In defence of, and wishes for, Channel9

It’s was the new Channel9 in one corner and old Channel9 in the other.

While looking for mix07 rumours I came across this very public personality battle between Robert Scoble and Rory Blyth. It runs through posts and responses over several pages, and happened at the end of March.

Robert is the former figurehead of Microsoft’s Channel9 team. Rory was brought on some time after Robert left.

While some misunderstanding seems to have got this started, it just carries on pointlessly.

Robert was the face (or laugh) synonyms with Channel9. He has a nervous disposition at times and yet can seem bullish and arrogant at others with a suitable ego. These are things that he has absolutely said about himself, and the fact that he will say them often is part of the personality he presents. These are also attributes that are associated with one variety of stereotypical geek IMHO. People like him, as do I.

Rory seems like a good non-Robert-like replacement with a fresh attitude on video. He made some very accurate comments in analysing Robert’s responses during the argument. His mastery of Robert’s personality will likely not change Robert of course. I like Rory too, but he’s now more of an ensemble cast with Charles Torre and Tim Sneath (who is great, but then again he’s British :-P). But then I haven’t had much time for Robert’s new PodTech videos either.

I think Channel9 is not as good since around the time of Robert’s departure. This may be a coincidence. I think there was some dilution that occured with the start of Ten as well. It certainly made me feel like there was too much to keep up with.

I think therefore that the real loser in this public battle was Channel9. It provides access to information for developers (perhaps without as much of a disclaimer as it should for potential feature/product vapourware/delay) that they unfortunately can’t easily find through the regular MSDN channel.

My wish is that Robert will not boast about knowing things about Microsoft that others outside of Microsoft don’t know and that Rory and the other Niners will provide a great service at Channel9 while integrating its content more fully into MSDN.

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