Susan Kistler on an eCommunications and eCommunities TIG and Resources

I am Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director and aea365’s regular Saturday contributor. We’re talking eCommunications and eCommunities this week.

Get Involved – Work on eTIG Planning: I am considering starting an AEA TIG on Evaluation of eCommunications and eCommunities (the name may need a bit of tweaking). We’d focus on issues involved in the evaluation of investments in social media, blogs, online communities of practice, websites, and other forms of connected communications and connected communities. If you have an interest in this area, add your name to the spreadsheet here and let’s think on it together!

Hot Tip – Exploring the So What of Social Media: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is attempting to tackle the “Social Media, So What” Question. This Q&A with Debra Joy Perez positions the issues in advance of a convening of experts later this week. On April 18th, they hosted a Twitter Chat using hashtag #sm_re to begin the exploration and the chat’s storify topline summary from Beth Kanter is full of questions, a few answers, and many tools recommendations. More will be posted on RWJF’s website for this initiative as time progresses.

Rad Resource – Knowledge Management Indicators: The Institute for Development Studies at Loughborough University brought together thirty practitioners from across the international development sector to share indicators in current practice for knowledge management/knowledge brokering. They produced a report of over 100 example indicators and two of their indicator categories focus on evaluating eCommnications and eCommunities: (i) Online Communities of Practice and (ii) website or blog activity.

Get Involved – Join the Community: Are you attending AEA’s Evaluation 2013? Are you on Twitter or do you have a Blog? With Ann Emery leading the way, we’re building a list of the online community members who will be in attendance. Add your name, Twitter Handle or Blog Name, and affiliation here and use hashtag #eval13 if you are talking about the conference. See you there!

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 “Susan Kistler on an eCommunications and eCommunities TIG and Resources”

  1. Hi Susan,

    The link to the indicator report seems to be broken – would you happen to have an alternative source for this?


  2. I’m wondering about the idea of a “network” evaluation TIG as that incorporates all the various ways that we connect/learn/work including social media, communities of practice, blogs, and future technologies.

  3. Thanks Sheila! I was trying to incorporate the idea of online communities of practice as well – there are lots of active ones out there, including a couple in evaluation. Do you think that falls under the same umbrella? And, then there is the issue of whether to be both inward looking (supporting for instance the bloggers community) and outward (how should we evaluate eCommunity building).

  4. Sheila Robinson

    Great idea! I would love to help and added my name to the spreadsheet. For a TIG name, how about Evaluation of Social Media and Online Communication? I think everything you mention can fall under one of the two categories. Or is “online communication” too broad a term? And does it get at the notion of “connectedness” in the way in which you’re thinking of it? Hmmm. Lots of food for thought here. It will be interesting to hear what others have to contribute.

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