA site, but we already have lots of those and, in fact, the competitors in this space are starting to react.”
Traffic on Quora plummeted by more than 50 percent, nearly down to pre-Scobleized levels. Response to the about-face was harsh and swift, as typified by this entry on (where else?) Quora:
So Robert Scoble, it seems you don’t like the heat. In the bygone days of what feels like ten minutes ago, you, the ubiquitous tech evangelist, larger-than-life personality and blogger, couldn’t stop gushing about how great Quora was. Was Quora, you asked in the halcyon age of last December, the biggest blogging innovation in 10 years? Of course it was. Back in them days and throughout January, you could post answers to a wide range of questions and your ardent Twitter followers could up-vote them en masse and each up-vote and congratulatory comment could generate that awesome squirt of dopamine in your brain. Wasn’t it grand?
This was a lesson that our historic celebrity influencers know all too well. Simply being in the spotlight makes you a target. And being thrust into the new role of Citizen Influencer is no different.

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