We can't tell you how glad we are to all be here, on our new HASTAC website and social network. As the director of new media strategy, it's been my pleasure and privilege to work with my colleagues at HASTAC as well as various network members who have offered suggestions and feedback over the past two years, to build the most effective tool we can for connecting and supporting our community. This is only a brief overview, to learn more see our new and evolving guide to using this site.
Our web site developer, Message Agency, has also been a fantastic partner as we have envisioned and built this site over the past year year. We could haven't done it without them and every HASTAC member who has invested time in our community, and shared their advice, suggestions, and feedback. But now is the beginning, not the end. We still want to hear from you. Many thanks to you all, and welcome!
What's new and improved:
- Groups can be used to share content and organize discussion around a common interest or project. Any member can join and even create their own group on the site. To see some of the newest and most active groups, see the Groups index. See our guide to learn more about creating and using groups. (I also hope to record a screencast about using groups on the near future.)
- Topics can now be added to any content on the site so that you can browse by topic and sub-topic, or use an interesting post as a jumping-off point to explore.
- Opportunities & News are now posted in their own sections of the site, and can be filtered by type, date, topic, and more.
- Featured & highlighted content can now be found in each section and on group home pages.
- Post content from anywhere on the site using the handy button and menu that you will find in the top of the right sidebar on every page.
- Badges let you know whether the author is a HASTAC scholar, DML Competition Winner, or HASTAC staff. We hope to add more badges in the future. User points are earned by participation on the site and are ranked in each member's user points badge.
- Representative images can be added to content to help add visual interest. These images appear wherever the post is listed on the site. Simply upload an image in the process of creating your post. You can also insert the image into the body so it is displayed on the post, but this is not necessary for it to be used as the representative image. A post with no images uploaded will use the author's profile photo as its representative image.
Tips for using the new site:
- Update your profile. User images are larger and used in more ways on the new site, so it's a good time to upload a new picture that's at least 200 by 200 pixels. You can also select some interests from the list of Topics which helps other users find you. There are four different parts of your profile that you can edit: Account, My Organizations, Newsletter Subscription, and Personal information. Note that the first time you log in to the new site, you will be asked to reconfirm your agreement with the Terms and Conditions, although they have not changed.
- Join the New@HASTAC group to stay up to date on the latest tips and tricks and use the group as a sandbox to test out the site's features. You'll find a guide to using this site there, which will be under constant revision as we all learn more about what works and what people need.
- Customize your dashboard to follow the latest activity in your groups, upcoming events, who's online, and more.
Even though we are very proud of this new site, we know there will always be room for improvement and innovation. Today we are also launching a new feedback forum that encourages members to suggest improvements and to vote on other people's ideas. You can access this from the Feedback tab at the bottom of every page on the site and directly at feedback.hastac.org.
There are actually many more new features than I'm discussing here, so I hope you'll take some time to explore the new site. If there are content or features that you think are missing, just click the Feedback tab and let us know what you think we should work on next.
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/romulusnr/1156638214/