Go Evangelism

    Keywords: Culture & History, Humour

From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: evan·ge·lism
Pronunciation: i-'van-j&-"li-z&m
Function: noun
1 : the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ
2 : militant or crusading zeal
- evan·ge·lis·tic  /-"van-j&-'lis-tik/ adjective
- evan·ge·lis·ti·cal·ly  /-ti-k(&-)lE/ adverb

Go Evangelism certainly doesn't fit the first definition above, but it comes close to the second one.

I think that the first definition is old and outdated. While that might have been the original definition, it is now too specific. It might be better worded like "the winning or revival of personal commitments to any cause", even commercial causes. For years now, in the software industry (at least in America) several people in the Marketing departments have the title of "Product Evangelist". I think a modern definition of evangelist is really a salesman, and evangelism would be the act of selling or persuading. And I don't think that these definitions stray to far from their original religious intent either.

My problem is, nobody seems to want to listen when I come at them with crusading zeal! Perhaps we need to press against a weak stone to attack a strong one (or in other words, crusading zeal is equivalent to coming on too strong).

  • What is the best way to go about Go Evangelism so people will listen?
  • What is the best way to bring Go into the community when starting from scratch?

I have the Crusading Zeal down pat, but not the community outreach.

tywin: Your best bet is to find a chess club that meets in a public place and start playing go nearby. When anyone asks, make snide remarks about the inferiority of chess, then hit them with the crusading zeal. If that doesn't work, then at least you got to bash some chess players :)

C.S. Graves: Don't know if that's the best way to win people over. I think one should focus on those who are open to new things, mostly young folk and more open-minded adults. Rather than sowing seed on fallow soil right away, why not go where the soil is rich? Maybe with enough success there, there'll be a "spillover" into areas previously barren. Not that I can boast any great degree of success myself, as my city is a fairly conservative one.

Zarlan: Yes, well the whole issue of this page is bad for spreading Go, but then, this is in the humour section for a reason...

I have started taking go books to chess tournaments, the next step is to take a goban and play through games. It does get people interested.

That's exactly how my father got interested in go, which quickly replaced his previous interest in chess. Of course, now he plays duplicate bridge. :) I like both. tb

Here are my suggestions for a serious guide to evangelism for go:

  • Stay positive. Never slag on someone else's fun. Doing so invites a conflict that you'll most likely lose.
  • Even as you're being positive, be careful of comparisons.
  • Let others know what you enjoy about go, and connect it to sensory experiences anyone can understand. "I love the rush of figuring out a complex position, it's the high point of my day sometimes" may be geeky sounding, but if you do it right, the passion comes across. Saying what go "is" (cool, better than chess, the best game ever, etc.) will not connect your passion to the game in a listener's mind.
  • Be presentable! I don't think we all have to wear suits, and looking natty may not do much to convince others we're onto something great. But looking like a slob is a sure-fire way to turn them off.
  • Listen! Give yourself 30 seconds to talk about the joy of go, then find out their reaction and see if they've heard what you said. Find out what they like, and don't immediately try to bring things back to go. This is just being friendly and fair in conversation, and it makes a much more positive impression.

I'd invite others to expand on this. My first impulse was to re-factor the page but I'm a relative newbie so that seemed impolite.


Go Evangelism last edited by JbBell on May 9, 2007 - 22:19
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