I’m Gail Barrington, President of Barrington Research Group, Inc. I would never describe myself as an early adopter, especially when it comes to technology, so the fact that I am even writing this blog is amazing! After I finished my book, Consulting Start-up and Management: A Guide for Evaluators and Applied Researchers, I still had a lot to say, and blogging seemed the best way to reach out. My blog is written for evaluators, applied researchers, and students who have begun or are considering a career as an independent consultant.
Rad Resource – The Barrington Research Group Blog
Hot Tips – favorite posts:
I have written seven blogs to date with more in the pipeline. My favorites are:
- April, 2012: #4 Time Use Analysis: A Critical Tool for the Independent Consultant—outlining how to analyze time use data for recovery rates, comparing planned and actual time on projects, preparing more accurate proposals, and identifying inefficiencies.
- November, 2012: #7 Networking Favorites with a Little Help from Julie Andrews—making some unexpected links between networking, loose ties, and The Sound of Music.
Why I blog: Providing research services in a business context presents unique challenges and I try to address these in my blog. Because I also want to have a little writing fun, every fifth blog is a continuing coffee shop dialogue by a cast of consulting characters (#5 Do I Have What It Takes to Be a Consultant). Stay tuned.
Blogging frequency: I write one blog a month. This may not seem like much but what scares me the most about blogging is its immediacy. My initial thoughts aren’t that interesting. I need time to interpret, expand, reflect, and revise them until they are ready to publish. This takes me about a week.
Planning topics: I have a running list of five topics and set up a file for each. It is easier to begin writing when you don’t have to determine the topic at the last minute.
Using photos: I always missed the visual component when writing technical evaluation reports, so I really enjoy selecting the right photo for each blog. Acting as a visual metaphor or an example, the photo turns each blog into an on-line magazine article.
Content management: I had to learn the content management system for my website in order to post my blogs. People tell me there are easier ways to blog but at least I can now update everything on my site myself and it sure beats paying a web designer. Please send me any thoughts or suggestions you may have about how to improve my blog. I look forward to hearing from you.
This winter, we’re continuing our series highlighting evaluators who blog. 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. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.