December 8, 2006
@ 04:59 PM

From Jon Udell's blog post entitled A conversation with Jon Udell about his new job with Microsoft he writes

Q: Your new job is with Microsoft?

A: That's right. My last day at InfoWorld will be Friday Dec 15. On Jan 15, after a month-long sabbatical, I'll become a Microsoft employee. My official title will be Evangelist, and I'll report to Jeff Sandquist. He's the leader of the team that creates Channel 9 and Channel 10, websites that feature blogs, videos, screencasts, and podcasts for Microsoft-oriented developers.

Q: What will your role be?

A: The details aren't nailed down, but in broad terms I've proposed to Microsoft that I continue to function pretty much as I do now. That means blogging, podcasting, and screencasting on topics that I think are interesting and important; it means doing the kinds of lightweight and agile R&D that I've always done; and it means brokering connections among people, software, information, and ideas -- again, as I've always done.

Q: Why are you doing this?

A: I'm often described as a leading-edge alpha geek, and that's fair. I am, and probably always will be, a member of that club. But I'm also increasingly interested in reaching out to the mainstream of society.

For those of us in the club, it's a golden age. With computers and networks and information systems we can invent new things almost as fast as we can think them up. But we're leaving a lot of folks behind. And I'm not just talking about the digital divide that separates the Internet haves from the have-nots. Even among the haves, the ideas and tools and methods that some of us take for granted haven't really put down roots in the mainstream.

I had dinner with Jon a couple of weeks ago when he came up to Microsoft for interviews and I was impressed with the plan he described for the future of his career. I was pretty sure that once anyone interviewing him spent even a few minutes talking to him they'd be convinced they'd found the right person for the job, even though the job was Jon's idea. I was honored that Jon contacted me to talk to me about his plans and have been on pins & needles wondering if the folks at Microsoft would hire him or not.

Congrats to Jeff Sandquist. First Rory, now Jon Udell. You're hiring all the right folks.


 

Sunday, December 10, 2006 1:38:21 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
When it comes to the question "Q: What will your role be?" he should've been straightforward and said 'zip, zero, zilch'. Dare you have to admit that evangelists do absolutely nothing. Their positions seem like they were created as an executive sidenote. Evangelists are a public relations blunder.
Rude Ted
Comments are closed.