From Networked Advocacy
From instant polls to formal analysis, network leaders can choose between a wide range of feedback-gathering tools. Some of the most useful:
- Ask your members! Yes, this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to evaluate the health of your community. Talk to members at meetings. Appoint individuals who regularly check in with various actors to see how things are going. Building these lines of communication will also strengthen your
- Participatory evaluation tools like community maps. These can be fun and effective ways to gather information during events, retreats,
- Survey. A step up from the ‘conversation’ approach, surveying can be effective, easy and free. Consider tools like Survey Monkey to check in with community members at defined intervals
- Diagnostic tools. Groups using online tools like websites and social networking sites should also monitor traffic and use. Determine which information is most popular, and build it out accordingly. Instant polls and widgets on websites can also be helpful.
- Social Network Analysis. A step up from surveying, Social Network Analysis involves modeling network relationships and communications. Using programs like Netdraw, network leaders can map location, strength of ties and direction of information flow between network nodes. SNA adds lots of value because it helps network actors visualize their network - see who is most in touch, where resources come from, etc.
New! We've just posted a handy custom diagnostic tool for diagnosing the strength of various network characteristics. It will draw from the information contained throughout the wiki, and suggest priorities for various interventions.