Question: evaluation notes: community segments -- not what you think!

liz is asking a question about evaluation: Subscribe to answer questions on this topic

liz asked on March 08, 2018 19:18
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I just got off the phone with the fine people of We were discussing ... evaluation.

When i mentioned the low rates of response to last June's "All Community Survey" , and about how the software community is leading its own survey effort, they offered "oh, great, that's one of your community's segments!"

Of course I immediately asked for more information.

They explained that community segments are not the types of people coming to Public Lab as understood in terms of identity, but rather are groupings of people who are experiencing Public Lab in similar ways.

I asked for more clarification while saying that in our open community we design for inclusiveness and then do not further customize or limit the experience people may have by who they are or what the external world recognizes their expertise as being, and they explained that

  • generally, a diverse set of people will have a common interaction with [a given organization, say Public Lab] that are making them feel a certain shared way about the organization, while
  • specifically, other sets of people are experiencing different modes of interaction with [a given organization, say Public Lab] that make them feel variously about the organization.

They continued:

to treat these groups as equal with a singular approach of asking for feedback is missing the opportunity to understand that there are different modes and stages of interaction. Imagine someone who comes once a year to say hello at an OpenCall VS someone who is interacting 3x/week while leading a local research project. We would ask for their feedback differently based on what experience they are having, and segment the results. Think about what unique groups exist in terms of the experience they are having. Then, think of people as being on a journey, and if 50% of the people are only visiting the site once a year, how do we engage these people more deeply. To recap, community segments are not about identity, it's about experience.

What do you think?

The people engaged with (scroll all the way down!) are a clear segment of our community who are having a shared experience, and we designed a feedback mechanism for them and brought it to them inside that experience.

What other segments come to mind and how might we ask them for their feedback?




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