I was recently questioned on twitter about the way I described former TV anchor and reporter Tom Tucker in this post.

I referred to him as a social media enthusiast and evangelist. I’ll tell you right now that I simply copied that from his bio and quite honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with that.

I had also spoken with him at length before we recorded this podcast, and he talked about his blog and his history of pushing hard for social media with his employers and his excitement about his new endeavor, Talk Social Media.

It is not his full-time job and does not yet pay the bills, (he’s a corporate trainer by day) but he is passionate as most of us are, and it may pay them one day, if he’s lucky. But someone on twitter wanted to know more, and that’s okay too.

Here’s the @reply:

@communitygirl How can you call Tucker a social media enthusiast and evangelist when he’s only tweeted 7 times since Feb. 2008? Where else?

Now, I don’t think that having only seven tweets in a year disqualifies you from being a social media evangelist. Perhaps it is an account that you decided not to use, or maybe you didn’t “get” twitter at first, much like I didn’t. Maybe you’re active on many other SM platforms. The possibilities are many.

I do recognize that this person only wanted to know more and I did oblige, because that’s what we do on twitter. But it got me thinking.

When can one claim this title without bringing criticism their way? Is it after 500 tweets, 1,000 followers, 2,500 Facebook friends, 348 blogposts? What? Maybe it’s once you’ve explained twitter to 134 people and got your mom active on Friendfeed and Flickr and convinced your company to start a corporate blog.

Here are the definitions of evangelist on dictionary.com:

e⋅van⋅ge⋅list

–noun

1. a Protestant minister or layperson who serves as an itinerant or special preacher, esp. a revivalist.
2. a preacher of the gospel.
3. (initial capital letter) any of the writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) of the four Gospels.
4. (in the primitive church) a person who first brought the gospel to a city or region.
5. (initial capital letter) Mormon Church. a patriarch.
6. a person marked by evangelical enthusiasm for or support of any cause.

So, if we go with those definitions, evangelism can be all word-of-mouth. We can argue that you have to practice to be able to speak about anything with authority and I buy that to a certain extent. But you can also dabble, understand the benefits and spread the word.

Think about it. Aren’t we all evangelists of some sort?

I am a Coach Purse evangelist, a Little Gym evangelist, a lasagna evangelist and a Arm & Hammer Carpet Cleaner evangelist. I am also a PTA evangelist, a Lexus evangelist (don’t have one but I love them and I will get one some day) and an outlet mall evangelist. You could also consider me a Desperate Housewives and Mott’s Applesauce evangelist as well and I don’t think anyone is going to ask me how many bowls of applesauce I’ve eaten to clarify my status as an evangelist.

You may be laughing but it’s true. Anyone can evangelize. Yes, there should be some experience to back it up, but who’s to say how much or how little?

What are your thoughts?

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