What is the ACS Network?
The ACS Network is a content-sharing platform run by the chemistry community, for the chemistry community sponsored by the ACS. It is utilized by ACS members, chemists, students, staff, governance and more. The ACS Network is a place for people to create or join groups and forums, ask questions, share ideas, and deliver news to appropriate audiences.
What can I do with the ACS Network?
The ACS Network can be used to host spaces specifically designed for groups within the Society. These spaces can be used to host open discussions, warehouse document archives, display newsletters and recent updates, and connect members of leadership with their constituency. Users may create their own profiles, through which they can join groups and follow pages. Any user logged into the ACS Network can create a new group, in which they will have control over group member invitations, content, and design. In order to create a forum, webmasters may reach out to the ACS Network administrators, who can establish a forum. A webmaster will then be provided access to build out the space with unique content, design, and customizable user permissions.
How do I access the ACS Network?
To visit public pages on the ACS Network, users can simply go to www.acs.org/network or communities.acs.org and scroll through or search for content. To visit pages with more restricted visibility, users must log in using their ACS ID (ACS username and password). If they do not have an account, users may create one to access these pages. Throughout the ACS Network, many pages grant access to those logged in with an ACS ID, however some spaces may only be accessible to members of ACS. Webmasters may create public or restricted spaces and grant other users permission to access the space. Permissions may be manipulated according to the amount of access and editing power webmasters would like to grant to other users of the space.
What are the limitations of the ACS Network?
The ACS Network is a useful platform, however it is built to be a social sharing site, and therefore does not provide all of the tools and features that may be available from full web-hosting services. Users are restricted to using the tools built into the platform, and in many cases, these tools can be used to mimic the communiations offered with a regular HTML-based website. For example, we recommend using the blog functionality to make regular announcements around events, awards, etc.
The technical support available on the Network is comprised of the Help forum with instructional documents, and email support from a handful of ACS Network administrators. There are no e-commerce options available via the ACS Network, and the only option for log-in is using an ACS ID.
How can I best make use of the ACS Network?
As webs.com site hosting for ACS component groups is phased out, the ACS Network can serve a few functions. While looking to transition to a new web host, the ACS Network may serve as an online space to warehouse content and remain in contact with constituencies until a full transition can be achieved. The ACS Network may serve as a supplement to new websites, as an accessible tool for communication between members of local section leadership or conversation among constituents. New websites may find benefit in a direct connection to other groups within ACS by maintaining a space on the platform. Finally, small local sections looking to maintain an online presence without resources available to maintain a full website may find a solution in designing a space on the ACS Network.
We hope to provide some specific examples of how the ACS Network can be used to support digital communication for some of the smaller groups.