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April 17, 2006 at 1:19 PM

Microsoft blogger Scoble reins it in

Microsoft point-blogger Robert Scoble resurfaced over the weekend, midway through a vacation from blogging. Scoble had parked his keyboard after a few turbulent weeks when he was, among other things, thrashed by Amazon’s chief technical officer.

Scoble announced Saturday that he’s taking a new approach that could ruffle the feathers of blogging purists – he’s moderating comments, ending the free for all aspect of his Scobleizer blog.

“This is a huge change for me,” he wrote. “I wanted a free speech area, but after having a week off I realize that I need to make a change. That, I’m sure, will lead to attacks of “censorship” and all that hooey. Too bad. I’m instituting a “family room” rule here. If I don’t like it, it gets deleted and deleted without warning — just the same as if you said something abusive in my family room I’d kick you out of my house. If you don’t like that new rule, there are plenty of other places on the Internet to write your thoughts.”

It’s an interesting shift, since Scoble was put forward as a sign that Microsoft is hip to the freewheeling ways of the blogosphere.

Could Microsoft be reining Scoble in? The change came after he had dinner with an executive from one of Microsoft’s blog-savvy PR firms. But the bigger issue seems to be that Scoble is reining himself in, after undergoing a system refresh during his break.

Moderating comments seems like a minor change compared to the rest of the new regimen he outlined Saturday: dropping coffee and soda, exercising, staying away from “unhappy people” and getting “balance back in my own life.”

While Scoble’s taking the rest of his break this week, Bubba Mararka, lead program manager at Windows Live search, is filling in at Scobelizer. With a name like Bubba Murarka, they had to give the guy a higher profile.

Comments | Topics: Microsoft, Web

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