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Upgraded for 2012 - ACS Network 3.0

Upgraded for 2012 - ACS Network 3.0

Yes, we've upgraded. If you have used the ACS Network before, you realize that it is now different.

Why upgrade?

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).

What's next?

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.

Tags (1)

How do we access our "private messages" from the old version? They're not under the new "direct messages." And when I click on a link in my email to a private message, like, I get the error "An unexpected error has occurred. Private messages are disabled."


Previous Community Member

I am also unable to access my private messages. Any advice on how to recover these messages would be greatly appreciated!

Jeremy and April,

The private messaging functionality is one which is being deprecated by our platform provider. We will work on a plan to allow you to access these messages for a limited time. We'll keep you posted.


Previous Community Member

Hi Christine,

How do I change Ownership of a Group. I am co-owner of the Chemical Information Division group and we want to replace the other owner with our Communications Chair. There doesn't seem to be a way to do this under Manage.

Thanks, -Graham-

As the owner of a group, you should see a purple "manage" icon on the right side of the overview page. Click on that menu and select "Members". You should see everyone who is a member and their role. You can change the role of a member to an administrator owner or vice versa. I do recommend having multiple admins for every group.

Hope this helps.


Previous Community Member

Hi Christine,

When I received an email from the ACS Network regarding the Group Owner\Adminstrator change question, it says "Reply to this email to respond to Christine Brennan Schmidt's comment." But then the email is returned as Undeliverable and I don't see my response here. That function isn't working properly. It's not clear how I would attach the Undeliverable email notification here, and I'm not allowed to Insert Image here.

Did you change the subject at all? I'll take a look when I get a chance. Thanks for letting us know.

Hi Christine,

Finding Groups that a member belongs to should be more intuitive.  What about adding a category under "My Society" that is called "Groups in the ACS Network"?  The number and type of Groups has grown large enough that I think having some pull-down filters for finding groups would be helpful.  For example, ACS Committee, Group Type=Open.

Changes in the site have hidden "My Stuff" and made the site harder to use.  Have you considered having the tab labels that show up when I click on my name appear as a submenu when I hover the mouse over my name?  Perhaps this isn't ADA compliant.  One of the labels for my stuff is "Places" - as Groups was used when the site was launched and this term is still used on the web site, it is confusing to also use the word Places.  Places seems much less personal than My Groups.  What about having a choice called "My ACS Network" in the same menu bar as "Your Society" that could contain My Stuff.  The subcategories for it could use the same tab labels you seen after clicking on your name.

Many thanks for considering these comments.

Grace Baysinger

Thanks, Grace,

We do understand the issues with finding groups.  And both the vendor (whose product we're using) and we are working on different solutions.

One of the characteristics of groups is that they are created by the users. We don't control how they are used or how they are tagged.  We are in the process of a project that will clean up some of the groups and we may try to tag these.  Having appropriate tags may allow us to the Network to display certain classes of groups such as committees or local sections. I will say that we have a large number of groups.

The thing to remember about groups is that they are a place to put content. JiveSoftware, in their next iteration of the product, has removed browsed and simply put a "Places" link. Other places that users can put content include Forums and Projects (which we have not enabled).  For all of these, there are numerous filters that one can use that appear in the left-hand navigation, including groups that one belongs to or owns.

We are working on preparing a plugin which will allow users to list their favorite links, which I think should include your favorite groups.  You should see this new link in the topbar by the end of the month. (It will be called either Favorites or QuickLinks).

Again, we appreciate your comments and will keep them in mind as we further develop the Network.