Community Evangelism: Tools & Techniques
Anil Dash, Vice President of Professional Products, Six Apart, Ltd. 
Deborah Schultz 

Track: Marketing and Community
Web 2.0 is people! Find out how new tools like blogging, podcasting, and videoblogging (a.k.a. vlogging) are helping companies communicate with their fans and customers. Learn how to enable your community to talk to each other, and discover the untapped evangelists who may already be cheerleading for your products and services.

Quote of the talk:

“Ask forgiveness not permission”
Anil Dash

Persistence and Awareness are keys to maintaining relevance over time


• Is about the meaningful touch: like Googling someone.
• Time: over time blogs give us opp to go back and look at info. They allow for the emotional need / tangible to hold on to something.
• The OLD WAY is wayfinding. For example, IKEA creates control in its store design. That is not how the web works.
• “A date stamp is a social contract” – permalink
• “I will stay in touch” – key to passionate work being seen; products u are building – is staying in touch

Some questions:
Can memory exist in a web-centered transitory world?
Only if you create meaning and stay in touch will memory for your product/service be realized


• We need a better filter system. The current tools of email, voice mail encourage us to be RUDE.
• Tivo offers u control that is what makes them different – not beholden to schedules.
• iPod – control
• Wii – physical level of control

A success story:
the use of a standard icon for RSS – adoption proves awareness of what RSS is and needs to be for everyone can happen using the community

In summation:
There is a fundamental relationship between persistence and awareness on the web. If you use the tools (blogs/forums/wikis/etc) to stay
connected and meaningful to your audience you can build relationships that materialize over time.

What is an evangelist?

• An evangelist is a cross-functional team player. He or she works with everyone.
• An evangelist is also a Fan and Critic.
• He or she forges relationships.

So…how do u make money while connecting others?

• Employ models that work for your company.
TRY/TEST/ITERATE should be your hallmark quote.

• “Jump into the conversation” with customers

In short, the evangelist is:
A Connector and Curator of content. He or she knows when to how to approach and jump into the conversation.

Keys to meaningful relationships:

• Be where your audience is. The important influencers are here; translate this into biz requirements.
• Offer something of value
• Use what you got; talk about the conversations show them. Transparency = Authenticity

Remember this: As an evangelist you are being constructive. You are raising issues and not ordering change.

Tools of the Evangelist

• Blogs
• Forums
• Wikis
• VLogs
• Podcasts
• RSS Feed Readers, etc. etc.

There are a lot of tools you can use. The thing to do is aggregate the data you need using them.
You want to be able to capture a snapshot of what’s going on in the ecosystem.

Avenues for Help
Use transparency – go here for help; if someone is ranting recognize this and don’t overreact.

How do you keep up with the feedback?
• Don’t always react – take a break (24 hours)
• Archive makes it easier to find in the future; info is not lost
• Highlight internal success stories