Hi there! I am Deborah Levy, Principal of SuccessLinks, LLC and the new Chair of the Independent Consulting TIG. I have been evaluating for 15 years and have been independent for eight years. I have published two posts since I started my blog “Why Not Blog?” after attending the annual conference in October. As you can see, my start has been slow and the holidays didn’t help much. I started my blog because I wanted to insert my voice into the blogging world, specifically around evaluation and my work as an independent consultant. I really enjoy reading friends’ and colleagues’ blogs (evaluation-related and those that aren’t). They inspire me and also I really like that a blog helps you understand a different side to people. I wanted to produce the same effect for other readers and present a part of myself that people who know me personally or professionally don’t know.
Favorite Post – (not many to choose from) My First Post, I Hope it’s a Good One: This post flowed just as I would want it to. It felt natural writing it and conveyed the excitement I was feeling as I put the words down. The response was positive and energized me to continue. It was a strong entry to the blogging world.
Lesson Learned– After my first two posts, I decided that a monthly blog was going to be more my speed. Many blogging experts suggest writing weekly or even multiple times a week, but for me that isn’t possible or even desired at this point. Everyone has a different writing schedule and that is okay. Just because you don’t post once a week does not mean your blog isn’t worthy or you should stop writing all together. I also have learned that graphics go a long way. Some of my favorite blogs use photos, charts, or cartoons. It makes reading them more fun. Lastly, don’t decide that your blog is going to serve one purpose (e.g. an evaluation blog) because you probably have many more stories to tell and thoughts to share that aren’t about that subject area. It would be a disservice to yourself and your readers to not write something you want to share because it doesn’t fit into the box you originally created for yourself.
This winter, we’re continuing our occasional 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.