Evangelism: An Emotional Bond.
In the past few weeks, a few things have risen to the top of a lot of agendas, emotion. An emotional bond with something is hard to discuss out loud, as at times most don't know they have an emotional bond or chose to ignore it, brush it aside as being melodramatic.
Software is something i would of thought doesn't create a bond of this kind. As well, it's not real per say and it's something you horde and use to interact with. Yet, it has to on the flip side of this connect with you on an emotional level, as this is what you want the most.
User Experience is many things, I'm not the messiah of all that which is UX but I know what I like, and what I don't. If I use software that has poor User Experience, it doesn't inspire yet if it has great user experience - it not only inspires but gives me a sensation of being "proud" if you will.
Games are the ultimate emotional connection to software, in that when you load up a game of choice, you immerse yourself in the experience and I'm sure there a line of psychologists whom will tell you why this is so, but in the end you become a fan. You look forward to getting home and playing a game when you first get it (well I used to) and you tell others about it.
That's something I always enjoyed about games, the emotional bond you establish with it (until it gets boring and you cast it aside). Lately, I've noticed this concept cross over to brands and into mainstream software. I see it a lot, sometimes in compete situations, internally (yes we have folks whom at times need to push away from the kool-aid for awhile) and externally.
I hate all brands. Always have, and I blame a book called "Jennifer Government" as for me it illustrated just how silly we can get with brand wars (although it's fictional, there are elements of non-fiction within).
I'm quite clinical about technology and software yet I love my iMac and if you asked why, I'd struggle to define why. I enjoy RIA as a concept, and believe it goes beyond both Microsoft or Adobe, it for me is where software should of always been.
In the end, this emotional bond needs to be disconnected sooner the better. As it blinds you to what your potential could be and limits you're ability to adapt. I love my iMac, but it serves me no productivity gain, and thus I have this sick feeling "I just dumped $3k for a computer I can't even play my favorite game on".
Immediately I expect some Apple fan to refute this and argue the point until they are blue in the face. Yet, why? why do you give a crap whether I turn my Apple on day in day out? what does it serve for me to have this happen?
Why do you give a crap I enjoy using Silverlight over Flash? Why do I dislike Adobe's marketing and attitude towards their own products, yet enjoy using them as well as Microsoft's.
Figure this out, and you have the software industry locked up. Evangelism is about talking to others about passion(s) you share. That's it.