What are Communities?

ASN Communities is an online platform where members can network, collaborate and discuss important issues in a members only environment. Like a chat room or online forum, you can write posts and others can reply, creating a "thread." To keep discussions organized, there are communities that house threads on particular topics, such as acute kidney injury, transplant or basic research. All these communities together make up the ASN Communities environment.

ASN members have unique profiles that allows them to connect to others with similar interests, or in similar locations. You control your privacy level. Email digests, which include a list of discussion topics in each community, can be sent out weekly, daily, or in real time. You can join the discussion by replying to digest emails or via the Communities website. Replies can be public to the entire thread or private to a particular author. Each community has a library to hold papers or presentations that supplement your discussion.

Why Communities?

As member driven organization, the American Society of Nephrology needs to be receptive and responsive needs of nearly 22,000 members. ASN Communities puts you on an even playing field, with an equal voice and a bottom-up leadership structure. Members from 141 countries now have access to the broader knowledge base of nephrology. Individual communities provide opportunities for any member to lead in an area that interests him or her. Communities serves to broadcast issues that matter to you and give you an opportunity to provide input on issues facing the society.

New Communities: How They Work

Nephrology is a broad field and ASN’s membership includes a variety of professionals.  The society’s goal is that as many professionals and interest areas as possible are represented in Communities.Each interest based community is autonomous, with its own email updates and leadership team. This means that you can subscribe to the communities that interest you and be assured that the content you receive is well curated and professional. These communities are also opt in. When you start or reply to a discussion, your message only goes out to a small, select group of individuals. Additionally, every community has its own separate library and discussion archive.

Interested in Starting a New Community?
There are many subjects that are not represented in Communities and the society has developed a process to open new communities. Here are some questions to think through if you have an idea for a community:• Do you use Communities? Have you updated your profile and been involved in discussions?• Has this topic been brought up in the Open Forum? If not, start a teaser thread. That is a good way to identify a core group of interested people to start a community. • What aspects of this topic would benefit from input in a larger group? Communities is best suited for big picture discussions, how would your idea benefit from this platform?• Can you commit at least 2 hours of your week to starting and responding to threads? Every new community requires some time  investment, but it pays dividends. • Who would I invite to serve as co-leaders of the community? Having a strong, committed leadership team is crucial to the community’s success.If you have any questions along the way, do not hesitate to contact Mark Fitzgerald at ASN Communities - mfitzgerald@asn-online.org.

Community Leaders 
ASN Communities is by and for ASN members. That's why Community Leaders are essential. The Community Leader is a critical volunteer position for ASN Communities and the society. Advocating for interest areas in nephrology to ASN leadership and providing input on important issues enable Community Leaders to stand out and be a voice for in the kidney community. Leaders set the direction of specific communities and serve as subject matter experts on Open Forum discussion questions in their field. Providing expertise and leadership is only part of the job. Leaders also help to maintain the integrity of discussions by enforcing the Code of Conduct, and encouraging professional, broadly educational posts.  Serving as a Community Leader can boost your reputation in the field and provide an opportunity to champion important issues facing nephrology. 

To serve in this role an ASN member must meet only two requirements:   
1. Be active in Communities by posting and having a complete profile   
2. Be well respected in the nephrology community 

How to Volunteer
There are multiple pathways to be become a Community Leader:    
1. Submission of a New Community Application identifying yourself as  a Community Leader    
2. Recommendation by existing Community Leaders to join a Community Leadership Team   
3. Volunteer to become a Community Leader Determinations are made by ASN staff in consultation with ASN Media & Communications Committee Members. 

• Two hours per week reading and respond to Communities content• Initiating at least two new threads each month
• Welcoming new community members
• Replying to unanswered posts and to threads you initiated
• Support ASN “Community Minded”. This 100 word summary will be published once per week in ASN’s daily In The Loop email. To support this exciting new feature, you will need to write the summary twice per year.  
• Participate in, and commit to an engagement strategy for the community

Initially, Community Leaders are are self-selected via submitting an idea for a new community and listing their names in the leadership section of the Community Application. Leaders serve renewable one year terms. When a Leader steps down, the community members or Community Leaders can nominate and vote on another community member to serve in the role. If you have any questions please contact Mark Fitzgerald at ASN Communities, mfitzgerald@asn-online.org.