Web Perspectives: Amy A. Germuth on Evaluation Blogging

Web Perspectives is a new ongoing series for FreshSpectrum.com. For this series I will interview researchers, evaluators, and academics to learn about their professional experiences with the web.

Amy A. Germuth is President of EvalWorks, LLC a woman-owned small evaluation and survey research consulting business in Durham, NC. She blogs at EvalThoughts.com

First off, would you consider yourself web savvy?

Yes.

Why do you blog? Is it to stay connected to clients, establish a level of expertise on the web, personal satisfaction, or for some other reason?

I blog mainly to establish myself / company. My blogs are less for my clients as much as other evaluators.

Your blog’s subheading displays a desire to promote discussion and act as a resource for evaluators and consultants, do you believe it has worked towards these goals?

Yes – even though few persons have commented on my blog via the blog I have heard from persons via email and directly that they follow my blog postings.

That’s great that you are hearing from your readers, sometimes it’s hard to tell who you’ve reached since only so many people comment on a regular basis. I have noticed a blog post from you on the AEA365 blog. Have you written posts anywhere else?

No – I have not written blog posts anywhere else but one of my blog posts was picked up by someone who asked me to write for their newsletter.

Would you recommend blogging to other researchers or evaluators? Why/why not?

Yes – for me it has worked as sort of a marketing tool. Even though it is meant for other evaluators many evaluators contact me to want my help or to collaborate on work.

I think it’s tough sometimes when you first start blogging, it takes time to really start to develop a readership and realize some of the benefits. When did you begin blogging and do you have any tips from your experience for first time bloggers?

I began blogging last June and my main tip would be to try it, even if you don’t know for sure you can do it. Once I got into it different ideas I wanted to blog about kept popping up!

In addition to having a nice website and blog you seem to be well presented following a Google search of your name. Do you pay attention to how you are presented in search engines? In other words, have you googled yourself?

Yes, I do Google myself and see what is “out there” on the web. I do care how I am presented on the web. Basically I tell persons who are interested in consulting that if they do not exist on the web then they do not exist. The minimum they should invest in is a professional-looking website.

Have you taken any steps to tailor either your own image, or EvalWorks image, online? If so what have you done?

No, not necessarily tailor besides investing in a professional website. I have not sought to remove things about myself from the web if that is what you mean by tailoring.

Removing things would be one way to tailor. The other side of tailoring would be adding things about yourself to the web, like keeping up a LinkedIn profile, posting presentations on slideshare, or adding your business to appropriate online directories. Do you follow any good blogs that you think other researchers and evaluators would find valuable?

Definitely –
Jane Davidson – Evaluation – http://genuineevaluation.com/
Gar Reynolds – Data Visualization – http://www.presentationzen.blogs.com/
Stephen Few – More Data Visualization – http://www.perceptualedge.com/blog/

I also regularly look at blogs around consulting and technology for small business.

Finally, can you finish this sentence. For me the web is…the gateway to information.