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Grumpy Opinion by stlgretchen (Co-editor of Missouri Education Watchdog)

A technology evangelist is a person who builds a critical mass of support for a given technology, and then establishes it as a technical standard in a market that is subject to network effects.[1] An evangelist promotes the use of a particular product or technology through talks, articles, blogging, user demonstrations, recorded demonstrations, or the creation of sample projects. The word evangelism is taken from the context of religious evangelism due to the similarity of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs with the intention of converting the recipient.


As with traditional religious evangelists, these technology evangelists possess similar fervor and strive to convince others that their products and services are the way to educational salvation. There are several types of technology evangelists who hawk their message to increase the use of their products or services:

Target areas

Platform evangelism is one target of technology evangelism, in which the vendor of a two-sided platformattempts to accelerate the production of complementary goods by independent developers. (e.g.,Facebook encourages developers to create games or develop mobile apps that can enhance users’ experiences with Facebook.)

Professional technology evangelists are often employed by firms seeking to establish their technologies as de facto standards.

Open-source evangelists operate independently. Evangelists also participate in defining open standards. Non-professional technology evangelists may act out of altruism or self-interest (e.g., to gain the benefits of early adoption or network effect).

History of term

The term “software evangelist” was coined by Mike Murray of Apple Computer‘s Macintosh computerdivision.[2] The first so-identified technology evangelist was Mike Boich — who promoted the Macintosh computer.[3] The job is often closely related to both sales and training, but requires specific technology marketing skills. For example, convincing a potential buyer or user to change from older methods to new ones. Technology evangelism is sometimes associated with an internal employee assigned to encourage new practices within an organization. The marketing aspect of the role was strongly influenced by Geoffrey Moore and his books concerning the technology adoption lifecycle.

Notable technology evangelists

Notable technology evangelists[citation needed] in the commercial arena include Steve Jobs (Apple Inc.), Vint Cerf (Google), Don Box, Guy Kawasaki, Alex St. John, Myriam Joire (Pebble), Dan Martin (MasterCard). Court records[4][5] indicate that James Plamondon was a leading theorist, strategist, and practitioner of technology evangelism at Microsoft during its establishment of Microsoft Windows as the de factostandard PC operating system.


Casap is a featured speaker at the Joint Commission of Education in Utah which began today. You can find the agenda here and access live streaming of the two day conference. It’s a presentation affirming the need and strategies for competency based education with these speakers and topics (excerpted from the first day’s agenda)

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