How to Use the Site

Instructions to help you understand the community features and help you get the most out of it.  


STEP 1 – Update your Profile

  1. Click on “My Profile” in the main navigation area located in the black horizontal bar near the top of the page.
  2. Upload a picture. Click on the purple "Actions" button just below the photo area and select "Change Picture". Browse your computer for a photo of yourself (preferably) and press "upload".
  3. Click on “My Profile” in the main navigation area and select “Edit Member Record”. You will be taken to the ‘Edit Your Account’ form.  NOTE: Any changes to this form will directly update your member record in our database at GSA HQ.  Update your account information as appropriate.  This is also where you may change your password to something that is secure but easy to remember. When done, be sure to hit “Save”.
  4. Back on the "Profile" page, you can enter information about yourself (optional but highly recommended).  You can choose who sees this information in your privacy settings which we’ll address in Step 2. LinkedIn users can import data to populate their GSA profile quickly and easily.

STEP 2 – Subscriptions, Notifications, and Privacy Settings

Go to "My Profile > Community Notifications".

  1. Subscriptions – The main Settings page is for subscriptions where you can define how you’d like to be notified of community activity.
    While everyone is automatically part of the Open Forum community, you must subscribe to receive notifications unless you do not have a GSA Division affiliation. We recommend the Daily Digest option for most communities including the Open Forum. However, if you are a committee member or are using the Roommates & Rides forum, it would be wise to select Real Time so you are notified about each new post. You can select No Emails if you want to be a community member but not receive notifications.
    If you wish to receive notifications at a different email address without altering your member record, you may change that here.
  2. Privacy Settings - Select "My Profile > Privacy Settings" from the main site navigation.
    Your profile may be accessed through the member directory and community rosters. You have control over the information others see on your profile. Leave the radio button set to "Yes." Otherwise you will be invisible in the Community and the Directory.  You can check what information is visible and to whom on all aspects of your profile setting it to whatever you are most comfortable with.  GSA set the default settings to balance privacy while encouraging networking among members. It is conservatively set according to what you might see on a conference badge (photo, name, affiliation, and city/state). 
  3. Notifications - If you choose to not display your email address on your profile page, the system can still send you notifications about community activity or contact requests according to the preferences you set when selecting "Email" from the drop-down menu on the Settings page.  We urge you to use the recommended settings in order to get the most out of the Member Community. 

STEP 3 – Communities

GSA has more than 20,000 members comprising many communities. Therefore, there are several view options to help you navigate the communities.

  1. When you click on "Communities > My Communities" in the main navigation or "Communities" in the welcome box in the banner area, you will get a list of Communities that you are already part of. This will include your Section affiliation, Divisions you have joined, committees on which you serve, and the Open Forum where everyone is a member. "Communities > All Communities’ will show you a list of EVERYTHING and whether or not you can join.  For example, many committees are private (you can see who the members are but you cannot participate or view the discussions and documents).
  2. The Open Forum is where all GSA members can actively participate in discussions, share files. A link to this community is located in the main site navigation.
  3. If you are a student member of GSA, you have access to the GSA Student Forum, and a link to this community is also located in the main site navigation.
  4. Community Participation
    This is the heart of the site.  The landing page of a community shows recent activity and announcements. You can see who is part of that community by clicking on the ‘Members’ sub-tab.  All communities have a discussion group and a library.
    1. To Start or Join a Discussion, go to the Discussions tab in the main navigation. You can either reply to a topic already there or start a new one.  To start a new one, click on the “Post New Message” button on the right. If it’s your first time, you’ll be asked how you want to be notified (or not) of new posts.  We recommend that you choose the “Daily Digest” option.
    2. To use the document library, click on the “Library” sub-tab in the community navigation. The directory tree is much the same as a Windows machine. You can also click on “Switch to List View” to browse through recently posted documents with descriptions. This option gives you another set of tabs that sorts the document according to their type (photos, documents, most viewed, most recent, etc.). To upload library documents, post a new message in the discussion tab and attach a file to your post. This will alert group members that a document has been added. You can also upload files to a library directly, but in that case no notification is sent.
    3. You’ll note that when you select a Division community you are redirected to a new site. While still part of the GSA Member Community (with discussions, libraries, etc.), they are more of a distinct site allowing the Division leadership to easily maintain their own pages.

We hope you enjoy this member benefit.