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January 4, 2006

Microsoft Removes A Chinese Blogger

There’s been a lot of discussion about the issue of Microsoft pulling down the content and then blog of a Chinese blogger. According to Microsoft’s leading blogger, Robert Scoble, the company has to comply with its contracts. That might be true, but Robert you’re allowed to disagree with the company, and you did initially.

Either way you look at this Microsoft loses, it’s either a matter of Microsoft losing business in China, or getting bad PR and maybe losing some business in the US through the bad press. Microsoft may be merely complying with contracts, or they might be taking a gamble that they are more likely to lose business in China than the US.

Due to Robert Scoble’s second post, where he does not explain the exact reasons for his change in opinion, the company seems to be losing twice, once for pulling the blog in China and twice for Robert throwing cold water on his earlier statements without revealing more facts.

This is a lesson for bloggers that getting all of your facts straight before you post is important. Or does this go against the idea of speaking straight from the hip in blogging culture? I think that when you are working for a company and attempting to follow blogging policies its not unreasonable to check with internal sources initially. You can still post something that mentions you are researching and looking for facts, but don’t state your opinion right away. Or maybe that’s why we like Robert, he is not so careful, more human, he has definitely changed quite a few customer opinions about Microsoft.

Posted by johncass at January 4, 2006 3:53 PM

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John-- Thanks for your answer. I'd be surprised that a guy like Scoble couldn't get an answer from any Microsoft employee within a half-hour.

Also, bear in mind that Scoble went through this about-face on the very same issue (MSN/China) back in June.

I don't look to Scoble to make an opinion on Microsoft. I look for clean API and good documentation.

Posted by: Jon Garfunkel at January 4, 2006 11:22 PM

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