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Ever since we launched the upgraded ACS Network last week, I've been thinking about what it is you need to know about first. There are just so many new and enhanced features, that at times, I feel at a loss of what to tell you.


So I will start to point out some major changes and things you might want to do immediately.


When you first came to the Network, you will notice that the home page looks different. I've marked up a partial screenshot to highlight some of the areas that might be of interest to you. (Click on the image to enlarge.)




One of the first things you might want to do is to set your email preferences. You can access your preferences by going to your profile or through

the "Your Stuff" pull down menu.  Select Preference and then Email Notification Preferences.  On this menu you can choose if you want to receive a summary email (essentially a digest) of some from the Network.


I suspect it will help you to understand a few items on your profile. If you look to the right hand side, you should see these two boxes.



The first box, entitled "ACS Account Management" has a link for you to manage the information on your ACS record. This is the information related to your address and email address and whether you are opted into the ACS Network which is stored on a different system at ACS.


The second box, entitled "Actions" has several links.


  • Edit profile shows information in your ACS profile. Some of them can only be changed via your ACS Record as described above.  Most of the other profile fields should be self-explanatory.


  • Change photo & avatar allows you to upload up to four profile images. You can crop them as you like. In addition, you can create up to three avatars (or select an exisiting one).


  • Edit preferences allows you to select some general settings. You can also access "Email Nofication Preferences" which allows you to set what your default email settings are. In addition, you can set your email summary (email digest) frequency.


  • Manage email notifcations shows you the list of items you are watching and for which you receive email notifications. These might include a certain type of content, group, forum, or user, you can go to his menu. To stop receiving notifications, click on the Name and you should then see in the resulting Actions box a link to "Stop email notifications".


Hopefully, this is a start on the new ACS Network. I'll go into more depth about the profiles in my next post.

As you can see, the ACS Network has undergone some major change. Not only have we updated the look and feel, we have migrated the profiles to a new platform which has allowed us to introduce many new and enhanced functionalities.


Many of us who worked on this project are recovering from the long hours or are still working through some of the minor bugs. Still we thought it would be important to point out some changes, especially around your profile.


The first change you may notice is that your profile picture has disappeared. Due to the change in technology, we felt that migrating your old photos would not work and that most users would prefer customizing their profile images and avatars.  You can find a link in the Action box on your profile page.


Another change is that your publications, education, and experience are more of a hybrid between profile information and social content. It is more easy to share this information, to tag it, and to search it. In addition, members of the Network who are coauthors on a publication can linked.


You will also have access to private messaging through the Network to other users. You can also add bookmarks of sites you would like to keep f or yourself or share with others.


I will writer more about the enhancements in the near future. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to post them as a comment to this post or as a question in the General Forum & Suggestions.


Stay cool and enjoy!  

I am so pleased to tell you, the users of the ACS Network, that we are making some significant upgrades to the ACS Network later this month.  I’ve mentioned it before in a previous post, but I can only reiterate that we have heard you and are making improvements to the Network.



So what does this mean for you?



Well, your profile is going to change.  We are migrating all the profile information into the system which also serves up the community functions (groups, discussion, documents, etc.) Currently, our profiles and connections are hosted on a different system from the community functionality and the two systems do not integrate well.



The new profile will allow you to do a few things better.


You will be able to have four images show up in your profile. You will also be able to create your own avatar (that small image that appears beside any content you create) that can be related or totally separate from your profile picture.



Your publications will now allow you to not only put the citations information, but also include a place for an abstract. In addition, you can indicate if you have any coauthors who are members of the Network. When you include these, the coauthor will have the opportunity to approve or ignore this connection and the publication will appear in their list as well.



Publications actually become social content and you will be able to tag it so that others may find if they are searching on a tag or group of tags.  Some spaces (groups or forums) may show recently added publications through a recent content widget.



Many of you have asked if you can download your publications from other sources. Although we haven’t tackled that, we do have another new feature which should allow you to post a CV to your profile.  More on this later.



So in the meantime, bear with us. We’re working hard to make sure your data migrates into this new functionality. If you were thinking of building out your profile, you might want to wait until later this month when we have released the upgrade.



I promise to write more about upcoming functionality….and I hope you are as excited as I am about the improvements we’re about to make.



And as always, if you have questions, post them below and I will try to answer them the best I can.


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