AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

Aug/11

18

Susan Kistler on Content Curation Part I: Five ways to leverage content curation

My name is Susan Kistler and I am AEA’s Executive Director. I normally post each Saturday, but this week, I wanted to create a short series to kick off a project:

  • Thursday: Content Curation for Evaluators
  • Friday: Comparing Content Curation Tools
  • Saturday: Participating in our Content Curation Project

Content Curation “describes the act of finding, grouping, organizing or sharing the best and most relevant content on a specific issue.” Many of the posts on aea365 are content curation posts – someone is sharing their carefully selected resources with a broader audience.

Online content curators (1) identify great content, (2) use web tools to organize and share the curated content and in so doing (3) make information easier to access, explore, and understand for themselves and for others. Some content curators simply organize, like a bibliography, others provide further insight, like an annotated bibliography. The more apt metaphor might be a museum with outstanding exhibits, expertly organized, and with varying degrees of information on each one to guide the viewer.

Hot Tips – Five ways to leverage content curation

  1. Position yourself as an expert: Evaluators can leverage their expertise by creating a curated library with carefully chosen related resources, for instance with specialized content about their methods, work context (health, education, development…), and philosophy. Consultants may find that excellent content curation positions them as a go-to knowledge advisor in a specific area, and to look good while doing it.
  2. Make your evaluation products more useable: You could provide stakeholders with a written report – or you could provide stakeholders with a multi-faceted report supplemented by an online website with related materials organized and chosen specifically to improve their capacity to use the evaluation findings.
  3. Enhance your professional development: Ever run into that must-read article exactly at the moment you can’t read it? Content curation tools facilitate filing and finding. Accessing the best of content curation from others provides you with a trusted advisor regarding the key information in a field.
  4. Organize your research: Consider setting up a curation focusing on your evaluand or your dissertation research. While most curation tools allow you to share and may even be set up to facilitate sharing, you don’t have to share with anyone!
  5. Recognize and thank stakeholders: Remember back in high school when you used to make mix-tapes for your best friends? (OK, maybe you need to be over 40 to remember mix-tapes, but you get the gist.) You can create a modern mix that says ‘I think you’re wonderful and appreciate you’ by creating a thoughtfully curated page for someone special – maybe the program manager who helped you throughout the evaluation, or maybe the love of your life.

Stay tuned for more!

The above opinions are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice.

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