World Affairs

[Enter Attention-Grabbing Headline Here]

October 4, 2013

Washington Blues

Unless you’ve been away in outer space, with the Voyager 1 perhaps, you’ve heard at least one bit of news this week about the inner workings of the US government in this wonderful town of ours: that it’s a [expletive] mess.  Federal buildings are closed.  People aren’t getting paid.  Tourists are unhappy. And at least a few couples can’t get married.  There’s so much pressure to solve the impasse that no other policy issue is likely to gain traction during this period.  One lesson learned for advocates: avoid scheduling congressional lobby days on the first day of the fiscal year.  Just sayin’.

Kittens Are Evil.  Seriously.

So the American Evaluation Association annual conference is less than two weeks away, which got us thinking about what makes for a truly amazing conference.  It all starts with the name.  “Evaluation 2013: Evaluation Practice in the 21st Century” is nice and all, but not really catchy or provocative.  Personally, we love “Kittens Are Evil”: these conferences (playfully) explore alternatives to outcomes-based performance management for social policy interventions.  Grabbed your attention, didn’t it?     

Create Your Own Headline

Driving social media “engagement” has emerged as the Holy Grail in evaluating digital outreach.  But determining what kind of messaging hooks folks and activates them as champions for your cause is challenging.  As we just demonstrated, the right headline (or email subject line) can help.  Now comes Clickbait with a fabulous random generator of headlines (of questionable “truthiness”) guaranteed to draw lots of eyeballs.  “Is Mark Zuckerberg secretly canoodling with the NSA?”  We want more details!