AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

TAG | #EvalTwitter

Hi my name is Jayne Corso and I am the Community Manager for AEA.

#Eval18 was almost a month ago, but I love seeing stories about how attendees are using the knowledge gained in Cleveland. I have included some tweets that share reflections from Evaluation 2018. Share your reflections and lessons learned with us using #Eval18!

 

Thank you for sharing your take-aways with us! We look forward to another great conference next year.

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

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I am Jenny McCullough Cosgrove @EvalNerd, Twitter convert, and member of the #EvalTwitter community. It is fascinating to watch our online community form and we are excited to introduce our #EvalTwitter monthly chat topics. This will be an easy way to connect with the #EvalTwitter and start conversations.

Hot Tip: Get connected around the #EvalTwitter hashtag.

Step 1. Log in to Twitter

Step 2. Type #EvalTwitter into search bar to pull up all the tweets using that hashtag

Step 3. Connect and have fun!

Hot Tip: Join the #EvalTwitter community for #eval chats the fourth Thursday of each month at 8:30 PM EST (5:30 Pacific) starting NEXT Thursday March 22! Each month we will connect around a specific hashtag, starting in March.

Tweet out with the #EvalTwitter hashtag each month to get involved!

  • March 2018: Follow Friday with a Twist (The Twist is that it’s Thursday)
    • Get to know the #EvalTwitter community and connect with new evaluators.
    • Share out your #eval loves and targets of your admiration to connect them with #EvalTwitter.
    • No idea what a Follow Friday is? Check out this longer (and funnier) explanation by The Oatmeal.
  • April 2018: Methods Madness
    • Share a method or approach that you are just crazy about!
    • What about this method or approach excites you?
  • May 2018: AEA LAC connections
    • Promote your local AEA area collaborative (LAC).
    • Connect with someone new in your area.
  • June 2018: Fail Forward
    • How have you failed forward in your #eval work?
    • What have you learned?
  • July 2018: Toot Your Evaluator Horn
    • What great #eval thing have you done so far in 2018?
    • Compliment a fellow  #EvalTwitter-er on their great work.
  • August 2018: Professional Development
    • What has been the best professional development you have attended this year?
    • What has been the best professional development you have ever attended? Why?
  • September 2018: #eval18 Connects
    • Connect with an #EvalTwitter fav and schedule a coffee break with them at #Eval18.
  • October 2018: #eval18 Excitement
    • What are you looking forward to?
    • Need recommendations for a certain topic?
    • Share out your presentation!
    • Live tweet your conference attendance.
  • November 2018: Stuck On #eval18: Reflections and Takeaways
    • What has stuck with you from the conference?
    • What do you find continuing to consider?
  • December 2018: New Year, Renewed You
    • How are you going to renew your #eval practice for 2019?
    • Where do you hope to grow in your practice in the new year?

Get Involved: Digital Goes Analog

#EvalTwitter is planning a live-tweeted get-together at #eval18. Join us for an in-person get-together in Cleveland. Follow #EvalTwitter to stay in the loop.

Following a live Twitter chat can be difficult, so we recommend using Hootsuite or another similar program to better engage in the chat! Applications for Hootsuite can be used to curate your own social media experience and keep up with a live Twitter chat. Check out this Hootsuite kickstart guide.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating #EvalTwitter week. All posts this week are contributed by evaluators engaging, networking, and collaborating through Twitter. 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@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hi. I’m John Burrett, evaluator, data visualizer and network mapper. You can find me at http://haikuanalytics.com and on Twitter at @JohnBurrett. I’m always happy to hear from you.

I’ve been doing network analysis of Twitter and Facebook messaging for several years. It’s amazing how much structure you see in these networks and how much they tell you about your success in spreading messages and creating connections and dialogue.

Two conferences were held back-to-back in Atlanta in 2016: the Impact Convergence (IMPCON) and AEA’s annual conference in an effort to introduce people involved in impact-oriented investment and evaluation. AEA hoped that ideas would be shared and contacts made. Mapping the Twitter conversations generated was one way to evaluate the success of this effort. We found interesting things regarding the network, including the existence of high-prestige and “broker” individuals and structures supporting good communications. Here, we’ll talk about observations on the timing of tweets during the events, and lessons learned for planning future communications strategies.

First, while it was not surprising that tweets accumulated over time, it was surprising that the structure of the network remained stable over the duration of the conferences. For event communications planning, this means that you can potentially identify active and interacting individuals and groups early, and begin focusing on them to you spread your messages.

Secondly, we found a pattern in the daily volume of tweets. There was a pattern of Twitter use in the mid-afternoons and early evenings, corresponding to major events and coffee breaks. This revealed predictable times when the Twitter audience was more active and engaged, and therefore open to messages.

Thirdly, we saw how important it is to establish an official hashtag that most will use. Here, you see the pattern for tweets using the two official conference hashtags.  Note however the multiplicity of ad-hoc and erroneous hashtags. These were recorded because the messages also included one of the expected hashtags or handles. But many more may not have and therefore did not reach much of the crowd. Make sure people are aware of and using the official tags along with their specific tags in order to maximize the spread of information.

Some tactics to help spread your conference Twitter messaging:

  • Start mapping the Twitter (and Facebook) messaging early. You may identify key players and clusters of Twitter users who’ll help you spread your messages.
  • Establish an official, short, memorable hashtag early and promote it to encourage use in all messages and to prevent erroneous versions that will cause missed messages.
  • Promote the use of Twitter/other social media in commenting on the event by presenting, at the opening, an example of a mapping and how it is used to improve the quality of events. Include a reminder of how to use Twitter. Ensure people know they can go to the official event hashtag on Twitter to see what others are saying and to join in.
  • Send out “seed” tweets about upcoming key events or emerging issues.

 

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating #EvalTwitter week. All posts this week are contributed by evaluators engaging, networking, and collaborating through Twitter. 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@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hello! I’m Deven Wisner of Wisner Analytics, LLC, V.P. of Communications for the Arizona Evaluation Network (AZENet), and avid Tweeter. I’d like to share with you some Hot Tips and a Rad Resource for bringing Twitter into your AEA Local Area Collaborative (or any other organization!) – courtesy of myself, Jenny McCollough Cosgrove, and Nicole Huggett.

When I joined the AZENet board mid-2017, one focus was bolstering our presence in Arizona. As someone who had greatly benefited from connecting with fellow evaluators on Twitter, I thought that would be a great place to start! Of course, that’s easier said than done… because although social media has great potential for furthering an organization’s reach, it takes a significant time commitment. So, how did we manage?

First, we developed a plan, which included a minimum number of posts per day (we started with two) and following eval-focused individuals every day (our goal was 10). After noticing an increase in followers and engagement, we made a more formal commitment to Twitter.

At that point, we addressed sustainability (that time piece I mentioned earlier!) because let’s be honest – it’s one thing to have a great idea but another to keep it going! So, we decided to make social media a team effort. That’s when we had the idea to implement posting guidelines, create a schedule, and start using Hootsuite. A combination of these things helped us manage our “voice” across multiple users, avoid burnout, and make scheduling ahead during your “week” more manageable.

Hot Tips:

  1. Establish post guidelines – If you are going to have several individuals posting, you want to be sure everyone has an idea of what is acceptable for the organization and what isn’t (e.g., avoiding politics, promoting organizations, etc.). However, we encourage a wide variety of disciplines to be covered because we want our membership to be well-represented!
  2. Create a schedule – Social media burnout is real. Scrolling through Facebook at night before bed is different from having daily minimums and sharing quality content. Instead, share the work and let different perspectives shine! We created a schedule in OneNote that our board members sign up for. Depending on what events are going on, we include special things that need to be posted in addition to ad-hoc content.

Rad Resource:

Hootsuite – Just do it. There is a free version that allows you to post across platforms. Although that isn’t the purpose of this post, organizations usually need to be active on more than just Twitter. Hootsuite will allow you to schedule ahead, follow hashtags, and even require that posts be approved prior to releasing them.

image of Hootsuite

Have questions about incorporating Twitter into your AEA LAC? Let me know!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating #EvalTwitter week. All posts this week are contributed by evaluators engaging, networking, and collaborating through Twitter. 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@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

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Hey there, I’m Echo Rivera, owner of Creative Research Communications, LLC and advisory team member of AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i).

I love Twitter, and have been tweeting since 2012. I’m here to help your tweets stand out from the crowd. And by “crowd,” I mean the estimated 500 million tweets sent per day. The easiest way to do that? Add a great visual.

Hot Tip: The easiest way to do this is to add a gif to your tweet. Gifs are magical little visuals because they hit the sweet spot of (a) being a visual, (b) having movement, and (c) showing an emotion.

When you want to tweet about something you created (e.g., report, blog post), then I recommend you create your own visual. Spend some time creating your own design style or brand, so you establish consistency across your images. Create a template so all you have to do is change the wording and/or a photo.

Case Study: Here is the twitter template I use for my blog posts. I created a canvas that follows the Twitter dimensions (which change over time, so I just Google it first). I use fonts in a similar way, place the same type of info (e.g., title, photo attribution) in the same place, and alternate between my 4 branding colors (which are transparent shapes so the text is easy to read). I use photos of real people, and I try to match the emotion to the title as much as I can.

Rad Resource: You probably already have the software you need to make visuals: PowerPoint or Keynote! The above visuals were made using Adobe Illustrator, and you could use something just as specialized. But I learned how to make visuals using shapes in Keynote. Simply (1) choose a 16:9 slide size (or custom size, if you want); (2) use shapes (or icons you find online) and multiple text boxes to create the design you want; and (3) export that slide as an image. That’s how I made this and it took me about 2 minutes (and if you want this slide to copy, see below!):

The slide dimensions don’t adhere to the Twitter specifications exactly, but because it’s widescreen it still fits well. Here is what it looked like when I tweeted it. Which of the following tweets do you think was the most eye catching (hint: it’s this tweet)?

Rad Resources:

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating #EvalTwitter week. All posts this week are contributed by evaluators engaging, networking, and collaborating through Twitter. 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@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

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Hi, I’m Libby Smith from ARC Evaluation. I’m going to talk about using Twitter to better understand the field of evaluation. For the past four or five years I have encouraged our evaluation students to use Twitter, but it’s only been in the last six months that I have really taken my own advice!

I used to worry about two things: 1) adding another social media platform to my list of things to do and 2) sending tweets out into the world! What did I have to say that other people would care about? When one of my former students turned independent consultant and dataviz influencer, Deven Wisner, started tweeting up a storm, I knew I couldn’t sit on the sidelines anymore.

I have long seen the potential in using Twitter to enhance understanding and to build connection to our professional community. As practitioners, it can be challenging to stay up to date on the published literature and the trends in our field. Following the leaders in our field and even your peers will provide you access to all sorts of hot tips, cool tricks, and rad resources.

Hot Tip: Developing a well curated list of accounts to follow is key. A good place to start is the Evaluators list compiled by Sheila B. Robinson. You can either follow that feed or use that list to start building your own. You can’t follow too many people, but keep your list focused on your professional interests. Social media can turn into a time suck, so make sure your feed is filled with valuable information that will help you grow as a professional. You will quickly realize the size of the field and the scope of the impact that evaluators are making in the real world.

evaluators on twitter list & number of subscribers

Rad Resources: So, now you are following all the cool evaluators and leaders in our field, learning about cutting edge data-viz techniques, improving your presentation skills, getting inspired to make a difference, and finding awesome evaluation jobs. Adding your voice to this mix can seem overwhelming! I recommend event-based tweeting as a great place to start. I started tweeting while attending the AEA annual conference, but you don’t have to wait for a big event. For example, you could tweet from the next professional development session you attend! I recommend including an interesting photo that adds context and meaning to your tweet. Joining the chorus of voices from evaluation will both improve your understanding of our field and help you connect with other evaluators from your specific evaluation niche!! I’m happy to give you more hot tips and cool tricks, you can tweet at me or send me a DM. Happy Tweeting!!!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating #EvalTwitter week. All posts this week are contributed by evaluators engaging, networking, and collaborating through Twitter. 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@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hello! I’m Dana Wanzer and this week we’re discussing Twitter! You can find me on Twitter at @danawanzer.

Together with Libby Smith, Deven Wisner, John BurrettJenny McCullough Cosgrove, and Echo Rivera, we’re going to show the benefits of joining Twitter for evaluators and the field of evaluation. You may know of EvalTalk, the LinkedIn group, and many of the AEA TIGs have Facebook groups. But did you know there is a rich and vibrant community of evaluators who talk daily via Twitter?

Hot Tip: Participating in Twitter as an evaluator is great for professional development! Evaluators from around the world share evaluation reports, tips and tricks, and lessons learned. This has helped me stay up to date with the latest news and newest techniques that I can apply to my practices. You can stay connected in the conversation by following the hashtags #eval and #evaluation.

Cool Trick: The networking that happens on Twitter is amazing. Carolyn Camman and Elizabeth Grim have both gotten jobs through their connections on Twitter. Elizabeth followed a notable evaluator on Twitter for months, retweeting and favoriting each other’s content. “Later that year, when we were both at AEA, they sent me a Twitter message asking to meet with me. After those interactions, we ended up collaborating on a panel presentation and I was asked to do some independent consulting work. Without Twitter, I’m not sure we would have ever connected.”

Sheila Robinson even collaborated with Kim Firth Leonard for two years before meeting in person for the first time at the 2015 AEA Conference to present a skill building workshop on survey design!

image of tweet between evaluators

Lesson Learned: The evaluation community on Twitter is like no other. It extends the conversations past our yearly conferences, but it also opens doors for networking. Deven Wisner stated that because of Twitter, “for #eval17, it made connecting in-person SO much easier. Conversations were a lot more free flowing because the relationship was established before I even arrived at the conference.”

image of tweet from evaluator

Rad Resources: Various evaluators have written blog posts about how to get started on Twitter and other benefits they’ve experienced.

Stay tuned for upcoming AEA365 posts on using Twitter for networking and at conferences, as an evaluation methodology, for AEA local affiliates, and how to participate in our very first #evalTwitter chat!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating #EvalTwitter week. All posts this week are contributed by evaluators engaging, networking, and collaborating through Twitter. 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@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

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