Technology Evangelism, GNOTE, and Microsoft



As my first blog posting ever, I felt it appropriate to credit the "inauguration," if you will to my first post-graduation employer, Microsoft.  It funny working for "The Man" as many of my friends call it because there hasn't been a company to this date that has surpassed Microsoft's reputation of being cursed, hated, loved, scorned, despised, and admired IBM you know you love us.  So then why blog now?

For the record I hate blogging.  It seems self-serving, egomaniacal, and unintelligent honestly write a book. I'm doing it because I've been given the extraordinary tasking of "winning the hearts and minds" of the technology community.  Evangelism no not you Bob.   Cool job, hard task especially in today's climate of religious zealotry and hate, and I don't mean Christianity or Islam.  Whether you support Sun, Microsoft, IBM, Novell, Red Hat, Apple or are simply a staunch open-source advocate, evangelizing your platform was never done in the context of peace and prosperity.  It was always "my way or the highway."  From Microsoft's perspective, it's not hard to find an example of what this type of climate has lead to in terms of public perception.  One would only have to read the comments of popular tech blogs like Slashdot or Engadget to understand that people see us as the Borg -- Bill Gates "borgi-fied" is the icon resistance is futile.  That's why I am thrilled that my friend Anand "yes your hair looks great" Iyer and his cohorts counterparts in Silicon Valley have started GNOTE not Google Note, or Global Network of Technology Evangelists.

To pull an excerpt from their website,

"We [GNOTE] create an intimate, friendly environment in which evangelists can share expertise and maintain perspective on the entire technology industry, not just their specific niche. GNoTE is a knowledge society in which evangelists can access knowledge across the spectrum of our members' domains and expertise. We create opportunities for evangelists to leverage each other for mutual benefit, whether through joint speaking engagements or knowledge sharing." 

This is good for everyone including Microsoft for many reasons.  Today people in IT are either using Microsoft or they are using something else.  The two worlds are very different and people who live in them just don't understand the other.  As a former Apple employee man i love my iBook, people loved to hate Microsoft whether they understood the product or not (I was actually responsible for converting Windows users).  This lack of perspective has created false messaging and inaccurate representations causing public perception to be skewed about a lot of things...think ODF vs. Open XML  The end result of all of it is that customers suffer.  They suffer by not understanding that there are solutions to their problems.  They suffer by going with a solution for ideological reasons rather than clearly defined business value.  By introducing a network where technology evangelists can openly and positively talk with each other, the quality of of public information will increase dramatically.  It's my opinion that the more people understand Microsoft's story, the better the online community will see the the company.  --VT