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June 2011
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From the President: Improving Communication With Members

Later this summer, IDSA and HIVMA will launch redesigned websites, part of our broader commitment to improve communication with members and provide the valuable services that members expect. The main goals are to improve the sites’ functionality, make them easier to use, and allow members to more easily access the content that is most relevant to them and to customize their online experience.

Members have provided invaluable input to guide this process, including through member surveys, a focus group of representative members, and usability testing conducted at the 2010 Annual Meeting in Vancouver. A consistent theme has been members’ need for a filter to help them sort through the constant stream of information they face every day.

Building on this feedback, the redesign will include improved site navigation, a revamped search function for quickly finding the content you want, a robust A-Z index for topical searches of the site, and the ability to personalize your experience. An enhanced “MyIDSA” page will allow members to indicate content topics they are interested in, receive alerts when new content in these areas is available, and connect with colleagues with similar interests.

Customization is a key part of the new websites. As I wrote last month (see May 2011 “From the President”), IDSA members are a diverse group who perform a variety of clinical and public health work, research, scholarship, and teaching in many different settings. What is relevant to one member is not necessarily relevant to another. The websites’ new functionality is intended to address this by allowing members to self-select the areas that interest them most.

You will be hearing more about the new websites in the months ahead, including tip sheets, video tours, handouts, and other support to help you make the most of the sites’ new functions and capabilities. Members can also visit the IDSA/HIVMA booth at IDSA’s 49th Annual Meeting, Oct. 20-23, in Boston (see the Annual Meeting website) for an in-person tutorial or to ask questions. By then, we hope you will have had the opportunity to experience the sites and provide more feedback, which will be crucial as the websites evolve to meet members’ needs, a process that will be ongoing.

In the meantime, don’t forget the social networking tools IDSA, HIVMA, and the Center for Global Health Policy have developed to share information and help members collaborate and interact with all three organizations (see May 2011 IDSA News). An increasing number of members are connecting with us—and with each other—using these services.

As these new ways to share information and network continue to evolve, IDSA’s broader commitment to improving how we communicate with you will remain unchanged. In this fast-paced digital age, these efforts will be ongoing.
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