Evaluation Inspirations

Evaluators…Why Do You Blog?

You don’t want to be this little guy!

As I was sending out a few blogging tips to one of my wonderful blog followers, I started to think…

“Why do I blog?”

If you’re a blogger and you haven’t considered this, or it’s been a while since you have *pause* for a minute and jot down a few reasons why you blog…

Is it…

For fun

Just a hobby

Personal development

Professional development

$$$

Do you like to receive money? Like to talk about yourself? Who doesn’t? Check out this post on Jillian Ney’s blog, Why People Post Their Innermost Thoughts on Social Media.

A few excerpts:

 “…the researchers found that the act of disclosing information about ourselves activates the same sensation of pleasure in the brain that we get from eating food, receiving money…”

“We are intrinsically motivated to share our thoughts and lives with others.  I suppose it’s the same offline, we share our lives and thoughts with friends.  The difference is the number of people we can reach with that ‘thought’ on social media and the fact that it’s written down, in a picture, audio or video.  Either way we share because we receive pleasure rewards.”

Blogging is not the same as sending a tweet, but it is similar in many ways. I’m enjoying the sense of community blogging and tweeting can bring. It cost nothing, but time at the moment and it’s the best way to connect personally and professionally with people you won’t see on a regular basis.

If you’re an awesome evaluator, do you want to teach people about cutting edge research and advances in the field? Do you like to highlight your evaluation journey and invite others to tag along? Do you have a niche in evaluation that you’d like to share?

Seriously, why do you blog? What do you or your readers have to gain from your next post?

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8 thoughts on “Evaluators…Why Do You Blog?

  1. Hi Karen,

    Patricia Rogers and I blog on http://GenuineEvaluation.com

    We got into this for a few reasons.

    One is that we both were (and still are!) working on books. Books are daunting in size, so we got the idea that if we just wrote smallish snippets and shared them, we’d actually be writing pieces of book chapters (or good ideas for them), and this would help us get toward the book goal!

    The other big plus is that, on a blog, people comment on your ideas, so we got a chance to test and improve our thinking in a fast feedback cycle. This is great for books, or for ideas for presentations or for our own applied work.

    The other thing was that we realised we had a LOT to say about evaluation. We used to talk a lot on Skype, sharing ideas and developing them, but we wanted to have this conversation with a wider circle.

    At the time we were both on EVALTALK, which is obviously a great place for sharing ideas. But, as anyone who’s been on that or any listserv knows, it can get irritating when some people OVERshare their ideas and use up too much of the listserv conversation bandwidth, as it were.

    A blog is a good option because your listeners have opted in and said they want to listen specifically to you, presumably because they think you come up with interesting stuff. If you drive them up the wall they can always opt out.

    Finally, we really enjoy the co-blogging format.

    Neither one of us alone has the time or sustained energy to feed a hoard of idea-hungry listeners often enough. So, one of us picks up the slack when another is on a world tour or swamped with deadlines or family commitments.

    We also like co-blogging because we give each other a reality check and suggestions before posting. Sometimes there are topics that are controversial or examples of bad evaluation practice, and we need that extra little bit of help to get the point across diplomatically. So, being able to run a draft past a colleague is really helpful then.

    As a blog reader, I found myself too swamped (three small kids, a business, plus all these unpaid bits and pieces one does) to keep up with the EVALTALK traffic, so this is almost like having EVALTALK but only being tuned into a small list of people I particularly enjoy reading.

    Thanks for blogging!

    Jane Davidson
    http://RealEvaluation.com

    blogging with Patricia Rogers on
    http://GenuineEvaluation.com

    • Jane,

      You’ve offered some great blogging insights. I think a blog is a great way to gather feedback on ideas and to help with refining short term and long term projects. I enjoy the snippets provided by most of the blogs that I frequent because they provide an overview of topics and ideas as well as some additional resources that can be used. *I confess* I love to read the AJE and NDE journals, but blogs provide such a refreshing viewpoint, in my opinion, on topics and tasks that may be perceived as daunting.

      I also enjoy seeing a blogger’s personality shine through, like your Friday Funny posts, and not taking the popular route on certain topics, that’s usually what keeps me coming back. I like to feel a connection to the blogger.

      I’d love to hear more about your evaluation and blogging experience. I’ll be starting a new series on my blog soon including brief interviews with evaluators, let me know if you’re interested/would like more info. Thanks for reading and for adding to the post!

  2. Karen, I just started blogging regularly and I was motivated to move my business model in a different direction. After working as an evaluator for nearly 10 years, I have seen that small and mid-sized organizations usually don’t get the evaluation services they need. I think the online world is a great place to proved a wider array of services at different pricing models.

    I’m definitely just beginning to test my ideas, but I hope my work will help to bring evaluation to a larger audience.

    • Great point Maria, and a great segway into my upcoming interview series for my blog! I will be interviewing evaluators on their evaluation journey(we all have a story to tell!), as well as local community organizations, related to their evaluation use and needs.

      This stemmed from #1 my natural curiosity, but I’ve also run into so many smaller organizations that just do not have the time, staff, or money to conduct an evaluation. This will also provide an opportunity to educate organizations on some of the benefits of evaluation.

      Thanks for blogging and sharing the world of evaluation with a wider audience, I’m striving to do the same!

  3. I just started a blog too, and I’m still not sure why I did it, but it’s fun and it’s exciting. In order to decide what to write about, I read, and read, and read, and of course, learn, and learn and learn, so I suppose I should write, and write, and…OK, I think you get it! I like the conversational aspect – asking a question and responding to comments. And I feel I’m getting to know people through social media. Of course, many of these are people I’ve met at AEA, including you! I sat behind you at the closing plenary. I was sitting next to June Gothberg, and we chatted for a bit! 🙂

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