General Contacts / Connections Communities / Discussions Ribbons

General | Top

Q: What is SideBar?

A: SideBar is an enhanced listserv communication tool that allows for members to connect via e-mail or online. It provides easy group communication and preferences that give you control over the quantity of e-mails sent to your inbox. There is an open forum where all members can have casual conversation with one another. All members who join the open forum will be able to communicate to one another as easily as communicating with their groups.

Q: What is my username/password for SideBar?

A: Your login credentials for SideBar are the same username and password that you use to log in to If you have forgotten your login credentials or need assistance with your login information, please click "Forgot my password" link found in the "Sign In" area of the homepage.

Q: Navigate to for profile update.

A: Your SideBar profile automatically syncs with your member information and is accessible by logging in to CBA website. Updates may take up to 24 hours to sync.

Q: Where do I access my SideBar profile and how do I control what information is visible in it?

A: Navigate to your SideBar profile page, select the "My Account" tab and choose "Privacy Settings" from the drop-down menu. This will let you control what information is visible to whom.  After you’ve made changes, click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom of the page. Please note that these preferences apply only to your presence in the SideBar communities.

Q: Can I send a SideBar e-mail using my work or personal e-mail account?

A: You may only e-mail your group using the e-mail account associated with Any other e-mail account will not be able to use SideBar.

Contacts / Connections | Top

Q: How do I find other members on SideBar?

A: Click the "Directory” link found in the main navigation bar. The directory lets you search for other users based on:
  • First and/or last name
  • Company
  • E-mail address

Select the “Advanced Search” tab to refine your search results by:

  • City
  • State
  • Country
  • Community Type
  • Community Name

Communities / Discussions | Top

Q: What are communities?

A: Communities are online groups that allow you to participate in discussions and share resources with other members.

Q: What communities do I already belong to?

A: Go to “Communities” in the main navigation bar. Select “My Communities” to view the communities you currently belong to.

Q: How can I communicate with my community?

A:  You can send messages to the communities you belong to by posting to the group online or sending an e-mail from your e-mail inbox.
      To post online: Navigate to SideBar. Click the button "Communities" on the menu bar. Select "My Communities" from the drop down menu. Enter your group by clicking the enter button on the right of the community listed. Click "post a message".
      To send an e-mail: Navigate to your group at Click the link "send message in the group". You may also send an e-mail from your e-mail provider to the e-mail name that appears from SideBar.

Q: How do I know if my message has been received?

A:  You can check to see if your message has been sent by checking your sent box in your e-mail. You can also check your group page and see if the e-mail appears in the discussion board.

Q: Where will my message appear?

A:  Your message will be sent to the members that are in the same community as you. The message will appear in their e-mail inboxes. The message will also appear on the SideBar website under discussion posts.

Q: How do I join/subscribe to an open community and the affiliated discussion group?

A:  Click on “Communities” in the main navigation and select “All Communities” to see a list of available communities. Click on the community that you wish to join and simply click "Join," then choose a delivery option for posts (Real Time, Daily Digest or No E-mail).

Q: What is a discussion?

A:  A discussion is a conversation that takes place within the community that you are sending e-mails to. Only your community can see this discussion. You will also have the ability to label each discussion you have within your community. This allows for discussions to be distinguishable from one another.

Q: How can I control the frequency and format of e-mails I receive?

A: Navigate to your SideBar profile and click on the "My Account" tab. Choose "Community Notifications" from the drop-down menu.  The following subscription options are are on that page: Real Time, Daily Digest, No E-mail.  

For each discussion, you have the following delivery options:
  • Real time: sends an e-mail every time a new message is posted.
  • Daily digest: sends one e-mail to you each day, consolidating all of the posts from the previous day.
  • No E-mail: allows you to be part of the group without having e-mails sent to you. You can still access discussions and post messages by navigating to the group page at or logging into the community site.

Q: How do I leave a community or unsubscribe from a discussion?

A:  Go to your SideBar profile and click on the "My Account" tab. Choose "Community Notifications" from the drop-down menu. Here, you will see a list of available communities and those to which you’ve subscribed. Select "Leave Community” under the Actions column for the discussions you wish to leave.

Q: How do I respond to a message?

A: You can simply reply to the e-mail in your inbox or to respond to the message while viewing the discussion board, click “Reply to Discussion” to send your message to the entire community.  To send a message to just the author of the post, select “Reply to Sender” (located in the "Reply to Discussion" drop-down).  A best practice is to reply to the sender for simple comments like “me, too” that add little value to the overall discussion; and reply to the entire community when you are sharing knowledge, experience or resources that others could benefit from. All group communication will appear in the discussion board, whether you reply via e-mail or online.

Q: How do I start a discussion?

A: Select “Participate" from the main menu followed by “Post a message.” To post from an e-mail (HTML version) to a particular discussion, you can use the “Post New Message via E-mail” link located at the top of the discussion e-mail.

Q: I’m having trouble viewing SideBar messages in my e-mail. How do I fix this?

A: If images are not appearing, it is likely that your e-mail client/account is set to suppress images. This should be something you can change in your security or viewing options. If you would rather receive text-based e-mail, go to your profile page and click on the "My Account" tab. Choose "Community Notifications" from the drop-down menu. Select the “Plain Text” format option for each of the discussions you are subscribed to.

Q: Can I search for posts across all my communities?

A: Yes, enter a keyword in the search bar located in the main navigation. To refine your search results, please select "Show Advanced Search".

Q: How do I see a listing of all of the posts to a specific community?

A: Locate the community you are interested in viewing from the appropriate communities page. Click through the community's landing page, then click on the “Discussions” tab. If you see a post you’re interested in, click the subject line which will take you to the entire thread. “Show Original Message” at the bottom of all of the posts in a thread will display the original message that started that discussion.

Ribbons | Top

Q: What are "ribbons" and badges?

A: Ribbons are a way of tracking engagement points and achievements completed by SideBar users. Points are acquired by engaging other members, updating profile informaiton and being active in the community. The more engagement points you receive, the more ribbons you can gain. Badges provide permanent or temporary status of a person. A badge can be given to a speaker at an event, a chair of a committee or section, and most easily found staff.