Getting the Most out of ChoralNet
Date: September 13, 2013
As a regular ChoralNet visitor, you know the wide range of resources, discussions and information crossing through the site on a regular basis. Many users don't take advantage of the features that ChoralNet offers to keep this information in a useful, efficient and customized format. Just like any information system, without a way to get at the information that you specifically care about, it's easy to get overwhelmed and lose the important things that you were looking for in the first place. Thankfully, you can do a few basic customizations to make ChoralNet tailored for your needs.
The Front Page
First, all of these settings require you to be registered and logged in. Registering is free and quick, and required to contribute to any of the forums or discussions on the site. Once you log in, you may notice that there are some subtle changes to the front page. Subscriptions and Communities are now tailored to your subscriptions. This is a good place to start with your organization.
Looking at the Forums, for example, you can choose which forums you are most interested in an subscribe to them. This will allow you to move posts from the forums in which you have an interest on to the front page. Communities work the same way-- browse the list of available communities and subscribe to those in which you're interested.
Once you have your list of forums and communities, go to My ChoralNet->Subscription email options. This page will allow you to customize how ChoralNet delivers information to you. Here you can choose whether to receive individual emails for some forums, one bulk daily digest, ChoralNet Daily with the daily highlights, or many other layers of information.
Each user has a "user profile" which describes that individual to the rest of the ChoralNet world. It lists your communities, provides a way for people to message you within ChoralNet, and displays any other information that you want to share. If you participate in forums or discussions at all, people can click on your name and see your profile information to learn more about you. Some information that you might want to consider adding would be links to your choirs and programs, any contact information that you'd want to be publicly accessible, or areas of research/interest that you'd like to connect with other users over.
Customize Home Page
Finally, the most powerful customization option is to rearrange the front page to match the sections that you want to see the most often. In the upper-left of the front page, look for a "Customize home page" link. This will allow you to move tabs (Sections like Announcements, Communities and Forums) between existing boxes and new ones that you create. Think about what sections you visit on a regular basis. Putting those "on top" of a box or in a new box will display them immediately when you log in rather than having to "click-through." Remember to click Save when you're done!
Following these basic steps will help you tame the huge range of information on ChoralNet and direct it towards your interests. This in turn makes it easier for you to find what you're looking for and will help you keep ChoralNet useful for you and your choirs!