Feeds

Microsoft blogger: 'My toolbar vanished too!'

The Scoble Email

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

"What a tangled web we weave - when we practice to deceive" - Walter Scott

How do you turn a bug in a limited-circulation beta used by just a few thousand people into a full-blown PR crisis that entertains millions?

Simple. You just hand a keyboard to Robert Scoble.

The news that some users noticed their Google and Yahoo! toolbars vanish in IE7 soon reached the "celebrity blogger" in Microsoft's marketing department yesterday - and he flew into action. He began to paint a picture that grew more confusing and contradictory as the day turned to night.

At first Scoble confirmed there were problems with "older versions of Yahoo". "Yahoo's version 5.6 had an issue but the current version (6.1.1) is working fine," he wrote on his weblog.

But he soon contradicted that in comments later in the evening.

"We have not seen any problems yet. But we're only a few testers working afterhours here," he wrote at 10:24PM yesterday in between repeated attacks on the integrity of the media.

He was on a roll.

This morning he was even more emphatic.

"We have not seen any issues with the latest Google or Yahoo toolbar on IE 7 beta 1. Can I say that clearly enough?" he wrote [7/29/05; 1:24:07 PM] in the comments section of his blog.

And on his weblog frontpage, Scoble wrote:

"I never saw the problem that Andrew said I had. I don't have any problems with either Yahoo or Google's toolbars on my machines. Your mileage may vary. I have no idea what Andrew's talking about."

Perhaps we can jog his memory.

A reader has stepped forward to volunteer this email. We've removed his name. It was sent yesterday evening Pacific Time, and this morning our source gave us permission to use it.

Subject: RE: IE7 nukes Google, Yahoo! search

Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 17:31:42 -0700

From: "Robert Scoble" <rscoble@microsoft.com>

To: [zapped]

Yup, trying to find out what's up on that one. It did it for me too. Wiped them out.

Robert

Oops.

Much has been made of blogger ethics, with conferences set up to discuss the legal implications of corporate blogging, charters and codes of conduct drawn up, and even honor tags suggested. But one ethic should hardly need to be spelled out.

You try and tell the truth.

Is this the end of the road for Scoble's Redmond adventure? Will professionals handle these situations from now on? The fellow seems to have no shortage of enemies on the campus, ranging from PR staff to technical liaisons, and this gives them plenty more ammunition. It's not the first time Scoble's indiscretions have got his colleagues into trouble. Or even the second. Bullying small web publications, while maintaining an elaborate fiction, is a new step for the blogger however, and in our experience Microsoft's PR professionals have never resorted to bullying.

Perhaps the humane solution to the gaffe-prone Scoble - one involving reels and reels of duct tape - will suffice. ®

Update

Robert Scoble emailed us on October 25. Scoble said “Andy Orlowski…printed an email that he claims came from my hand, but didn't”. Scoble also said he was not contacted about this story: “Andy never checked with me to see if I, indeed, did write that email.” We are happy to print his comments.

Related stories

IE7 nukes Google, Yahoo! search
Reboot daily, Tablet users advised
Booze blamed for MS staff's 'foggy' blogging hoax

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.