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Susan Kistler on Synergies, Measuring Social Media, Allison Fine, EPE Week, and Breakfast

My name is Susan Kistler and I am the Executive Director of the American Evaluation Association. I contribute each Saturday’s post to the aea365 blog. Last week, I noted that I was writing from the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC). This week, I am going to try to tie together learnings from NTC, upcoming events within AEA, and blog posts on aea365.

Hot Tips: At NTC, I had the pleasure of hearing Beth Kanter and Allison Fine speak and learn a bit more about their upcoming book, The Networked Nonprofit, due out in June. Beth Kanter is the CEO of Zoetica, has been a visiting scholar at the Packard Foundation, and is the author of Beth’s Blog (a must-read for those working in or with nonprofit technology). Beth offered great Social Media measurement tips (see Stewart Lee’s post on the aea365 blog this week for more on using social media for evaluators) as well as ideas on improving webinar-based learning that we can put into place on the AEA webinars series. Beth’s co-conspirator, Allison Fine, is well known for her book Momentum: Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age and for her Social Good podcasts for the Chronicle of Philanthropy. What those who know her currently may not know is that she was also the founder of Innovation Network, a nonprofit dedicated to transforming evaluation for social change. Allison is going to give one of the keynote addresses at the 2010 AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute in June where she’ll be talking about Challenges and Opportunities for Measuring Social Media Efforts in a Networked World. I encourage you to come learn from and with her.

Rad Resources: Starting this Sunday, we’ll be celebrating Earth Week with AEA’s Environmental Program Evaluation TIG.  Each day during the coming week, the contributions on aea365 will come from EPE members; we’ll highlight EPE resources on the AEA headlines feed and members can join Juan Paulo Ramirez on Thursday for an online demonstration on using Google Earth for evaluation. Juan Paulo will be using the free version and it is impressive, but if you want more extensive functionality, Google Earth Pro may be the tool for you (see a comparison here). Pro is normally $400 per user, but I learned from the Google outreach reps at NTC that Google offers grants, in the form of free copies of Google Earth Pro to qualifying nonprofits.

Finally, I want to share a short story and do apologize that this will push the blog post over its word limit. At NTC I sat down to breakfast next to a wonderful woman who read my name badge and asked about AEA. I told her a bit about evaluation, evaluators, and the association. She said “wait, you all do the aea365 blog, don’t you!” and went on to share her kudos. Recently, we completed our 100th post on aea365. Thank you to all who have contributed time, expertise and commentary. And, special thanks go out to John LaVelle who, as our intern and blog manager, has nurtured the blog through its first months even as he prepared for his own nuptials. John, thank you and congratulations!

3 thoughts on “Susan Kistler on Synergies, Measuring Social Media, Allison Fine, EPE Week, and Breakfast”

  1. Susan,

    Glad to see great lessons learned from the NTC; measuring social media is more important than ever (and is becoming more important every day).

    And I wanted to echo your “thank you” to the blog’s manager (John) and its contributors!

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