Lyle Frink

19 January 2011

avast! evangelists go to the community

avast! evangelists have started speaking directly with community groups – in addition to their traditional activities at the User Forum - about security risks on the internet.

The first evangelist to take the avast! message outside of the Forum is Bob Gostischa, better known by his username of “bob3160”.

Bob spoke to 28 community groups in Arizona, with a total audience of over 1,200 people during December, giving examples of infected websites and describing current security issues facing web surfers.

“I am often clarifying what they have heard elsewhere,” says Bob. “It’s been a truly enjoyable to meet so many friendly and interested people – in person – and share with them why avast! Free Antivirus is such a vital part of their computers’ overall protection.”

The User Forum (forum.avast.com) is an integral part of the avast! community, a place where people gather online to discuss antivirus software, ask about malware, and help out newcomers. During December of 2010, there were 12,735 posts on 1,788 new topics. Evangelists are simply active Forum members with over 300 posts. Bob is one of the most active, with over 14,000 posts during the past six years.

The success of the avast! Evangelists, as a volunteer group of online helpers and brand ambassadors, resulted in a second idea: Could these individuals take their message about computer security offline to a much wider audience of community groups? The first evangelist to go outside of the Forum is Bob.

“Bob comes with an interesting personal story and a long history of helping others. So we just put him in touch with to community groups in the United States about online safety issues,” said Miroslav Jirku, brand manager at AVAST Software.

With computer experience going back to a Commodore VIC-20, Bob believes in giving simple, visual answers. Forced into an early retirement by health issues, the Forum – and now his presentations to community groups – have given him another way to help people. “I’ve been able to use some of the knowledge I’ve gained to try and help others,” he explains.

Helping others, for both Bob and his wife, has become their passion: “Neither of us should still be here. Hopefully we are making, in a small way, a difference in the lives of others.”

If you would like to organize a presentation for your association, hobby group or club, you can find more information here.