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    OTN mission statement

    Dude!

      Reading https://community.oracle.com/docs/DOC-890454

       

      "The Oracle Technology Network's mission is to evangelise, advocate for, and expand the community of technologists who work with Oracle products and technologies to design, develop, and deploy technical solutions."

       

      evangelise = Convert or seek to convert (someone) to Christianity.

      evangelize: definition of evangelize in Oxford dictionary (American English)

       

      I could not find any other meaning, plus in combination with "mission" it has a religious touch, though I suppose there is no religious meaning. As far as I know, the Church has a mission to evangelise. I suppose religious aspects only matter to those who believe, but I wonder, considering what's happening in the world, perhaps the choice of words is somewhat unfortunate.

       

      Perhaps the mission statement could be changed to emphasize the challenge of using technology today and OTN providing a place where everybody is welcome to question and share experiences and knowledge working with Oracle products.

       

      Wouldn't this be a good idea?

        • 1. Re: OTN mission statement
          Dude!

          Meanwhile I found evangelize - Wiktionary, which offers a 3rd meaning:

           

          1. To tell people about (a particular branch of) Christianity, especially in order to convert them; to preach the gospel to.
          2. To preach the Quran and sunnah to non-Muslims; to do dawah
          3. To be enthusiastic about something, and to attempt to share that enthusiasm with others

           

          I have no doubt that the 3rd one describes the meaning or use of "to evengelise" in OTN's mission statement. Perhaps it sounds nitpicking or ridiculous, but still I think it would be reasonable to describe the mission using a different wording. After all it's a mission or vision statement, which should better be worded very carefully.

          • 2. Re: OTN mission statement
            EdStevens

            I think it is being way nit picky.  The third definition of "evangelize" is the commonly understood meaning when used outside of a religious context.  The term "mission" has always had a much broader understanding.  See Mission - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary.  While there are several references related to religious activity, it is clear that that particular usage is really just a specific use of the more general definition of "a task" or a "a body of persons sent to perform a service or carry on an activity: as a   :  a group sent to a foreign country to conduct diplomatic or political negotiations "


            Personally, I am a Christian and fully understand the religious usage of both words, but it has never occurred to me to apply the religious meaning when not used in a religious context.  I'll grant that that may be due to the fact that English is my native language and so I am much more aware of the variant meanings of terms than might someone who is less versed in English.  But even with that concession, I don't feel that changing the working of the statmenents is warranted.  To me (especially given the motivation) that just feels like 'dumbing down'.


            Certainly "vision statement" and "mission statement" do not come close to conveying the same meaning.  "Vision statement" says, "this is our hope, or our desire"   "Mission statement" says "this is what we will actively, purposely strive to do".

            • 3. Re: OTN mission statement
              Dude!

              The first time I heard "evangelism" in connection with technology probably goes back 15 years when reading about Guy Kawasaki, who was considered an Apple evangelist. And according to Criticism of Apple Inc. - Wikipedia, it's not far fetched as it refers to the Cult of Mac. Loyalty to Macintosh computers and Apple have been compared to religious belief.

               

              What contributes to my opinion about the term "evangelism" may stem from the Mac vs. PC debates. For what it's worth, I've always advocated for Apple because of its concepts and technical advantages, but never in a cult like fashion or reason.


              Point taken, English is not my native language. However, I think the term "evangelism" in combination with technology is not necessarily positive and it does not really matter about the point of view. I have no doubt that the person who created the OTN mission statement had the best intentions, but why risk it and use a term like "evangelism", or any other term that has the potential of a negative perception or interpretation. Especially Oracle, who is a global player.


               

              • 4. Re: OTN mission statement
                Timo Hahn

                Hm, I not a native speaker, but I don't follow your track of thinking here.

                Oracle has bigger problems here in the forum, then thinking about a statement which in my eyes is OK. The statement can be used to push Oracle into a direction where we, as we are a big part of the OTN, can do a good job in less time and afford to fulfill this goal.

                I do see some progress in this area, but there is plenty to do until I would call the whole OTN a tool or network to 'evangelise, advocate for, and expand the community of technologists who work with Oracle products and technologies to design, develop, and deploy technical solutions.' 

                 

                Timo

                • 5. Re: OTN mission statement
                  Dude!

                  According to my gut feeling and information I found so far, to evangelize for something is more than just showing enthusiasm. I find the use of the verb in combination with technology inappropriate.

                   

                  If anyone would call me an Oracle evangelist, or an evangelist of any other technology product, I would find that disparaging. Why? Because I would only advocate about a technology product based on experience, technical understanding, being aware of competitive products, and not based on cult or belief.

                   

                  Why bother with such a nuance like using "evangelize"?  Don't I have anything else to do and aren't there bigger issues to worry about? Many problems could be averted if people would generally pay more attention to details and worry less about the overall picture. Details are important. And speaking of OTN and the forum software, I think we would all benefit if Oracle, or more precisely Jive Software, would spent a little more time worrying about details than just the overall picture or greater vision.

                   

                  I don't mean to make a fuss about the OTN mission statement. Nothing will change from my perspective since I know better.  I don't mind to look silly. I just noticed the phrase and though someone should perhaps mention it. It's just about Oracle missing a possible opportunity.

                  • 6. Re: OTN mission statement
                    Dude!

                    I spent all afternoon reading about "technology evangelism" and it seems there has been a lot of adapting of the term that I was not aware off. Perhaps my wrong perception of "evangelism" was due to being an Apple and Oracle evangelist for many years in a large corporation that had an agenda to convert to a Microsoft shop.

                     

                    So I would like to revise my previous opinion about "technology evangelism". It does not have a negative attitude and my perception was wrong.

                     

                    Would I use "to evangelize" it in a missions statement? I would rather try to find an expression that is less IT specific and does not give as much room for a possible wrong interpretation or perception. It does not cost anything other than giving it some more thought. I'm not saying that Oracle didn't, but I guess there are not too many Apple evangelists working at Oracle.

                     

                    The term "software evangelist" was coined by Mike Murray of Apple Computer's Macintosh computer division. The first so-identified technology evangelist was Mike Boich, who promoted the Macintosh computer.

                    • 7. Re: OTN mission statement
                      EdStevens

                      I find the use of the verb in combination with technology inappropriate.


                      From that perspective I can better understand, and at least partially agree with where you are coming from.  Your initial post seemed, to me, to say that use of the word 'evangelize' would be perceived as being inherently tied to persuading people to convert to Christianity (or possibly Islam) and thus imply some sort of "hidden agenda". So my point was that no, the term has come to mean (rightly or wrongly) a broader concept. 

                      • 8. Re: OTN mission statement
                        Dude!

                        Google and common dictionaries show that "to evangelize" means to convert people to Christianity. It was clear to me that this most likely does not apply to Oracle. I also knew the term "evangelist" had to do with Apple Macintosh. But what concerned me was the religious concept, like seeing Oracle or OTN as a religion in a mission statement. However, I'm not saying that it necessarily isn't, at least for some people, but personally, I would reject that. But like I said, "technology evangelism" has a different meaning that I was apparently not fully aware of.

                        • 9. Re: OTN mission statement
                          Billy~Verreynne

                          Dude! wrote:

                           

                          I find the use of the verb in combination with technology inappropriate.

                           

                          I also dislike it. Because of its religious overtones. And has no place in technology. (just as I also dislike the word guru being used here).

                          • 10. Re: OTN mission statement
                            BluShadow

                            In fairness, when read in the context of the nature of the forums, it clearly means (and I read it myself to mean) being "enthusiastic".  I certainly didn't read anything religious into it.  I guess that's just a matter of people's personal perception.

                             

                            It's a phrase that has commony been used, even in Oracle magazine etc.

                             

                            Oracle Magazine Ask Tom Columns

                             

                            Tom Kyte is a database evangelist in Oracle’s Server Technologies division

                             

                            I'd say if people are perceiving it with religious overtones, that's just their own perception.  It certainly doesn't have to have any connection to religion, and there's no indication in the way it's been used here that it is intended to have any religious connection.

                            • 11. Re: OTN mission statement
                              Billy~Verreynne

                              The issue for me is using religious terminology. I realise that the term is used in a non-religious sense - no conversion to a specific religion is in anyway implied.

                               

                              But one cannot remove the religious roots of the term - where faith, and not truth, logic, reason, or fact, plays the predominant role. Which is why I detest this word in technology. You want to "preach and evangelise" a technology?  Expect me to pull my lead pipe.

                              • 12. Re: OTN mission statement
                                BluShadow

                                My point being that it's only 'religious terminology' if you perceive it that way.

                                Lots of words have been utilized by religions, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't use them in everyday speech or in relation to other things such as technology where appropriate.

                                 

                                If I say "I have faith in my testing team to identify any issues before we release the software" that's doesn't mean I'm religiously believing in them.

                                 

                                It's just nit picking to take a word out of context and complain about it.  That's how stupid "political correctness" has come about and people end up fearing about using certain words in case they offend someone.  In that case we should all just stop talking/writing.

                                • 13. Re: OTN mission statement
                                  BluShadow

                                  omg I just said "nit picking"... that could be offensive to paediatric nurses. 

                                  • 14. Re: OTN mission statement
                                    Billy~Verreynne

                                    BluShadow wrote:

                                     

                                    If I say "I have faith in my testing team to identify any issues before we release the software" that's doesn't mean I'm religiously believing in them.

                                    Perhaps not. But it does mean you do not have tangible and well designed test plan - as such a plan does not need faith to work. It simply needs to be implemented and adhered to.

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