The last few weeks…a recap.
- Launched a new evaluation networking group (Awkward Evaluation Networking).
- Had our first virtual get together (went well, looking forward to the next one).
- Planned the second virtual get together (today, Wednesday, June 9 at 3PM).
This afternoon at 3 we’ll have our second Awkward Evaluation Networking webinar. George Mount of Stringfest Analytics will open up the event with a short talk about his new book Advancing into Analytics: From Excel to Python and R.
Then we’ll dive into some conversation and open networking. You can register here.
Online Community is a Webinar
For all the fanciness of new-fangled online community software, there is one lesson I’ve learned in the past that keeps getting reinforced.
If you want to build an online community, you should start with a webinar series.
Community sites, forums, blogs, and email listservs can be awesome tools, but it’s too easy to hide. To lurk instead of participate. To avoid the awkwardness that is necessary for connection.
It’s harder to hide on a webinar, especially if you use breakout groups and call on people to participate by name. Sure it can be uncomfortable, but it’s necessary.
The Hallway between the Webinars
Once people meet and open up to one another, then you need additional space where they can deepen their relationships.
At a conference this is the hallway between the rooms, the hotel lobby, or the hotel bar. This is where you can reinforce connections. The spot where you can follow-up with that person who shared an interesting story or connect with the presenter to ask your more specific questions.
This is the part that is often missing in the virtual world. It’s not the place to start, but it can be helpful to help the community grow.
Introducing the freshspectrum Community.
Consider this the hallway between the webinars.
Or maybe the hotel bar of evaluation communities.
It’s also a space that will tie together all of my personal digital initiatives.
What you’ll find.
- Featured cartoons (I’ll share a few cartoons each week, some new and some from the archive)
- An open evaluation networking section, designed to go in tandem with the live webinars but open to everyone.
- A spot for my Cartoon patrons to request cartoons and get access to my cartoon dropbox folder.
- An EvalCentral section, where you can submit your evaluation blog or suggest other evaluation blogs for inclusion.
- An Evaluation Workshops section, where we will hold private discussion communities for people enrolled in the workshops I create for other evaluators (and for my own).