It's very uncommon for me to get through a day without being asked what my official title ('Developer Evangelist') actually means. I typically ask people what they think the title means in return, and I get a lot of different answers. And typically in about a minute, we reach a middle-ground of understanding about what I do, with both of us mostly just guessing. In reality, I can't really describe what I do really well. The title that comes closest to describing what I do is the title 'Technical Marketing Person'. But I'm not a marketer, and I'm hardly a person 😉
What is GNoTE?
So, a few of us got together a few months back, because we realized that more justice can be done to this title. More people ought to know what we do, and we can do a much better job of 'evangelizing evangelism'. So, we spoke about how to
- foster the concept of evangelism and the title 'evangelist' broadly in the industry and academia,
- share best practices and teach each other about what works well,
- network with each other, because evangelism is all about networking, and,
- be agnostic when it comes to specific technologies - this is what helps us be credible with people we meet; when I talk to people today, we don't just talk about Microsoft stuff.
Soon after, we met with Guy Kawasaki, the world's first technology evangelist to see what he thought. He loved it. He really did. And he agreed to be an advisor to a group we'd form, called 'GNoTE' - Global Network of Technology Evangelists.
This is the first group of its kind. We're a child organization of 'SDForum'.
What is GNoTECon?
We've formed the group, and to kick things off, we're holding 'GNoTECon' on 12/4/2006. We've got the best evangelists and speakers across the board to help us launch GNoTE. This is the beginning of new things...
Why should I care?
If you're an evangelist...
This group is going to be your channel to network with your peers from other companies. Guy, Scoble and others have had tremendous success in being evangelists, and we can learn from them to be better at what we do.
If you're not an evangelist...
I meet a lot people who're just as enthusiastic about technology as I am. I know many people who carry around their laptops, just so that they can demonstrate their findings to people. I know a lot of you are like that. Since the economy seems to be "turning around", I'm also meeting with a lot of startups here in the Valley who want to 'cultivate mindshare' and sell their idea before they sell their product.
So, if you don't carry the title in your business card, but you want to learn about how to
- present and communicate effectively in 1-1 or 1-many scenarios, or,
- learn about technical marketing, or,
- sell the dream
then GNoTE's for you.
We really don't have any hard and fast rules about who this is for - GNoTE's for you if you're in technology (or not), if you're a business decision maker (or not), or if you're just someone who's trying to connect with influentials in your geography (or not).
Where do I see GNoTE in 'x' years?
This is a question I get a lot. We have a few things on our agenda, but primarily, we want to evangelize evangelism. Soon enough we want recruiters on campuses recruiting for evangelists. We want to be able to tell people our titles, and for people to understand what we do. We want evangelists to be able to network locally in their geographies to be good corporate citizens in their communities. We're really optimistic, but is there a better way to start up an organization?
In the next few months, we'll be convening regularly, inviting speakers from around the world to have them share their perspective of evangelism, and what they've done to be successful. In 8-12 months, GNoTECon will return, with a bang.
What do I do next? Where do I sign up?
- Attend GNoTECon. You'll know everything about everything there. Seriously. Sign up now!
- Join our group.
- Spread the word for us. Tell people about GNoTECon. For every person that you refer to GNoTECon, I'll get you a thin mint. Or a shot of fernet. You choose 😉
- Sponsorships - we're an NPO (non-profit organization) housed under SDForum. If you'd like to sponsor us or our event, don't hesitate. Just shoot me an email.
Questions? Feedback? Comments?
That's that for now. I can't wait to see you at GNoTECon.
Welcome to the beginning...