My thanks to the Rev. Jennifer McKenzie of The Reverend Mother blog for alerting me to this insightful posting over at Headrush. The author is a software developer, but what he is talking about can easily be applied to the issue of evangelism.
If we believe in something, and we want others to share what we know can be a fun/meaningful experience, whether it’s getting involved in our open source project, or joining our cause, or–yes–buying our book or software–we need to get past our “go kill yourself now” thing. If framing it with a new word/phrase helps, perhaps that’s a better approach than trying to give the word “marketing” a massive makeover.
Remember — when people are passionate about something, and in a state of flow–and you have contributed to that by helping users/members learn and grow and kick ass–these are some of the happiest moments in their lives. Trying to promote more of that is something we should feel wonderful about, not guilty.