Yes, we've upgraded. If you have used the ACS Network before, you realize that it is now different.
Social tools are evolving quickly and our vendor makes several releases of the platform software each year. Not only do we want to offer you new functionality, but we want to fix the things that are not working properly and enhance the overall performance of the Network. This can only be acheived by upgrading on a regular basis.
What does this upgrade include?
Our platform vendor made some major changes to the software which will make it a more useful tool for you. Some of these changes include a redesign of the user interface which we feel will be easier for more of our users.
We've also updated the look to be more visually appealing and segmented the content so that users can more easily find the information they are seeking.
The new platform also introduces an activity stream to help you follow and segment the content you are most interested in. You can access these via the top of the page. We will post more information about this functionality and start to show you how you can use the Network.
Finally, this upgraded platform sets us up to grow. We are looking to making the Network more useful. We are looking at how we might integrate it with other systems, including some of those already existing ACS applications and websites. It will also allow us to leverage externally-developed applications and tools which again, will enhance the usefulness of the ACS Network as tool to do your work.
This is so different - what am I supposed to do?
We realize that this change is fairly major and that it may take time to relearn to do certain things. We will be working in the coming weeks to release information on how to use the Network's new functionality. We hope to offer both written and video pieces, not only to show you specific functionality changes, but also how to best use the Network for the things you want to do.
We encourage users to ask questions in this support forum to help us understand what major challenges and frustrations the new interface brings. (And yes, we know it is not perfect but we hope it is constantly improving).
We don't anticipate any major changes to the platform for the first half of 2012. We do expect to release some smaller features which may enhance your work as a chemist and ACS member. Our primary focus will be on helping users learn to take advantage of all the Network has to offer.
I am open to your suggestions, comments, and even criticisms. I am not only the ACS Network Product Manager, but I am a chemist and ACS Member, and I value your opinion. I encourage you to follow me or this blog so you can keep up with different topics about the ACS Network.