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.
First off, would you consider yourself web savvy?
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?
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.
The Gist will be a regular series at FreshSpectrum.com providing brief overviews of potentially useful applications for researchers, evaluators, and academics. Note: I am not an affiliate and have not accepted money for reviewing any application.
What is it?
SurveyGizmo is a web-based survey application.
Five pricing levels. Free, $19/mo (Personal), $49/mo (Pro), $159/mo (Enterprise), $599/mo (Dedicated). There are some pretty big differences in pricing levels. The free account is basically a trial version with a pretty high “for free” 250/month response limit. The personal account is similar in price and features to competitors Survey Monkey and Zoomerang. The “most popular” pro account unlocks most of the application’s advanced survey features. Finally the enterprise and dedicated accounts give you multiple user accounts and much higher monthly response limits. SurveyGizmo also offers some specials including a Free Student Account and Non-Profit discounts.
For a complete breakout checkout here:
SurveyGizmo is a newer web service (founded in 2006) compared to its most familiar competitors which were founded in the late 90s but it brings features most researchers are accustomed to seeing only in software packages that hide their pricing behind sales teams. Some of these features include advanced skip logic, branching, pre-loaded data, piping, and password protected survey logins. With no contracts and multiple pricing levels you can easily graduate up to a more sophisticated account when needed.
There is no unlimited monthly response option in any of SurveyGizmo’s main payment plans. You have to upgrade to at least the enterprise account to gain access to a few features you may want including SPSS export capability, secure links, or private domain linking.
SurveyGizmo is a solid web survey program that competes well with a range of products from simple web survey programs like Survey Monkey and Zoomerang to more advanced packages like Confirmit and VOXCO. For anyone looking for an affordable no contract web survey tool but not wanting to give up the advanced feature sets that come with more expensive packages, SurveyGizmo is worth a try.