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Apple icon shuts down EvangeList

With Apple's reputation on the mend and its bottom line back in black, one of the company's most vocal supporters, Guy Kawasaki, officially closes down the EvangeList mailing list.

With Apple Computer's reputation on the mend and its bottom line back in black, one of the company's most vocal supporters has officially closed a grassroots mailing list that had served as a rallying point for the Macintosh faithful.

Guy Kawasaki, the self-described evangelist who gained both fame and notoriety promoting all things Apple, said in a final letter to subscribers that his "EvangeList" is no more. The list, which Kawasaki said had 40,000 subscribers, was a victim of Apple's recent success.

The EvangeList had its heyday in 1997 when Apple was bleeding red ink and losing market share. But after October of 1997 when Steve Jobs returned to lead the company, Kawasaki took a leave of absence to devote time to writing and to his new company, called Garage.com, which is aimed toward helping start-ups gain their footing. Responsibility for maintaining the list since then has fallen to John Halbig, also known as "The Digital Guy."

Formally, Kawasaki had held the position of Apple Fellow. It is not known if he is still on leave from Apple or if he has officially left the company. Apple declined to comment on the closing of the list beyond what Kawasaki posted to its Web site.

"The original purpose of EvangeList was to counteract the negative news about Apple and Macintosh, and I believe that EvangeList has served its purpose," Kawasaki said in his final posting.

Kawasaki often posted to the list news stories, written by professional journalists, that were inaccurate or perceived as biased, sparking readers to send letters and a deluge of emails to reporters and editors. These responses are famous, or infamous, in high-tech journalism circles. In newsrooms everywhere, Apple writers waited for the flood of emails or other types of responses that followed many an Apple story.

However, "In the past two years Apple has experienced a stunning turnaround," Kawasaki said, attributing some of the turnaround in Apple's corporate image to the list members, known as "EvangeListas."

The list also offered readers information on how to use and troubleshoot their Mac, as well as where to get equipment in a market where related information and products were on the decline. Apple's market position is better now, and the company itself has other lists devoted to that kind of information.

"It's been a great ride and a stunning proof of the power of the people!" Kawasaki wrote.