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We're excited to announce that you can now search the 800+ awards listed in the Financial Assistance for Library & Information Studies (FALIS) Directory in the Opportunities Exchange in ALA Connect.

Meeting requests are like Doodle polls that let you figure out the best time for everyone in your group to meet. Connect meeting requests also have the added feature of letting you automatically create a Connect calendar event based on the times of your poll. And as always, email notifications are automatic so you don't have to go through the separate steps of emailing everyone a link to the form or the event.

Here's a walkthrough of the process.

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Discussion New Features: Font and Background Colors, Email Enhancements, Non-members in Networks, and More

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 03:13 pm

Here's a quick summary of several minor enhancements we've introduced during the last six weeks, along with a short timeline of exciting things to come in April.

Here's a quick summary of several minor enhancements we've introduced during the last six weeks, along with a short timeline of exciting things to come in April.

  1. Based on a past suggestion, ALA members can now add non-ALA members to their networks. This remains a member perk, so non-ALA members still can't have their own networks. This will be important in the future when your network will become another filter for finding relevant and interesting pieces of ALA and what's happening around the Association. We're also planning to implement the second piece of the suggestion, a "poll your network" feature.
  2. We've also made several improvements to online docs to make collaboration easier.
     
    • The WYSIWYG editor now lets you change font color and background so that you can indicate something that's changed or emphasize specific text in a different way. These color changes will also come through in the email notifications.
       
    • You can see the name of the person who last updated the online doc on both Connect and in the email notification.
       
    • When you're editing an online doc, there's a box called "revision information" where you can provide a summary of what you changed. Few people have been using this, but we've added the text you put in that box to the email notification in the hope that it will make it easier to tell what's going on without having to go look at the site. So as you edit an online doc, be sure to put a phrase or sentence in that "revision information" box to help your colleagues understand the changes you made.


       

  3. Also, whenever you post content to Connect now (not just for online docs), you'll get the exact same email notification that everyone else in the group is receiving. That way, you know the message went out and you can see what they see.

These changes have been well-received so far, so please let us know if they help improve how you interact with Connect. These are the visible changes you can see from the last two months, but there's been a lot more "behind-the-scenes" stuff going on to get ready for April, which is turning into a big month for us. Here's a quick run-down of some big projects we'll be unveiling in the next 30 days (no fooling).

  1. We're migrating the site to a new enterprise-level hosting environment so that we can restore chat and prepare for the onslaught of users we know will hit the site for Annual Conference. Uptime and speed for the win!
  2. After the dust from the migration has settled, the group-based file repositories will finally make their debut. They're oh-so-close to being ready, and I think you'll really like this new feature.
  3. We'll also be introducing a new "follow a group" feature that lets you subscribe to email notifications of public content from groups you're not a member of. More on that when it's ready.
  4. We've already started on the next phase of enhancements for the Conference Scheduler for the 2011 Annual Conference. New features will include file attachments with each session so that you can get all a program's materials in one place, seeing who's planning to attend a session (with folks from your network listed first), user-generated session tags, the ability to get email updates when a session's information changes, and more.

Yes, it's a very busy time for Connect right now, with still more to come. If you're interested in next steps, you can view the timeline for the rest of this fiscal year. We'll also be releasing our 2012 Roadmap in the near future.

Questions? Suggestions? Leave 'em in the comments.

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Discussion Help - I Can't Log in!

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 08:50 pm

Here's a checklist of reasons why your login might not be working if you're an ALA member. If you're not an ALA member, you should try resetting your password

Here's a checklist of reasons why your login might not be working if you're an ALA member. If you're not an ALA member, you should try resetting your password

  1. You need to be a current ALA member to log in with an existing ALA account. If your membership has expired, your ALA login won't work until you renew your membership. If you're not an ALA member and you haven't created an account on Connect before, you'll need to register first.

     

  2. If you checked the preference in your member profile on the ALA website to not appear in the member directory/Connect, you don't appear at all here on this site, because it serves as our new version of the directory. That also means you don't have access to Connect, though, because we can't hide you while also letting you participate.

    If you want to log in here, you'll need to log in to the ALA website, update your profile, and select the option to include yourself in Connect. Once you've saved this new preference, you should be able to log in to Connect using your ALA member information.

     

  3. The username and password you're using may be incorrect. To double-check that you're using the right ones, you can recover your login information on the ALA website.

     

  4. Please also note that you cannot use an organization's member login to access Connect, because the site is designed to run off individual accounts. This is because organizations can't join a committee, fill out a person's profile, participate in a discussion, join MentorConnect, etc. We welcome folks at institutions that are organizational members of ALA to create non-member accounts on the site in order to still participate in discussions.

     

  5. If you're still experiencing problems logging in, please use the contact us form or get help directly from our Customer Service department.
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Discussion Where did all of my/our posts go?

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 11:15 am

In version 1 of ALA Connect, there was a tool called "posts," which was supposed to give the group something that looked like blog posts. However, the feedback we received from users was that it was confusing to know when to post something as a post versus a discussion versus an online doc versus a file, etc.

In version 1 of ALA Connect, there was a tool called "posts," which was supposed to give the group something that looked like blog posts. However, the feedback we received from users was that it was confusing to know when to post something as a post versus a discussion versus an online doc versus a file, etc.

With version 2 of Connect, we've removed the "posts" tool in order to decrease that confusion. Don't worry, though - none of the old posts were deleted from Connect groups. Instead, we moved them all into group discussion forums. If a post already had a subject heading, it went in a discussion forum with that name. If it didn't have a subject heading, it was moved into the "General News & Discussion" forum.

Hopefully this will help reduce the choice overload problem, but we've also provided some recommendations for when you might want to use a specific tool in your Connect group. There's no one "right" way to use Connect, but hopefully these guidelines will help you determine which tool will best accomplish your goal when you're posting something.

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Discussion Logistics

by David Vess on Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 09:03 am

When can ALA Connect spaces be created for new groups (boards, committees)?  I have a board that forms at the close of Annual but I really need to get rolling with something now (for the new board members and round table membership).

Can new groups absorb another groups space?

When can ALA Connect spaces be created for new groups (boards, committees)?  I have a board that forms at the close of Annual but I really need to get rolling with something now (for the new board members and round table membership).

Can new groups absorb another groups space?

My situation is:  The GLBTRT's new board will replace the steering committee (SC) at the close of Annual.  SC was never active in connect but there are some things in the space that I'd like us to hold on to.  Will we always have the dissolved group (like SC) in our roster of Connect spaces or will it go away?  Can the SC space be renamed for the new board?  That would work for our needs.  I don't have to have a space where the new board can log into yet, just a place to post public documents about our future work, place our Fall meeting schedule in the calendar, etc.

Thanks!

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Online Doc Frequently Asked Questions about Comments in ALA Connect

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 09:34 pm
  1. Who can comment on something posted to an ALA group or member community?
    Anyone in the group/community can comment on anything posted to the group, whether the item is closed to the group only or is made available to the public. Keep in mind that comments you make today stay in the system even after you leave a particular committee or division, so act accordingly.

    Anyone with an ALA Connect login (ALA members and non-members who have created an account) can comment on any public content posted to any group.

     

  1. Who can comment on something posted to an ALA group or member community?
    Anyone in the group/community can comment on anything posted to the group, whether the item is closed to the group only or is made available to the public. Keep in mind that comments you make today stay in the system even after you leave a particular committee or division, so act accordingly.

    Anyone with an ALA Connect login (ALA members and non-members who have created an account) can comment on any public content posted to any group.

     

  2. How can I leave an anonymous comment?
    There is no way to leave a completely anonymous comment in ALA Connect. Users can create fake non-member accounts, log in, and leave a comment, but violations of our user guidelines will result in removal of the comment and deletion of the account that created it.

     

  3. Who can delete a comment?
    Only the group/community admins can delete comments. If you posted a comment you would like removed, contact a group admin to request this.
  4. Why can't I delete my own comments?
    See http://connect.ala.org/node/141120 for a discussion about this, but if a person deletes a comment, there's no way for us to save any replies to that comment. So if there was a threaded discussion in which someone replied to your comment, you'd be deleting your comment and someone else's without their permission. Since the permission to delete comments is an all-or-nothing proposition, we made a decision to not let one user delete another user's comment without permission.

     

  5. What constitutes an inappropriate comment?
    Anything that violates our user guidelines will be considered inappropriate and will be deleted from the site. A respectful, rousing debate that does not violate our guidelines, however, is perfectly fine and even encouraged.

     

  6. To whom should I report an inappropriate comment?
    The best and fastest way to get your concern addressed is to contact the group/community admin(s) and point them to the comment, along with details explaining why you think it's inappropriate.

    To find a group's admin, visit the group's home page in Connect and click on the number of members in the right-hand column. You should then see a list of all of the group's members, with admins listed first. Click on that person's picture to go to their profile, and then find the link to "Send [Name] a Message" underneath their picture.

  7. Don't see your question listed here? Contact us for an answer or leave a comment.
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Discussion ALA Connect Downtime - April 7, 7-9pm CDT

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Apr 6, 2011 at 11:25 am

As noted in the FY11 Timeline, we’ve been preparing to migrate ALA Connect to a more robust environment in order to restore chat service and handle the traffic we anticipate seeing for the Annual Conference Scheduler. The behind-the-scenes work is just about done, and we’re now gearing up to make the big move.

As noted in the FY11 Timeline, we’ve been preparing to migrate ALA Connect to a more robust environment in order to restore chat service and handle the traffic we anticipate seeing for the Annual Conference Scheduler. The behind-the-scenes work is just about done, and we’re now gearing up to make the big move.

We’ll begin migrating Connect to the new servers at 7:00 pm Central time on Thursday, April 7, at which time the site will become unavailable. Once all of the content has been moved and everything checks out okay in the new environment, we’ll officially switch over to the new servers. The move should be complete by 9:00 pm Central time on Thursday, April 7, if all goes well.

You should then be able to access Connect again as soon as your internet service provider sees the new servers. This could take anywhere from five minutes to a few hours, but we expect it will be fairly quickly for most users. Once you can access Connect again, you’ll know you’re on the new site and can continue to use it as you normally would.

We’ll post periodic updates on Twitter at http://twitter.com/alaconnect and provide a final “all clear” signal on the ITTS News blog and the Connect home page when the migration has been completed and the site is once again live.

There will be no data loss, and you’ll still log in to Connect the same way you did the day before. The only thing that’s changing is the hosting environment and our ability to better handle traffic spikes. Please let us know if you have any questions about this.

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Discussion New Feature: Reply via Email

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 09:01 am

We're excited to announce a new feature for ALA Connect that should make discussions easier. It's called "reply via email," and it does pretty much what the name says.

When you get an email notification of new content in one of your Connect groups, at the top of the message you'll see the following line:

Discussion How can one delete a post or response when duplicates occur?

by John Stevenson on Fri, May 20, 2011 at 08:12 am

Members of several of my ALA Connect groups have duplicate postings or responses to postings. How can one delete the second copies?

Discussion How to Give Your Profile a Personal URL

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 10:51 pm

There's a new feature on Connect that lets you set a customized URL for your profile. For example, my profile used to be http://connect.ala.org/user/65016 but I've now set it to be http://connect.ala.org/user/jenny. The old URL still works, but the new one is much easier for me to remember, and it looks better when I include the URL in my email signature, etc.

There's a new feature on Connect that lets you set a customized URL for your profile. For example, my profile used to be http://connect.ala.org/user/65016 but I've now set it to be http://connect.ala.org/user/jenny. The old URL still works, but the new one is much easier for me to remember, and it looks better when I include the URL in my email signature, etc.

It's really easy to set this up. Just go to your profile, click on the edit button, and look for the "My URL" section underneath where you added your profile picture.

When you've found the box, type in what you want to use after http://connect.ala.org/user/. I typed in the word jenny so that's my personal URL. You could type in awesomelibrarian or johndoe or whatever else you want to use. You don't need to include a slash and you can't use a space, but you can separate words using a hyphen (eg, jenny-levine).

Be sure to scroll to the bottom to save your changes. If someone has already grabbed the URL you wanted, you'll see an error message after you click on the submit button, so you'll have to try again until you find a word or phrase that's available.

Note that this feature is only available for ALA members and staff.

 

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Discussion How to "follow" a group

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 02:58 pm

If you're a member of an ALA working group or a community on Connect, you can already set up your subscriptions to receive email notifications whenever new content is posted to your group. But what do you do if you want to get email notifications from a group you're not a member of? Now it's easier than ever to do that thanks to the "follow a group" feature.

Here's what you do:

If you're a member of an ALA working group or a community on Connect, you can already set up your subscriptions to receive email notifications whenever new content is posted to your group. But what do you do if you want to get email notifications from a group you're not a member of? Now it's easier than ever to do that thanks to the "follow a group" feature.

Here's what you do:

  1. Find the group's home page in Connect by using the search box (try the advanced search page and check the box for "type = group" if you get too many search results).
  2. Once you're on the group's home page, look in the right-hand column for the link to "Follow this group" and click on it.

  3. Confirm that you want to receive email notifications of public content posted to the group.

That's it! Now whenever public content is posted, you'll get the same email notification that group members get. Note that you won't get updates about private content, because you're not a member of the group.

This is a great way to get updates when the ALA Executive Board posts new public content to its Connect group. Or, if you're interested in ALA's web presence, you can follow the ALA Website Advisory Committee. You can do this for any group you can see on the site, although some groups don't post any public content (like award and nominating committees).

To "unfollow" the group and stop receiving email notifications of public content, just go to the same place and click on the "unfollow" link in the right-hand column.

Note that you can also see which groups you're following on your Connect profile (under "ALA Groups" and "Member Communities"), and there's a special tab on your Subscriptions page where you can turn off these email notifications.

Have a question about this feature? Just leave a comment below to ask it.

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Need some help understanding what's going on at this site or navigating around it? You've come to the right spot. We'll be adding a lot more help here in the coming days.

To get started, trying watching some of the video tutorials.

Feel free to join this group and ask questions on the discussion board or use the contact form. There's also a community dedicated to Improving ALA Connect where you can post specific feedback and suggestions.

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