The Epic Video: Robert Scoble Rages Over Google Events Spam

Steve Gillmor says I somehow egged Robert Scoble on to this epic rant against Google on the Gillmor Gang on Friday. He’s wrong, though, I was just a spectator.

I may have said something like “Go Robert Go,” but that was after he was already running at full speed.

But this was all Google. I’ve known Scoble since 2005 and I’ve never seen him lose control like this before. But when you spam someone uncontrollably, like Google did, you can expect some anger.

No one ever got this angry at Facebook over privacy issues. If Google learns anything from this, it should be that. People hate unstoppable spam more than they hate giving up privacy, or most other things.

Or, as Scoble says:

They started pushing hundreds of shit on my calendar…They spammed the shit out of my calendar, who the fuck thought that they had access to my calendar, to put shit on my calendar. That’s my calendar, don’t touch it…straight on the fucking calendar. That pissed me off…Google is a loser in social…This is bullshit!

Only, you have to hear him to really appreciate how angry he really is.


Here’s Robert ranting on Google+ directly before the show, in a much more restrained way.

55 thoughts on “The Epic Video: Robert Scoble Rages Over Google Events Spam

  1. Waqas Ali says:

    Oh WOW!
    He is also trying to answer that Google never paid me to praise Google+ everywhere.

    On the other hand, Google is trying its best to build a social network around its set (utility) tools.

  2. Next he’ll be replacing Jim Cramer on Mad Money.

  3. Michael Arrington says:

    I can’t stop watching this video.

  4. Ryan says:

    Pretty much the same shit they are doing to Google Local

  5. Stephen Simpson says:

    Although I haven’t run into this particular issue, I understand why Scoble is pissed. Google just doesn’t listen to users on this kind of stuff, and there’s no one official to complain to when something goes wrong with a product like Google+. What are you supposed to do… light yourself on fire outside Google HQ in Mountain View like some TIbetan monk?

  6. Mr Scoble has an ego issue. We’re all human, including the engineers who worked hard to implement Events. He should show some better respect. If i were working at Google i’d never let him go near my team with his camera.

    • Michael Arrington says:

      …or…those engineers should have some respect for their users.

      • Tal Hoffman says:

        Yeah but you have to admit he overreacted

      • JimS says:

        Michael – true. Respecting the user is key, but FB has shown users, for some reason, like putting up with some amount of abuse. Though, for Google to piss off Scobble, one of their biggest champions, is pretty amusing.

      • I can’t believe the ignorance of people commenting about Google here. Look, mistakes happen. Heck, maybe this wasn’t even a mistake. I liked the features the moment it came out. I don’t mind seeing those invites in my calendar just like I see invites from business meetings or other events. Google launched this in a very lean startup sort of way. They’ll now iterate. I imagine that 95% of the people using it are happy with it. If Scoble leaves, who cares. Other than the fact that he is lazy with his analysis and has a huge following, his value as a user is just like any other user. If anything, I’m happy that Google focuses on the masses and not just catering to the popular users like Scoble. I understand the significance of pushing events onto people’s calendars, but for most users that only results in a few items not dozens. This wasn’t an oversight, it was a product that was rushed and now they’ll iterate. That’s the difference between a company like Google and Apple. Google pushes stuff out the door very very fast and Apple refines it to what they think is perfection before launch. Their success rate is about the same, but Google just moves much faster because they aren’t afraid of offending a few users.

        • lauridqe says:

          You’d think an expert-specialist of any kind actually has meetings to attend, and things to do. You see, when those get lost in a cloud of stupid shit, you miss them. Gingerbread has done that to me from day #1. For some of us, it means anything from hundreds to millions of dollars lost. For you? Meh. Maybe a lost episode of Bob Square Pants?
          BTW, thank you so much for exposing your compass, I’ll make sure to never give any sort of information to your website,

          Oh, the Internets’ ninja-jedi-turtles of the world. Why couldn’t it be them? Why did it have to be Lonesome George?

  7. Meh says:

    Someone needs to “remix” this video a tad. It’d be even more fucking epic! I wonder if this will stop Robert from posting G+ links over on FB ?

  8. adamrsweet says:

    reposted on G+ I like the ringtone. I want one that says “google sucks at social”

  9. moxy says:

    Why should he sugar coat it? He’s right! I’m a fan of passion. Sometimes I don’t agree with Sir Scoble, but in this case he’s right on the money. I respect his passion, even when he’s wrong.

  10. zato says:

    LOL – impressive rant, Mister Scoble!

  11. So if Scoble thinks G+ is dead…. it really is dead.

  12. I like this new Angry Scoble, entertaining while calling BS what it is. Look out Angry Bird.

  13. that’s ironic…..Scoble is talking about spamming a service …. not like he was not doing the same thing on every single service out there ….

  14. Someone needs to make a Hitler rant video about this topic. I give it two days.

  15. Laureana says:

    I have an Android phone. The main reason why I got a smartphone (I actually did without cellphones for like 18months, wheee!) was the whole easy calendar feature. Lo and behold, Android pushes facebook events into the fucking calendar. When I say “facebook events” I mean any stupid event any stupid “friend” ever invited you. Even if you refuse the invitation, it’s still in the fucking calendar. Birthdays, everything, all the things I’ve never meant to have there. Mixed with the Google calendar events. That means I cannot use the fucking phone calendar as I meant to.
    I was super angry at it for like, the first two months. Now i got a gorgeous Moleskine XL. paper is better anyways.

  16. Charles green says:

    Oh my, my

  17. Jebb Dykstra says:

    Only person to ever love Google+ just went nuclear against. Larry Page and team have a problem of epic f*ing proportions. Zuckerberg must be doubled over in laughter right now.

  18. kosso says:

    Beautiful. I love you.

  19. kosso says:

    I have some dried bacon.

  20. Anders Borg says:

    “That’s my calendar”

    No it’s not. It’s Google’s. Did you pay for it? I figure not.

    It’s surprising how naive intelligent/experienced people are about Web services.

    You are not the customer. Advertisers are.

    • JP says:

      Exactly my thought. Scoble should know better, no?
      And Microsoft is laughing all the way to the bank. Exchange FTW.

  21. ThomasB says:

    Push notifications are a major annoyance on all platforms IMHO. I’m always having to go into settings on my iPhone to turn notofications off.

  22. “Going Postal” has now been superseded by “Going Scobble”

  23. Nicole Simon says:

    To put things in perceptive: Robert has 1,8 million followers on g+ meaning if they all got crazy over the invite system that is hundreds maybe even thousands of events and reminders. Those 5 min to take care of it other people mentions? Piece of cake if you just have a handful.

    I am a gmail user since 2004 and I live in the google verse. I set my clients up with this if they want or not. But even that much of a fan girl I insist on you using your brain when you unleash such things to such a scale. Make it an option. Notify me. Ask me. Anybody capable of testing should have come up with exactly what is saying there.

    The moment the first event hit my inbox i went mentally uh oh – this is going to be bad.
    Hint: I am not that clever. You are just that negligible.

  24. Bryan Otis says:

    Overriding issue here isn’t who owns Robert’s calendar, but who has the authority to write to the main tool that Robert uses to contextualize his time.

    Robert not an outlier either, just further along in the adoption process than soccer mom’s… for now. But “authority” issue will be a key issue of Personal Digital Calendar adoption over the next several years.

  25. Andrew says:

    Isn’t that guy just some sort of media/drama queen?
    This brought him another batch of attention.

  26. Taggard Andrews says:

    He does realize that if you go to “Calendar > Settings > Automatically add invitations to my calendar > No, only show invitations to which I have responded”, all that “spam” goes away, right?

    And he does realize that it isn’t Google+ spamming him, right? It’s people he has in his very own Circles. If you don’t want people to invite you to stuff, don’t follow them. If you want them to follow you, but don’t want it to appear in your calendar, click a few buttons.

    • Pete Austin says:

      You do realize that those options weren’t there when Scoble signed up, don’t you? Unless he checks every Social Network config every day – which maybe you do, but nobody else in the world – the first Scoble would know about this bug is when his calendar filled with crap and became unuseable, leaving him unable to do his job. Completely understand why he was so angry.

  27. This is why google+ might destined to be the next my space, and Facebook its just being a Facebook one big giant social network

  28. I think some people (Scoble) should consider spending more time relaxing offline.

  29. Blublers says:

    Is there a GIF on this yet?

  30. omg – this is hilarious – he is practically crying. Robert doesn’t like what Google did with his calendar – the world as we know it is over. This will be the third of forth time one of Google’s “official celebrities” (suggested user’s list) has gone off the rails. Recall that he made a huge dramatic show of how he wanted to be removed from that list, then quietly put himself back on a few weeks later with a backdoor deal with Google.

    Just a few months ago I was floored when he publicly called for Google to suppress their usage data because that would “help the competition”. Have you ever heard a journalist call for a corporation to suppress information? That is not a journalist, it is a fanboy. Now we are seeing a wild swing in the other direction “Google is a loser in social”.

    Meanwhile the rest of us normal users are chugging along. There are things we don’t like about the Google+, and there are things we like. We are making new friends, being entertained and even occasionally doing some business there. I just scored passes to ComicCon from someone I met there, so at the moment I am a happy camper.

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