IH Section members: This post was originally posted in December of last year. However, APHA has recently made some changes to the platform, so I am re-posting it with updated information.
Happy Holidays, IH Section members! Hopefully this holiday season finds you all happy and healthy, with whatever projects you are working on going well. The purpose of this post is to introduce you to a new networking and communication platform that they have introduced. It is APHA’s Online Community, and it is integrated into your APHA membership profile. The purpose of the community is to encourage members of APHA to connect and discuss shared professional interests and information about events relevant to you and your colleagues. The platform was just recently opened to the general membership, so I have taken some time to explore its different features and thought I would share them here. Please note that you can click on any of the screen shots below
In order to access the community, visit http://connect.apha.org and use your APHA membership ID and password to log in. If you don’t have this information, just go to APHA’s website and request that an e-mail with the information be sent to you (About Us > Membership Information > Update Your Member Profile, then click the link that says “Forgot Your Username and Password?”).
After logging in, you should come to the following screen. From here, you can access your Member Profile, the groups you are a member of, and your e-mail delivery settings.
The first thing you should do is set up your Member Profile so that other members with similar interests can network with you. If you go to edit your profile, you will come to the following screen:
Here, you can edit your name, your photo, your academic background, where you work, tags (keywords that allow other members to search for you based on your interests), address and phone numbers (only if you choose to make them available to other members), a short bio, and any social media profiles you have (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.). Once you have input all of this information, you can view your profile as others see it.
The main focus of the community, however, are the discussions that APHA is encouraging members to have within their professional sections. When you go to access “My Groups” (the link is in the upper right-hand corner of the screen), you will come to a screen that looks like this:
From there, you can access the group that corresponds to the section(s) of which you are a member.
Within each section’s group are the tools for communication and networking with other members. Here, you can search the section membership, access e-mail listservs, put events on the calendar, post to the bulletin board (essentially a message board), upload documents to the library, and post content to the wiki.
This tool has great potential to increase communication and networking among members. I strongly encourage you all to log in, set up a profile, and have a look around!