Rad Resource – Fresh Spectrum: At it’s heart, Fresh Spectrum is a practical web and technology blog for researchers and evaluators. It is focused on showcasing tech by using tech. Rather than just spotlight the next new thing I try to take the new technology for a spin. Posts usually come in bursts, with four one week and maybe one the next. Lately I’ve been interested in the creation/publishing of simple visual objects that can act as online discussion pieces. In other words, I’ve been cartooning.
Hot Tips – favorite posts:
- 11/7/2011 – Lessons Learned at #eval11 TIG as CoP After this past month’s AEA conference I wanted to give a brief summary of some of the sessions I attended. I started with this one and it sparked a comment conversation. As can often be the case, the comments provide more value than the post itself.
- 11/6/2011 – You know you’ve given a good presentation when… I drew this cartoon on the airplane flying back home after the conference (I use SketchBook on my iPad if you are curious). The comments led to Fresh Spectrum’s first guest post from Kylie Hutchinson on 23 Tips for a Better Conference Presentation
- 3/15/2011 – The problem with hand-me-down facts Conversations on the web exist well outside the realm of any single blog or communication platform. Sociologist Phillip N. Cohen’s blog post triggered one of my own. It also lead to a number of comments on his blog as well as a Twitter discussion. It’s an example of how blogs provide a platform for your voice online.
Lessons Learned – why I blog: I blog to learn and connect. Blogging keeps me constantly motivated to learn new things and is one of the best tools to learn the social web. It also helps connect you to others with similar interests. Last year’s AEA conference was my first but I was already connected to a number of my fellow attendees. Most of these connections came solely from my experience with social media.
Lessons Learned: If you want to blog (which I highly recommend) the first step is to find a topic you are passionate about. Fresh Spectrum is not my first blog, I’ve started several others, but I think it’s the one that will stick. Blogging is a marathon and if you’re not passionately interested in the topic you won’t have the energy to post. If you don’t post, your blog will quickly find its way into internet obscurity.
This winter, we’re running a 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.