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ACS Network Local Section Toolkit

ACS Network Local Section Toolkit

Why ACS Network

The ACS Network is the social tool of the American Chemical Society.  As a chemist, this resource allows you to connect with other chemists throughout your career. The content is owned by the ACS and its functionality is being developed with the chemical community in mind.  It has tools which allow you to develop a profile and to collect friends.  It uses the ACS ID, the same credentials you use to renew your dues or to access C&EN or other publications online.

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Executive Committee or Chapter Officers

The ACS Network has some very strong tools that can support the work and duties of local section officers.  A secret group can be formed to keep minutes, notes, and any other documents generated for and by section offices. The document and file upload tools provide a better way for a group to write or review documents than by email.  The secret group can become the permanent place to keep documents as officers change.

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General Local Section Activities

A group (open, members, or private group) can be set up for the entire local section. This group can be used to have discussions among members.

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Local Section events

Use the Network can help your chapter decide as a group what events you want to sponsor.  There are various ways you can prioritize or vote on ideas. And then when you are ready, you can invite and promote them using the events function.  When your section is done with a particular event, you can post pictures in a photo album or share a video for all your members to see.

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The ACS Network can be used as a communication tool. Local sections can remind their members or an event or advertise a program by starting a discussion or posting an announcement.   Organizers or officers can update their status and remind other users about upcoming events.  All users can also choose to follow or track a group, a person, or a piece of content so that it appears on their activity stream.  They can set up their preferences to control the emails they receive around followed and tracked content.  Finally, announcements can be set in a group for all members to see.

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Grants and Awards Selection Process

The ACS Network provides a secure, private place for local sections to evaluate applications for grants, awards, scholarships, or any other competition. There are a variety of ways members can prioritize or vote on ideas,

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This is a great description of the potential utility of the ACS Network for local sections. But many local sections have developed procedures over the years for carrying out their business, and change comes at a cost. Even though new procedures that capitalize on the ACS Network may be better (i.e., are lower in free energy), the activation barrier to adoption may be high.

What suggestions do you have for getting people to try new methods when they have been doing the same thing for many years (perhaps decades)?

I can appreciate that local sections (and divisions and other groups) have developed procedures for doing their business and that change is difficult.

I would say to start small. Select a small group of people working on something small, maybe a task force working on a specific meeting or event. Show them the specific ways to use the Network.

I think one of the places we have fallen short is that we assume people will be able to connect the dots and see how to do things in a new way, so the more specific the instructions are, the easier it is for people to use the platform.  Not only does this include how to do things  such as post and edit content, but also how to set up notifications or activity streams.

Christopher McCarthy and I are always available to help if you run into difficulties.