Evernote Hires CNET’s Rafe Needleman As Its New Platform Advocate For Third-Party Apps

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Evernote, the Silicon Valley company that makes note-taking and personal archiving software, is announcing today that it’s hired longtime tech journalist Rafe Needleman as its new Platform Advocate and the leader of its newly-formed “Developer Voice Platform.”

Needleman is joining Evernote from CNET, where he’s worked as an editor and writer covering startups and Silicon Valley since 2004.

At Evernote, Needleman’s job will be two-fold: To help mentor the third-party developers who build on top of Evernote’s platform to help them focus their ideas and messages, and to write about the strongest and most interesting of those apps while leading the editorial side of the Developer Voice Program.

In a joint interview, Evernote CEO Phil Libin and Needleman told me they actually first met when Needleman interviewed Libin in Evernote’s early days as a startup. “Remembering back to the fist time we pitched Evernote to Rafe, I remember how nervous I was, because I had no idea what it takes to actually have a good story, a good presentation, and a good pitch to a journalist,” Libin said.

Libin says that talking to people like Needleman throughout the years as Evernote has grown bigger and bigger has helped him and the rest of his team to hone their ideas — and the way they convey them to others. “I had this idea [for the position] a few months ago, and I thought, who better than Rafe to do it?”

For his part, Needleman says that while he’ll miss the team at CNET and CBS, he’s looking forward to having a hand in the development of a whole new class of startups. “I’ve been covering startups for 15 years and I love them,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to give back more than I’ve been able to. [As a journalist] you dive into a company, meet with them for an hour or a couple hours and then you leave them. I had a need to want to do more, to get in deeper with companies.”

Here are a couple relevant bits from the press release regarding the departments on which Needleman will focus at Evernote:

“The Developer Voice Program is designed to engage with Evernote partners and developers to build the next generation of useful, innovative and successful Evernote integrations. The program will work to connect the needs of its user base with the capabilities of the developer community through mentorship, events, online content, podcasts, and webcasts. It will also provide developers with advice on user experience design, marketing, development, fundraising, and internationalization.

As Platform Advocate, Rafe Needleman will establish new content channels to provide the growing Evernote community with the guidance and resources they need to build products with lasting value. Rafe will also continue to deliver commentary on industry trends and broad business and technology themes with complete editorial independence.”


Photo of Rafe Needleman courtesy of Flickr user Thomas Hawk, via Creative Commons license