Susan Kistler on Learning From Evaluation Bloggers

I’m Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director and aea365 Saturday contributor. Thanks to all who are contributing to our evaluation bloggers series. We started in December and will be including one week each month from evaluators who blog. So far, we’re all the way through the April week and just beginning to fill May!

Lesson Learned: I didn’t realize the full breadth of the evaluation blogging community. Where I thought we would have perhaps 10 contributors to the series, we’re up to over 30 and each blog offers a different perspective and insights. And we’re not all blogging about evaluation generally, rather we’re exploring multiple aspects of practice – examining the field from different contexts, methodologies, and perspectives.

Rad Resource – AEA’s Evaluation Bloggers List: AEA maintains a list of evaluation bloggers, and evaluators on Twitter. We’re currently cleaning, to remove those on hiatus.

Hot Tip – EvalCentral: If you are a bit overwhelmed by the volume of blogs, or just want an easy place to check in to see what everyone’s talking about, check out EvalCentral. Curated by Chris Lysy, EvalCentral is ‘where evaluation and blogs intersect.’ There, you can find a compilation of recent posts from evaluation bloggers as well as twitter streams featuring evaluation themes.

Hot Tip – All in aea365 Bloggers Series: This one link will take you to all of the posts in the bloggers series so far, and will automatically update as new ones are added.

Hot Tip – Comment, and…Get a Gravatar: Do you love a new post you have read or blog you have found? Add a comment. Alexey Kuzmin notes, “If I could ask the readers of my blog (currently about 40-50 a day) to do one thing for me I would ask them to leave comments/feedback more often.” Why? Comments and feedback let the blogger know that you are reading and what raised questions or prompted insights. Great comments go a step further and make the blog a multi-way conversation, extending and amplifying the blog’s content. And, most blog’s comments systems (including aea365’s) support gravatars. Gravatars are those little pictures that appear next to some commenters – create a gravatar once (takes about 2 minutes) and whenever you comment, on any system supporting gravatars, your smiling face, or perhaps an avatar if you prefer, will appear next to your comments and make your comments a bit more personal. Gravatars also help when you go to a live event and people can make the connection visually from your picture on the page.

Get Involved: If you are an evaluator who blogs, and you’d like to be included in the series but haven’t yet been in correspondence with me, add a note in the comments below or send me an email and I’ll connect back to provide you the template for the series and establish dates, etc.

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.

1 thought on “Susan Kistler on Learning From Evaluation Bloggers”

  1. If any evaluator has a blog they would like added to Eval Central’s feed, just let me know. Open to everyone as long as the blog would be of interest to the evaluation community.

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