Welcome to the new myUMBC!

It has been an exciting year as we've watched the community embrace the changes we made to myUMBC last fall. Over the past year, we've watched how people used myUMBC and took note of what was working and what wasn't. For this fall, most of our changes have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary. We hope you like the changes we've made and we look forward to hearing your feedback on what more we can do.

Thanks,

The myUMBC Team

Groups Directory

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The new groups directory makes it even easier to find groups related to your interests. Search for a specific group or browse the various group categories to discover everything from institutional departments to special interest groups.

Following

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Want to stay on top of what's going on in groups that interest you? Follow them! You'll be able to see personalized group content from the new start page, and receive updates in your Activity feed.

Enhanced Pawpularity

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To allow the community greater control over which posts and comments are promoted on the myUMBC Start page and on individual posts, we've implementing some additional options to ensure only the best of the best content and comments are promoted.

Start Page

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With the new Start Page, you get personalized content based on which groups you have joined/followed. No more need to dig through pages of recent posts to find things that interest you.

Topics Menu

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We've streamlined the Topics menu so that the most used topics are listed first, making easier to find the resources you need most often.

Groups

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We have simplified many of the settings for groups to make things easier to understand and to remove features that are not widely used or not working out as we had hoped.

  • We have removed the Editor role from groups. All existing Editors will be converted to Members. If an individual needs the ability to edit all content in a group, make them an Admin.
  • Groups can now set a tagline, a short description of their group. This tagline will be used for the Group Directory.
  • Groups can now set their visibility as Public or Private.
    • If Public, each tool can be set to allow non-members to view content.
    • If Private, tools can only be seen by members.
  • Public groups can now choose whether to be listed in the Group Directory. (previously, public groups were always listed)
  • The Spotlights tab (and the ability to post spotlights) will only be available to Admins.
  • Major overhaul of the Tools & Access page:
    • The Home tab is always enabled.
    • You can no longer rename tools. Tools that have been renamed will be reset to their default name. This change is being made to ensure a greater level of consistency between groups to make groups easier to learn, support, and evolve.
    • All previous options for tools are being replaced with two checkboxes for each tool: "Anyone can read?" and "Members can post?"
    • If your group is Private, the "Anyone can read?" option is turned off and cannot be turned on.
    • You can no longer choose which tools appear on your Home tab. All enabled tools will show.

Advanced Membership

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(Institutional Groups Only) Institutional groups have the ability to automatically add members based on specific criteria or through CSV import. Members added using these options will not be able to leave the group, but will still be able to disable notifications from the group. This will provide a compelling option for organizations with a large, yet clearly defined, set of individuals that they want to communicate with.

If you are the admin of an institutional group and would like to use one of these import options, contact myumbc@umbc.edu.

Favorites

Favorites allow you to save links to the resources you find useful, either within myUMBC or elsewhere.

  • Add myUMBC links to your favorites by clicking the star left of the link
  • Add links to any web-resources you wish to have in your favorites list through the favorites page
  • Remove favorites that are no longer useful through the Favorites page
  • Easily add the page you're looking add to your favorites by clicking the Add Current Page link from the Favorites menu
  • Drag-and-drop to reorder favorites using either the Favorites menu or the Favorites page
  • Rename your favorites through the Favorites page

Spotlight minis

On the Start page there are three little rectangles that hold what we call "Spotlight minis". Spotlight minis provide a way for institutional news and events to get a little bit more visibility.

News

News allows you to share your stories with the entire campus community. The News you create can receive paws and comments from others and, if pawpular enough, show on the myUMBC Start page.

  • News from several campus sources are pulled in together to make it easier to keep up-to-date on community stories
  • Anyone can now post their own stories for the community, get pawed, and appear on the Start page
  • News can be easily shared with other community sites, i.e. email, twiter, facebook, blogger, tumblr, google buzz
  • Read the new outside of myUMBC with any RSS reader
  • Get the latest news on the UMBC iPhone app

Events

The myUMBC Events calendar is a great place to look to find something to do or give people something to do.

  • Campus events from departments and organizations are collected
  • Anyone can post events, which are shown publicly on the myUMBC calendar.
  • Events no longer require approval for posting. Your event shows up immediately.
  • You can allow other to say whether they plan to attend your event or not. You can manage the number of seats and download a listing of people who've said they're coming.
  • Shared events with community sites, i.e. email, twiter, facebook, blogger, tumblr, google buzz
  • Subscribe to myUMBC events using RSS or iCal feeds
  • Browse upcoming events on the UMBC iPhone app

Discussions

Discussions are completely new to myUMBC. We created discussions because people asked for an easy way to take polls and have conversations with the broader UMBC community. Discussions can take one of three formats, each of which provides unique functionality:

  • General Discussions are basic forum-style messages, on which an original post is followed by comments from the community.
  • Polls allow you to create a ranked, pick one, or pick many-style poll in which others can vote.
  • Question/Answer Post question and ask others to answer. When someone answers your question, mark that question as the answer for others to see.

Media

Media is another completely new feature. Easily share your favorite UMBC moments as images or videos with the entire UMBC community. We make it easy to submit videos from popular media sharing sites.

  • Simply provide the URL to a YouTube or Vimeo video, or a photo on Flickr, and myUMBC will fetch in the title, body, and tags for you automatically.
  • If you have an image online somewhere else on the web and want to link to it directly, just give us the web address.

Feeds

Spotlights, News, Events, Discussions, and Media all have RSS and XML feeds (Events additionally providing ical feeds), which allow you to keep up with the community without visiting myUMBC. This is especially ideal for mobile devices. External RSS feeds can also be pulled into groups through the group subscriptions settings page

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