I'm going out on a limb and trying something a bit radical.  Those of you who know me are well aware that my title is Developer Community Champion.  What you may not know is that is my public-facing title.  Internally at Microsoft, I am known as a Developer Evangelist.

According to Dictionary.com, an evangelist is "One who practices evangelism, especially a Protestant preacher or missionary."  Well, I'm neither a Protestant nor a missionary, but it's about time that I represented the evangelist part of who I am.  I regularly speak about developer productivity by leveraging .NET development tools and techniques.  Now I want you to help me spread the word about our FREE MSDN Events through a fun and educational experiment.

The goal is to determine how well-connected the developer community in the United States actually is.  In our Q4 (April-June), we have 28 of the 50 states (and Washington D.C.) covered with visits from our team of Developer Community Champions.  I want to see who can most rapidly "spread the word" about the events in all 28 states and Washington D.C.  To that end, I have created an email template, attached, that you may utilize.  It contains all of the details, but here's the gist:

1) Download the email template (see below - Geography experiment.msg).

2) Add your first name, city, state, job title and relation to the previous sender.  If you are originating the email, enter "Originator".
e.g. Jacob, Chicago, IL, Developer Community Champion, Originator.

3) Choose a state from the list of MSDN Events that does not yet have a signature in your email thread.

4) Email the email to a developer that you know within one of the cities being visited by MSDN Events in the state you have selected.  If you are not familiar with a city, check out Local Live to map out where your friend lives or works and verify that it is in close proximity to the MSDN Event (let's say 20 miles).  Make sure that you leave me BCC'ed, so I can verify your email address and send you the prize if your social network wins.

5) Your friend will receive the email, enter their basic data, including how they know you (for privacy verification purposes) and continue the process.

6) The first email to be returned to me (jacob.cynamon@microsoft.com) with "signatures" representing all 28 states will be rewarded.  As this is a geography lesson, the first recipient in each represented city will receive a copy of Microsoft Streets and Trips 2006 and the original sender will be rewarded with a copy of Streets and Trips 2006 w/ GPS.

The fine print:  See Microsoft.com for the standard contest rules.  All prize winners must be US residents over 18 years of age.  Only the first email returned to my email address with all 28 states and Washington D.C. represented in valid signatures (i.e. complete) will win the prizes.  Contest ends after the receipt of the first "complete" email or on June 30, 2006 at Midnight, whichever comes first.  The list of winners, if any, will be posted to my blog, sans personally identifying information (e.g. only first name, city, state, and job title will be made available).  Email addresses will only be utilized for the sake of the contest and prize eligibility verification.