The SMS Member Circle is a member-exclusive, online community for peer-to-peer networking, discussion, and collaboration. Current SMS Members can join “Circles” to stay informed and engaged in SMS initiatives related to Interest Groups and Communities, Publications, PhD Students, and more. Members can post, comment, or browse a variety of resources including articles, videos, collections, opportunities, and events.

Read the SMS Member Circle FAQs for information on how to make the most of the platform.

Setting Up Your Account in Member Circle

Do I have to create and update an entirely new profile in Member Circle?

No, your Member Circle profile is connected to your profile in the SMS system and automatically updates to reflect any changes you make to your SMS profile. To learn more about which fields you’ll need to fill in and which will be automatically updated as well as how to update your profile, please refer to Updating Your Member Circle Profile and Tags.

Am I able to control my notification preferences?

Yes, simply click on your profile picture or initials in the upper right corner, then “account settings” followed by “notification” to receive Member Circle updates on a regular basis or as they happen, or to turn off email notifications completely.

What should I do after I join Member Circle?

After setting up your account here, be sure to click on the Circles tab, then “go to page” on any Circle that interests you. Click “join” to receive access to that Circle’s content. There is a checklist of Things to Do on the right side of the Dashboard page. These include:

  • Update your profile and add tags for research interest, geography, education, etc.
  • Introduce yourself to your Interest Groups and Communities
  • Check out the Calendar for Upcoming Events

General Use of Member Circle

How do I network in Member Circle?

First, you can find fellow SMS members in Member Circle by searching the directory on the Members tab using filters including specific Circles, research or networking interests, experience and education level, region, and affinity. To reach out to another member, click into their profile using the “go to profile” button from the Members tab, or simply click on that member’s profile picture or initials from any page, then the “message” button to reach out to them in Member Circle, or retrieve their email address from the contact info on their bio and contact them separately. To return to a chat conversation, click on the chat feature denoted by the speech bubble icon in the upper right corner.

How do I collaborate in Member Circle?

Collaborate with fellow SMS members by posting to Circles and inviting others to co-author posts with you. The Posting to Circles section in this FAQ contains more details about how to post and manage co-authors.

What is the purpose and reason for implementing SMS Member Circle?

The SMS Member Circle is an online community exclusively for SMS members providing membership benefit opportunities that have been requested in recent years:

  1. A method for volunteer leaders to communicate directly with the members and each other: Member Circle will allow for this in a more efficient manner than the current SMS Website, as members will be able to post content and share it immediately, and IG&C leaders can email their members directly, without going through the SMS Office.
  2. A member-exclusive space for peer-to-peer networking, discussion, and collaboration: Member Circle will allow members to search a directory to find others conducting similar research or at similar stages of their careers and establish connections with them.
  3. Year-round value to SMS membership outside of conferences: Many SMS members do not attend the Annual Conference, and therefore, are members for a variety of other benefits. Member Circle will add a year-round communication hub for members to connect and network beyond conferences.

Posting to Circles

What types of posts are most effective in Member Circle?

  • Video posts of webinar and panel recordings
  • Article posts featuring the SMS Explorer, SMS Journals, or any external publications
  • Discussion posts featuring a survey or brief questionnaire, to solicit input from your Circle members
  • Posts about jobs and other professional opportunities
  • Posts about upcoming events
  • Posts that strategically engage specific cross-sections of your group i.e. PhD students or practitioners
  • Collection posts to organize and share multiple resources on the same topic

How do I post in a Circle?

To create a post, click the “create+” button in the upper right corner and select the type of post. This will take you to the posting page, where you can enter text, tags, images, videos, links, etc. You can then either save the post as a draft so you can return to it later to continue editing or publish your post. To learn more about different types of posts, please refer to our guide on Creating a Member Circle Post.

How do I invite fellow members to co-author a post with me?

You can add co-authors to a draft post so they can collaborate on it with you. Once you have drafted a post using the “create+” button,  click “save draft.” You will have to navigate back to your draft in order to add co-authors. To do this, click on your profile image in the upper right corner, then click “My Profile” on the dropdown, then click “drafts” in the left side menu, click on your drafted post, and finally click “manage co-authors” on the left side to add collaborators.

Can you share a post in multiple circles?

Circles such as the Announcements Circle and all IG&C Circles are public, so you can post in one of those public Circles, add tags to reference other Circles, and click “feature in portal” so that your post will be featured on the Dashboard for all members to see. Even if a member has not officially joined the Circle that you posted to, they will be able to view any featured posts in public Circles on the Dashboard as well as search for your post using tags and other filters. You will have to save your post as a draft and then navigate back to it to “feature in portal”. To do this, click on your profile image in the upper right corner, then select “My Profile” from the dropdown, then click “drafts” in the left side menu, click on your drafted post, and finally click on the “feature in portal” button on the left side menu.

How often will my Circle send email notifications to my Circle members?

Only members who have clicked “Join” will receive notifications from your Circle, and they can individually set their preferences for how frequently they would like to receive notifications by clicking on their profile picture or initials in the upper right corner, then “account settings” followed by “notification” to edit their settings.

What are the responsibilities of a Circle Champion? How do I become a Circle Champion?

Champions of the SMS Member Circle are valued volunteers that serve as leaders within a specific Circle and foster engagement by posting and moderating comments, upholding SMS Online Community Guidelines, and promoting the SMS Member Circle outside of the platform to encourage other members to join. Reach out to your IG&C leadership or to learn more about this opportunity. Existing Champions are added to a private Champions Circle to support them in fulfilling this role and should review the SMS Member Circle Champion Guide.

Launching and Managing Circles

How can my group identify Circle Champions to manage our Circle?

You can identify Circle Champions by conducting outreach to your group to see who is interested, either via email or by polling your Circle with a discussion post so interested members can comment to volunteer themselves. If you are managing an IG&C Circle, we recommend identifying junior members who are still seeking a way to engage and contacting them to see if they are interested. We also recommend returning to your pool of candidates for the Reps-at-Large role and asking the people who were not elected if they would like to become Circle Champions.

Are Member Circle tasks assigned to a specific leadership role within IG&C’s?

Each IG&C Circle should identify their own Circle Champions to post and manage activity in their Circle. We recommend that the Engagement Officer(s) and/or Chairperson be responsible for identifying Champion(s) and delegating this responsibility to whomever they deem most appropriate, as long as they are current members.

How should my group determine what to post in our Circle?

It is highly recommended that every new Circle group begin by completing the Member Circle Strategic Plan Template. This document will help you narrow in on your engagement goals for your Circle and determine what kind of content to post. For specific examples of potential posts, please refer to the question “what types of posts are most effective in Member Circle” above in the Posting to Circles section of this FAQ. Only current SMS members can access Member Circle.

Published Date
25 August 2023

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