Sheila B Robinson on Social Media for professional practice: It’s not what you might think!

Hello evaluators! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor.

In 2010, I traveled to San Antonio, TX to attend Evaluation 2010. I was on my own, and knew no one else attending the conference. I made my first friend there by recognizing the name tag of the author of an early aea365 post I admired, and introducing myself as we both waited to attend a session. This blog has been a tremendous connector for since its inception.

Networking with other evaluators has been a highlight of my career and I continue to actively seek out opportunities to meet new people, whether it is in person at a conference, or online. I’ve made some wonderful new friends this way, and have often reached out to members of the evaluation community for help and advice when evaluation work gets tricky.

Fortunately, many evaluators are more and more connected via social media and using it to collect and share information and resources.

Lesson Learned: I was reluctant to use social media for professional purposes until just a few years ago, but now I find I very much enjoy the learning and interaction from these channels, among others:

twitter iconTwitter: It’s not just what celebrities ate for breakfast! AEA maintains a list of evaluators and evaluation organizations on Twitter here. I’ve also been “collecting” evaluators on Twitter; see my list of nearly 400 here.

facebook iconFacebook: It’s not just for Internet memes and selfies! Some AEA TIGs, affiliates, and evaluation associations have active Facebook pages (as do many independent evaluators and consultancies). A few of which I’m aware include:

pinterest iconPinterest: It’s not just for crafts and recipes! Kylie Hutchinson may be the most active evaluator I know who maintains 9 evaluation-related boards. Ann K. Emery also maintains many boards related to data visualization.

google plus iconGoogle+: It’s not just for “techy” people! It’s also a place where evaluators share ideas. David Fetterman is one evaluator particularly active in this space. Stephanie Evergreen can also be found here.

youtube iconYouTube: It’s not just for silly cat videos! AEA has its own channel here, and AEA affiliate Eastern Evaluation Research Society (EERS) now has its own YouTube channel.

AEA maintains a list of member blogs and Twitter handles here. If you have a blog or Twitter handle that doesn’t appear on the list, write to and ask to have it added!

Do you use these social media channels professionally? Add your info to the comments so we can all connect!

(Social Media icons by Aha-Soft Team via

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 . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

4 thoughts on “Sheila B Robinson on Social Media for professional practice: It’s not what you might think!”

  1. Excellent post, Sheila. My office and I have benefited a great deal from using Twitter in the past 2 years.

    I would add one more item to your valuable social media resources — that is, the AEA discussion group on LinkedIn. The group has more than 17,000 members.

    Thanks for writing this very useful post. Best,

    Director, Office of Performance Evaluations
    Idaho State Legislature

  2. Ágnes Mácsai

    Thanks for this social media collection, it is super. I am a beginner in the evaluation field, it helps me a lot.

    Ágnes (from Budapest, Hungary)

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