Tag Archives: Resources

The Coalitionist dictionary

For our mutual convenience, here’s a link dictionary of networking, public engagement and coalition building terms used in entries throughout The Coalitionist. I’ll periodically update and expand it as new terms and new definitions are used in this blog.

civic engagement


coalition building





public engagement

public involvement

public involvement 


Quick Tip: Making sure we speak the same language

If you feel that you and your coalition or network members are talking past one another, you might try mediating the conversation through Wordle.net. (Another take on this concept with richer features can be found at http://manyeyes.alphaworks.ibm.com/manyeyes/.)

Wordle describes itself as a tool “for generating ‘word clouds’ from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes” to emphasize differences in frequency of use.

Wordle’s real beauty is that it gives you an easily understood quantitative visual analysis of whether you and your audiences are using the same language to talk about common issues and concerns.

It’s not just text responses that you can run through Wordle.  Some use it to analyze how people are tagging content (see http://www.wordle.net/gallery/wrdl/505252/WRI_Delicious_Tags:_4_Feb_2009) to see if the language they use is the same as that of their audiences. (This visual example of a Wordle chart may take some time to load.)

All in all, it’s a good, fast way to mid-course reality check whether you and those you’re trying to motivate are talking about the same things in the same way.

A tasty way to measure your impact

I stumbled across a recent account from the communications staff at Missouri University of Science and Technology about using a del.icio.us account to keep track of their online news stories and blog posts. 

Their insight: while using del.icio.us makes it easier to track media coverage, it also provides a potent tool for measuring and analyzing the impact of their media relations activities since del.icio.us shows you which stories are being saved by others (one indication of popularity).

Add in the use of tags and tag clouds, and you can start getting a pretty good tool for identifying the issues and interests of your current and potential allies and coalition partners.






The measure of my laziness

It’s Sunday. I haven’t an original thought in mind.  So here’s a link to a compendium of The Measurement Standard’s coverage of social media, social media measurement and social media ROI.

Measuring your Facebook make-up

You can’t deny the appeal of MySpace and Facebook if you’re trying to organize thought and action around an issue or project – unless you’re a corporate IT manager (but that’s a whole ‘nother story).

Social sites command large audiences whose members potentially can become your advocates. And by listening to their conversations, you can get ideas and feedback on how to improve your outreach and advocacy.

But how do you know that you’re making a real impact with Facebook, et al?  And how do you get the numbers and analysis that enables you to report back results that are meaningful and understandable to other, perhaps less Web 2.0-savvy members of your organizations.

At least some answers to those questions can be found in this article from The Measurement Standard.  It provides some simple benchmarks, as well as a framework for how to go about measuring your social site presence.

It also underscores implicitly a key point about social media’s impact on most organizations and their communicators.  

Most issues, most groups, aren’t going to move the needle on an issue by sheer numbers.  The real value comes from the insights and analysis gained from relatively unfiltered access to people who’ve just proven they care enough, or are interested enough, to act. And action is the most important attribute you want from potential allies or coalition members when pressing for change.

My life on the D-List

One thing unites all bloggers – the obsessive search for stats and feedback that, at a minimum, prove they aren’t the equivalent of some loon haranguing an empty sidewalk in Hyde Park.

So here are some easy online stats generators that you can use either for self-aggrandizement or for measuring and fine-tuning your professional or organizational blog or online presence:

  1. Conduct a weekly Facebook search on your, your organization and your competition (ditto for whatever social utility you use).
  2. Go to www.xinureturns.com and see how your URLs rate.
  3. Visit www.compete.com and see how you stack up against the competition.
  4. Go to http://www.kineda.com/are-you-an-a-list-bloglebrity/ to rank your “bloglebrity status.”

Helpful research tools and tips

It’s easier to build trust and motivate people when you can marshal and provide the right facts; that is, information that strengthens rather than distorts public decision making.  

Sometimes, however, it’s difficult to figure out just where to find that information.  That’s when something like the  Journalist’s Toolbox comes in handy, as we’re reminded by Poynter Online.

Found at the Society for Professional Journalists, the Toolbox provides an extensive collection of links to search tools, election coverage, First Amendment issues, jobs, education resources (high school and college), Investigative Reporters and Editors and other data/statistics sites, and links to topical issues (terrorism, floods, etc.).

The Journalist’s Toolbox is available at journaliststoolbox.org) or from SPJ’s home page. Its list of categories displays the number of posts per category, and allows you to link directly to a particular topic, so you can bypass the front page if desired.