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TAG | “Content Curation SJK”

My name is Susan Kistler and I am the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director. This week, I’m running a short series on content curation:

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

I’m in search of tools that may be leveraged by evaluators in their own practice (see yesterday’s post) as well as used by the association to curate and organize. I wanted to find curation tools that allowed for identifying, organizing, and sharing resources through a webpage. Towards that end, I tried four free tools recommended or used by colleagues.

 

To compare apples to apples to the extent possible, I tested each of these and timed how long it took to sign up, get started, and curate approximately 10 items – links to various AEA-related resources such as AEA’s LinkedIn group, career center, twitterfeed, and a video from one of AEA’s Coffee Break Webinars. Each was surprisingly easy to set up, taking less than 5 minutes to create an account and another 10 to populate it with the items.

Hot Tip: Each screenshot in this post gives you an idea of the look and feel of the site created using the tool. Click on the screenshot to explore the site and tool more actively.

Hot Tip: Each tool has a bookmarklet (basically a button) that can be installed on your browser toolbar and used to mark items for inclusion in the curated webpage on the tool’s site.

Rad Resource – BagTheWeb: BagTheWeb uses a bag metaphor to organize all of your linked items. You might have a bag focusing on evaluation and another focusing on training. BagTheWeb was very easy to use and I could mark sites and add a title and short description for each – but I could only add a new item to one bag at a time (no cross-posting). New items were automatically added to the top of the list, and I could go to my BagTheWeb page and re-order the list, edit titles and descriptions, and add a picture. BagTheWeb automatically embedded the video so it could be viewed right on the page. BagTheWeb also has a nice “Suggest Link” function to allow readers to suggest additions. This was my favorite of the four tools as it was simple, allowed for editing, and recognized different types of media.

Update: The Suggest Link button does not work as I had understood initially – it allows bagtheweb to suggest links based on the bag contents; unfortunately, not  for readers to suggest links.

Clipped from: bagtheweb.com (share this clip)

 

Rad Resource – Connotea: Connotea creates a listing akin to a bibliography, with or without annotations. It had by far the most sophisticated export features (although many were not that easy to use), to make your Connotea list importable into offline documents and other bibliography management tools. Connotea uses tags for organization, a nice feature because one item could be tagged with more than one keyword (effectively putting it into two bags if we use the BagTheWeb metaphor). It treats all items the same (no embedding videos, no pictures) and the output resembles a bibliography. Frustratingly, it was not possible to re-arrange entries – new ones were added to the top and stayed there. On the strong side, Connotea allows colleagues to comment on entries, extending their usefulness.

Clipped from: www.connotea.org (share this clip)

 

Rad Resource – pearltrees: pearltrees creates a mindmap of the links that you share. The resulting map is easily re-arrangeable, so that you can make any node a sub-item to another node. Users (and you!) may add comments to nodes. However, without diving deeper, users can see only the title for a pearl (node) and its placement within the pearltree. You can make an endless number of pearltrees (nodes with subnodes) and you can look at other people’s pearltrees and borrow items from them for your own. The format is somewhat limiting in that one can only view a small portion of a large multi-branched pearltree at a time. The result is attractive, great for illustrating relationships among links, viewable on a custom pearltree page, and easily embeddable in websites (see below!).
Evaluation in Susan Kistler (sukist)

Rad Resource – Scoop.it: Scoop.it creates a page akin to an online newspaper with each item looking like a story. Use the bookmarklet to add items, then go to the site to arrange them as you wish. Scoop.it easily embedded video and pictures and had the slickest look of the four tools – which is both its strength and shortcoming. Because of its format, Scoop.it likely would not be good for very large sets of links or for long-term archiving and arranging. It is much stronger when thought of as a magazine or used to highlight a smaller set of key resources. Items may be tagged. Users can comment on items and use the tags to filter the articles to ones of interest. Like, BagTheWeb, a “suggest’ button on Scoop.it is a nice feature.

Clipped from: www.scoop.it (share this clip)

 

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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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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