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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 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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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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Discussion Upcoming Features (Conference Scheduler)

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Jun 10, 2011 at 11:38 am

We have big plans for the Conference Scheduler going forward - really big plans. There are still a few things we'll be adding during this round for Midwinter 2011, but this spring we'll be concentrating on new stuff. Here's a mini roadmap of where we're headed with the CS.

We have big plans for the Conference Scheduler going forward - really big plans. There are still a few things we'll be adding during this round for Midwinter 2011, but this spring we'll be concentrating on new stuff. Here's a mini roadmap of where we're headed with the CS.

Features that will be added in December 2010

  • Download an iCal file you can import into Outlook/Google Calendar (Done)
  • Add your own personal sessions (dinner with friends, meeting with a vendor, etc.) (Done)
  • A setting you can toggle to share your schedule publicly (it will be all or nothing at this point but will be more granular for Annual 2011) (Done - located in your Connect profile when you edit it)
  • View a list of sessions you attended (for easy reporting to your supervisor or remembering what you attended two years ago) (Done)
  • Floor map locations for exhibitors (Generic floor map done)
  • Analytics tools on the backend so we can see which sessions are added to schedules the most, which have the most comments, etc. (Done)
  • More print-friendly version of "my schedule" (Done)
  • Accessible, text-based version of "my schedule" (Mostly done but will improve for Annual)

Features we'll do our best to add for Annual 2011 and after

  • Welcome message when you log in to a conference for the first time (we're in the process of implementing this for general logins to the site)
  • Day/week calendar view of your schedule (working on it)
  • Share your schedule only with specific networks you've created on Connect (just your friends and co-workers but not your contacts) (postponed until Midwinter 2012)
  • "Add" button on sessions listed on the conference home page (done)
  • Direct links to speaker profiles (when we know their Connect ID) (postponed until Midwinter 2012 when we have the profile IDs)
  • Show who has indicated they're attending a specific session (done)
  • Provide a way to hide your planned attendance at a session to protect privacy (done)
  • Display your travel data (just to you) when ALA knows your hotel reservation, etc. (will try for Midwinter 2012; need web service from Experient)
  • Add a section where you can enter your transportation information, etc., so that it's all in one place (postponed until Midwinter 2012)
  • Compare your reservation data with your network's data (see when your friends are registered to be at conference; this will be an opt-in feature) (will try for Midwinter 2012; need web service from Experient)
  • User-generated tags on sessions (done)
  • Collaborative pages for "local information" (will replace the conference wiki) (done)
  • A separate page listing canceled sessions (postponed until Midwinter 2012)
  • Email/SMS notifications when a session on your schedule has been canceled or moved (working on email notifications)
  • Request notifications of follow-up comments on sessions (working on it)
  • Batch select sessions based on sponsor (e.g., add all Council sessions to my schedule with one click) (on hold)
  • List sessions a member is presenting at conference directly on their profile and link to session records (postponed until Midwinter 2012 when we have profile IDs)
  • Populate group calendars automatically with conference sessions (done)
  • Provide an iCal file groups can use to import session data into their Facebook pages (and to other sites) - thanks to David Vess for this idea! (done)
  • Provide bus route information and other transportation options directly on session records (bus route info done)
  • "Find sessions like this one" (done)
  • Add personal notes on sessions (done)
  • "Favorite/Like" specific sessions (done)
  • Integrated file repository for permanent archive of handouts and other session materials (phase one done as attachments on comments; will expand when we have profile IDs)
  • Suggest a session to another Connect user (phase one done - "suggest to anyone" using email addresses)
  • Make column headings on session listings clickable so you can sort by time, title, or location (on hold)
  • Reduce the width of the pages (on hold)

Now it's your turn - dream big. What else should we add in the future?

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Discussion Anonymous voting in polls?

by Kim Leeder Reed on Wed, Nov 3, 2010 at 02:39 pm

I'd like to create a poll but I'd like to hide the tab that shows how each individual voted on the poll. Is it possible to hide that information so that people can vote anonymously? If not, do you have a suggestion about an online service that will allow me to do so? Thanks for your help.

Discussion Committee Notifications Are On!

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 12:50 pm

 Calling all members of active committees: we've automatically turned on email notifications from your committees. We hope this helps your group communicate better, but you can also adjust your personal settings by going to the "Subscriptions" tab on your profile when logged in.

 Calling all members of active committees: we've automatically turned on email notifications from your committees. We hope this helps your group communicate better, but you can also adjust your personal settings by going to the "Subscriptions" tab on your profile when logged in.

To clarify we've turned on email notifications from committees only for all active committee members. In other words, if you're on a committee right now, we've activated your email notifications from it. If you're on two committees, we've activated notifications from both of them. 

Ways you can adjust this setting:

  • Change the interval at which you receive notifications. It's automatically set to "immediately" so that you receive notifications within 15 minutes of content being posted. Other options include every hour, twice a day, daily, and weekly. See the Email Preferences help document for instructions explaining how to do this.
  • If you'd rather check your committee updates a different way, you can unsubscribe from notifications from a particular group. See the Email Preferences help document for instructions explaining how to do this.

This is something we'll do every July 1 when the new committee terms start. Once you're no longer on a committee, your notifications will automatically de-activate since you're no longer on the roster.

Hopefully this will improve group communication, so let us know if this helps.

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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.

See the Help categories listed in the sidebar for specific topics. -->

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