My name is Susan Kistler, and I am the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director. It is my pleasure to contribute each Saturday’s post to the aea365 blog. For many, blogging is still a new concept. Here are three ways to make the most of this – or any – blog.
Hot Tip: Subscribe to the blog. Blogs generate an RSS feed (want to learn more about RSS feeds? Go here for an explanation and a list of AEA’s feeds), and many also allow subscription directly via good old-fashioned email. Subscribing means that you don’t have to go to the blog to see if new content is posted, but rather that the blog’s content comes to you. To subscribe to the aea365 blog, use either the “Subscribe via email” or “Subscribe via RSS” links in the “Take Action” box on the right of the blog’s website.
Hot Tip: Add and read the comments (most, but not all, blogs allow comments as does the aea365 blog). If you subscribe to the blog, you’ll only receive the blog’s original postings. If a contribution is of interest to you, be sure to click back through to the original content and see if others have added comments – and to add comments of your own. Sarajoy Pond’s post on Wordle from 1/15 now has 6 follow-up comments noting features and uses. The comments add value to the original post. Don’t be shy about adding comments – comments can be as short or long as you want and most contributors love comments as they know their work is being read and fostering discussion.
To view comments on an aea365 blog post, be sure that you are looking at the post’s dedicated page (if you are on the blog homepage, click on the title of the post go get to its dedicated page) and scroll down for the comments. To add a comment, type your comment into the text box at the bottom of the page and click the “Submit Comment” button. Note that your comment may not appear immediately – first time comments are screened for spam, but after that they are posted automatically.
Cool Trick: Get a Gravatar! See the little pictures that appear next to some people’s comments (including mine)? At gravatar.com, it’s free to upload your picture and the site has an automatic cropping and resizing tool. It takes about a minute and then your gravatar – the picture that you uploaded – will appear beside your comments, not only on this blog, but on any blog that supports gravatars. Go to http://en.gravatar.com/ to learn more.
This contribution is from the aea365 Daily Tips blog, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.