Contacts / Connections
Communities / Discussions
Library / Resources / Attachments
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 ctbar.org. 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: Why do I have two profiles?
A: Your SideBar profile essentially functions as your identity when you're communicating on the SideBar website. While much of your profile information is automatically generated from ctbar.org, where your CBA membership resides, you can enhance your SideBar presence with additional information such as a brief bio, job history, education, etc. The content contained in those fields is just to share more information about yourself to connect with members and will only be available on SideBar. It will not appear in your member profile. You can complete those sections or leave them blank, it's up to you.
Q: How do I update my profile?
A: Your SideBar profile automatically syncs with the content contained in the "Professional Information" section of your member profile. To update your information, log in at ctbar.org and select "Edit Bio" found in the "Manage Profile" section. 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 ctbar.org. 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
- E-mail address
Select the “Advanced Search” tab to refine your search results by:
- 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 ctbar.org. 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 ctbar.org 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.
Libraries | Top
Q: How do I open attachments?
A: To open attachments, please follow the instructions below:
- Open the e-mail
- Underneath the sender's name you will see the attachment hyperlinked in blue
- Click the hyperlink which will bring you to the SideBar page for your group where the message is displayed
- Underneath the message you will see "Attachments(s)"
- Click the hyperlinked attachment(s) to see the web version of the attachment or click download to download and save the attachment to your computer
SideBar functions in this manner to keep attachments safe within your groups. If you experience a screen that asks you to accept the terms of conditions, please accept. Like most online communities, there are terms and conditions for communicating using the SideBar listserv.
Q: How do I find resources that may have been uploaded by other members?
A: If you know which library the resource might be located in, find the affiliated community via the All Communities page. Click through the community's landing page, then click on the “Library” tab . If you do not know where the resource might be, enter search terms in the main search box the same way you might enter search terms into Google or another search engine.
Q: Can I search for specific file types?
A: Yes. Enter your desired keyword in the main search box. From the search results page, click "Show Advanced Search." Then click on “Search for Specific File Types.” This gives you the option to specify file type: Document, Image, Spreadsheet, etc.
Q: How do the libraries get populated?
A: The libraries are populated in two ways:
1. When you include an attachment in a discussion post, the system automatically places it in the affiliated library.
2. You can also upload documents directly to a library by using the “Share a File” link found under “Participate” in the main navigation or "Create New Library Entry" button on any community's library page. Library resources are not required to be associated with a discussion thread.
Q: How do I upload a file?
A: Select the “Share a File” link found under “Participate” in the main navigation or "Create New Library Entry" on any community landing page. Please note that uploading a document is accomplished by completing a few steps, and each step must be completed before you can move on to the next:
- Choose a title for your document, and include a description (optional). Select the library to which you’d like to upload it, and select a folder to which you’d like to upload it (optional). Then, choose an Entry Type (most will be Standard Files, but be cognizant of any copyright licensed material). Once you have completed these steps, please click “Next.”
- Upload your file.
- Select “Next” if you want to further describe your files and/or add tags to your file. Otherwise, please click “Finish” to post your library entry
Q: What kind of files can I upload?
A: The system supports dozens of file types including hyperlinks, standard files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), webinars, images and YouTube videos.
Q: What are the “tags” for?
A: Tags are great way to organize and categorize content on your site. Tags can be applied to blogs, library entries, events, and glossary terms. Tagged items are prioritized in the search results.
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.