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You can now use Twitter to update your status update. Read more about status updates...


Assuming you already have a twitter account, you will have to enable twitter on your ACS Network profile. To set up twitter on the ACS Network, you will need to do the following:


Go to Preferences,




Select the Twitter tab and enable.




You will then be asked to authorize linking your ACS Network profile with your Twitter profile.


Once you authorize on the Twitter side, you should be taken back to the ACS Network and your preferences should be changed.



Begin your tweet with #acsntwk, and it will appear as your status update.


[NOTE: click on the images to see more detail.]


With the upgrade of the ACS Network last month, we gained the ability to microblog.


What is a microblog, you ask? Microblog is a short little blurb which a user writes to say what they are doing or something they have seen and want to share with others. Examples of microblogging are Twitter and the Facebook status.


How do I microblog on the ACS Network?

Like Facebook, the microblog is part of your status. You can access your status in one of two ways.

1. Click on your name and go to your profile. Beneath your name is a line of text which is your status. Click on Update.


2. In the New and Your Stuff Pulldowns, there is an entry called "Updates".


Clicking on Updates under New to enter a microblog.


When you choose to update your status update, you get the update box.


In addition to adding text, you will notice two icons at the bottom. The camera indicates that you can enter an image -- a picture or graphic that you want to share.  The other icon, the "@" allows you to insert a link to a piece of content, a person, or a place that exists in the Network. Just start typing what you want to link to, and it will probably appear in the list below. Note, that if you are using multiple words, link them with the underscore. For example, type in ACS_Meetings to see the ACS Meetings forum.




Where can I see other users' microblog (status updates)?

There are multiple places you can view a user's status update.

  1. You can view the text of a microblog by looking at a person's profile. You can either go to their profile, or hover over their name next to a post, and you can see what they have posted.
  2. To see the update more completely, i.e. including links or pictures they have posted, you will need to look at that User's updates under their stuff
  3. On forum and group pages, a widget exists that shows user activity.  There is currently one on the home page entitled What Users Are Doing, which shows anything a user posts, including their status update or other content.



Remember you can personalize the ACS Network (your view). If you do this, you can show what other users are doing and filter these posts by friends or mentions (i.e. posts in which you are mentioned) or you can choose to view only or no status updates.




Status updates are evolving and will become an important way for users to share information.  Look for my next post on how we can use Twitter in the ACS Network.


As always, if you have questions or comments, please feel free to post them here.

The last blog post talked about documents that you upload. In this post, I cover the top 5 things with documents that you write using the online editor. The document appears directly in the browser window. It is not a downloadable file.


With online documents, users can:



1. Utilize more complex formatting using the HTML editor. Your will usually start out with the Rich Text Editor. Click on the small "HTML" in the right side of the bar, and you can now add embed code from another website or code HTML.  (Click on image to see larger version.)



Switching back to the Rich Text Editor is as simple as clicking on "Show Full Editor".





2. Insert  links, images or videos embedded in the document. This allows users  to see that image or video on screen without actually downloading the  file. It is simple to embed  The  Rich Text Editor makes adding these simple.


3. Add an attachment to their document. This attachment might be any type of file including an image, a PDF, a powerpoint presentation or a word document. The user can download this attachment (or sometimes preview it online). Typically, the attachment is supports the primary content in your online document.




Once you publish your document, your attachments appear in a list at the bottom of your documnet.




4. Compare versions.  This is very powerful -- you can look at what was deleted, added or changed between two versions. Owners of documents can revert to an earlier version as well.






5. As with uploaded documents, online documents can be public or private, shared with specific individuals or with groups. You may also like or rate document.

Most users are familiar with the process of uploading documents and the ACS Network Interface is pretty intuitive.  However, some things that you might not know about how you can use documents in the ACS Network....


1. Documents can be any format type, i.e. the Network supports almost any file format except for HTML.  So you can upload your Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, in addition to images (jpg, gif, png) and PDF files.


2. You can set who can edit a document, who must approve it before it is published and various commenting policys. If you upload a document to "Your Documents" you can grant access to specific individuals.




3. You can rate a document. There are a series of grey stars. You can rate the document by highlighting one, two, up to five stars. The average user rating shows how everyone rated the document.


Like all other content, you can also "Like" content. After liking content, you can change your mind and unlike it. (You cannot, however, dislike content).  Again, the system keeps track of how many users like a particular document.




4. A preview of the document is created once a document is uploaded. The system converts your document into a format that allows it to display it in the browser. Once displayed, you can zoom, turn pages, or search for a particular word within the document.



This preview is a special service and sometimes it gets stuck or fails. If that is the case, you will see a little yellow triange and a message that says "We're sorry! We were unable to convert this document for viewing".  You can click on "Click to try converting the document again"




The status of the preview should not impact the ability for other users to download your document. It only impacts their ability to see the document in the browser.


5. When you have a document previewed in the browser, you can add inline comments right into the document.

Click on the paper symbol at the upper left and then click anywhere in the document.


Finally, remember to tag your documents. This will help you organize your documents and help other users find your documents.


Let me know if I've missed anything about uploaded documents.

As many of you know, you can respond to discussions and comments via email*, but did you know it is almost as easy to create content via email.? The only trick is you need to plan where you want to add content.


If there is a particular group or forum you are following and like to post to, go to that space and look for "Create by email" in the Actions box on the right side of the page.



If you are in a forum or group you will be presented with instructions in a popup menu that looks like this. (Click on image to enlarge).



If you are in your profile, you can see that you can set your status update, create a bookmark, create a new document in Your Documents, and create a new conversation, in Your Discussions via email. (click on image to enlarge).



The vCard gives you an email address to send this new content. Essentially, this specific address indicates the place and type of content want to generate. You may find this to be useful if you have a blog, or keep your status update, or you are active in a group.


[Update 2/2/12: There is a bug for create content by email which appears when the space to which you want to post uses the Recent Content or Recent Activity widgets.  If these widgets are used, they need to be set so that Education, Experience, and Publications do not appear.  See that place's administrator to do this.]


As always, if you have any questions or comments about this functionality, please let us know. We encourage comments to this blog as others

may have the same thoughts.



*Remember: If you receive email notifications for a discussion, blog, group forum, person, you can respond to the email and your post will automatically be posted without having to actually log into the network.  This means you can participate via your blackberry, iPhone, android, or other smartphone whereever you are.

Two years ago, ACS introduced the ACS Network as a social media and professional networking platform to foster online collaboration among chemists and with other science practitioners.  Throughout its first twenty-four months, it has evolved significantly and grown in popularity. 


This past summer, we completed the most significant upgrade yet to the ACS Network.  New and improved functionality adds state-of-the-art social networking tools such as: bookmarking, status updates, in-system messaging, private discussions, and document sharing to the existing cache of ACS Network Communities tools.  In addition, we have implemented enhanced profile-building tools and “friending” capabilities to help you build your professional network.


With these recent changes, the ACS Network has become a more powerful online community building tool that makes it easier for you to locate people, information and opportunities. The ACS Network provides the platform for ACS members and the global chemistry community to interact easily within a trusted community.  It is an ideal place to collaborate on projects, convene groups, plan activities, and discuss topics within private or open forums.


I hope you take this opportunity to engage with your Society like never before.

“I don’t have time to be in a social network”.


I’ve heard this said many times. I understand that it usually takes time to learn a new tool, but I would like to point out that the ACS Network can be a real time saver. If you aren’t sure whether you should join or remain in the ACS Network consider this:


ACS Network is a professional social community. Social does not mean unprofessional. Rather it means it describes this tool as a way to interact with others in the chemical community.


The ACS Network is a tool to help make connect the chemical community.  This is especially important as we find ourselves constrained by time or geography.


•The ACS Network is an extension of what many chemists do already. We network and discuss research and other items of interest at meetings. We make connections with others with similar interests to help find opportunities or career advancement. We collaborate on research and the resulting publishing of this research.


The community on the ACS Network is diverse and conversations from the community may spawn new ideas. Many times it is our interactions with others that help us find innovative solutions. Synergy is not acheived in isolation.



Specific activities you can pursue on the ACS Network:


Connect with other chemists with similar interests online. Follow up on those connections you make at meetings and other events.  Share ideas about science or network about career advancement


Share challenges and solutions to similar problems. The Network allows some of the same questions to be documented and enables problem solving from the collective mind instead of relying on a single person.


Collaborate online. The tools of the ACS Network allow groups of people to discuss topics and work on documents together in a single space. You no longer have to keep up with the dozens of emails when trying to work on a task or a document.


Better use your time, i.e. be more efficient. You no longer have to wait for that face-to-face meeting to discuss certain topics or business. You can prepare for meetings by sharing information before or and discussing after the meeting, allowing more work to be accomplished as a result of those special in-person meetings.


I hope people realize that maybe they can’t afford not to be a part of the ACS Network.


We would love to hear your thought on the benefits of the ACS Network. If you are not already, please log in and comment below.



Mark Obrien

Status Updates

Posted by Mark Obrien Sep 20, 2010

One of the most frequently asked questions that we receive is "What is a Status Update" and "How Do I Update My Status."    A Status Update is a way to tell other what your doing, what your working on, or where you are.  For instance you might want to post a status update that says,"I'm working in the lab" ,"I'm getting ready for National Chemistry Week" or, "I'm on vacation and I won't be responding to posts until 10/1". 


It's easy to update your status.  Simply click on your name on the User Task Bar; this action will take you to your profile as shown below. Input your status in the in the text box under your name and click update. 


You will need to be logged into the ACS Network in order to update your status.   The login link appears at the top of every ACS Network page.


Status Updates.png

What's New with Friends?

  • --Only your friends can see your list of friends. You might want to  look at who your friends are connected with and connect with them as  well.
  • --You can add labels to your friends and use those labels to sort your friends. Then you can email these groups of friends.
  • --In your Friends list, you can see their recent activity or choose to receive an email alert when a friend posts.

With this improvement, the way you find and make friends has changed.


How do I friend someone I know is in the Network.

In order to friend a person you must be Logged In and you must go that user's profile. On the right side of the page is a button that says "Add User as a friend".  You will have the option to add a personalized message.





Once they accept your invitation to be a friend, that part of their profile will say "User is your friend (hooray!).


a. How to login? There should be a button at the very top of the page that says "Login".  Clicking on that should take you to a login page where you use your ACS ID and password, i.e. the same credentials to log into, or


b. How to find a user's profile? You can find a user's profile in several ways:

    • Click on their name anywhere it appears in relation to content they have created or commented on. Their name should be hyperlinked to their profile.
    • Use the Jive Search box to search on their name      
    • Browse for them in the pull down menu.   This brings up a page rich with filtering options. 




Anyway, I hope this helps you understand better how to find and make connections on the ACS Network. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them here.

If you were part of the ACS Network prior to our July 22nd migration and upgrade, you may remember that your profile had tabs to contain information about your Education, Experience, Publications, ACS Activities and Links.  In migrating, you ACS Activities is now listed in your profile (as a single field).


Your Education, Experience, and Publications have been recreated in a way that make them a hybrid of social content. This means that they are taggable and searchable, but we decided not to make them commentable. Tabs for them appear separate from your 'profile' and they also appear under "Your Stuff". (click on image to enlarge)



Because this is social content, your changes to this type of content may appear on certain pages including the  "Recent Activity" section on your main profile page.




The Education and Publication entries have more fields to help better describe your research.  In Education, there is a description field and in Publcations, there is a field for an abstract. In addition, you may now link coauthors to your publications with other ACS Network users.  When entering a publication, enter their name, and your coauthor can either approve or reject your request to be listed as a coauthor. As a coauthor, the publication will appear associated with both users.


Now some of you folks have a large number of publications and entering them into the Network one at a time is not something you want to do. If you already have a CV prepared as a downloadable document, here is what I suggest you do.

  • Upload your CV into "My Documents". This means the document is associated with you and not any forum or group.
  • Copy the URL
  • Create a publication called "My CV" or something like that.
  • Enter the URL in either the citation information and/or the Address (URL) fields. You might also describe the CV. An example might be "Analytical Chemist with more than 25 patents and 75 publications and 80 presentations."
  • Then you could move it up to the top of your list

You could also do something similar in the education field if you wanted as well.


We realize that this isn't idea.. but we think it is a pretty good solution as the bulk of a CV is usually publication information  There isn't a right or wrong here, so we would love to hear if folks have found other ways to promote themselves.

So now that you are on the ACS Network, let's talk about the features which help you promote yourself.


As I mentioned in a previous post, you can access your profile page by clicking on your name that appears under the ACS logo in the upper left.

link to profile.png

You can always access your profile from this link wherever you are in the ACS Network.


Once you get to your profile, you may see a line of text underneath your name.


If you have never updated it, it will say "Let others know what you you're up to".  If you click on that text, it will give you a box where you type in your current status.


So what good is this? Well, you might want to include something that says "I'm at the ACS National Meeting" or "I'm working on an NSF Grant"  or "I'm looking for ...(insert item)".  This little update can be something that starts a conversation or a connection and that's what the Network is all about.


In addition, to your status updates, there is a wealth of information that you can present in your profile to help connect with others.  The information now listed in your profile (proper) include your location,  your years of experience, your career stage, area of expertise, profile summer (interests, etc.) and if you are an ACS Member, your local section and technical division membership. Some of this information is automatically populated through your ACS record, and others are things you should consider entering. Remember the Actions box has a link to edit your profile, and there is box above it to change your ACS record.


Finally, the Actions box also contains a link to editing your profile photo and avatar (the image that appears beside your social content).  You can upload up to four profile pictures and you may create (but only use) one avatar.  The interface will allow you upload and crop your photo as you choose.  And yes, I will be uploading my profile picture soon.


Your status update, your profile picture, your name, and city, state, and country are visible to anyone, but the remainder of the information is only visible to other ACS Network members.  This means that this basic profile may appear on search engines, e.g. Google.


I think this is a good start on information about your profile. I'll go into more depth into promoting yourself in my next blog post.

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.


One of the more powerful features of the ACS Network is that around collaboration on documents.  I am going to use this post to explain how you can create and edit documents together now and how the experience will improve later this summer.





Let’s start first with definitions:

  1. Type: A document can be one of two types --one that you write online or one that you upload.



The online document is essentially a wiki document. You write the document in a browser window. There is an online editor which allows you to format the text (bold, italics, bullets, etc.) as well as insert an image, or a table, or even a video.






A document file that you upload  is really any file that you want to share via the Network. I can obviously be a MS Word document or an Excel spreadsheet, but it can also be an image, a PDF, or almost any other downloadable document.







  1. Tags: Remember to tag your document. This will help you organize your documents and for people to find them more easily.


  1. Place: Currently your document has to reside somewhere, and that can be in a forum or a group. Later this summer, after we upgrade the system, you will be able to add to have “private” documents that are only associated with your profile and that only you (and whoever you designate) can see.  (Click on the image below to see a larger version showing how locations might show up for you).





Once you create (or download) your document you can collaborate with others. You can manage collaborations or versions through the links in the Action Box.



Manage collaboration allows you to set who else you want to be able to work on your document and if you want people to be able to comment on it.


Manage versions, allows you can capture a new version anytime a change is made to the document. You  then can compare versions or revert to an earlier version.  The comparison of versions of an online document is very powerful as you can see two versions side-by-side with green highlights indicating information added, and red highlights indicating deleted items. 









Here are some examples of how you might collaborate on a document.

  1. You create a document and tell a group about it. They come in and make comments below and make changes to the document. At the end of a certain period of time, you close off the document so only you can edit and comments can no longer be made.
  2. You might have an event that you capture some minutes or other information. You embed an image and some comments. Another person at the event has another image and comments. They can either enter a comment at the bottom and insert their picture, or they can insert their picture in the original document, add some text, then put a comment at the bottom to let folks know of the changes.





Finally, collaborating on documents will only improve after our upcoming upgrade.  Many downloaded documents (word, excel, etc) will be able to be viewed in the browser without actually having to download it. Users reviewing your document can insert inline comments as well. 


Look for this functionality coming up later this summer.





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