My Bond is the social network and a collaboration space for the international development sector. It will change the way that we communicate with our members and the way members interact with each other.
We've made things as intuitive as possible; this is a quick guide to how to get the most out of it. If there's anything that's unclear, or that you think could be improved, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page or by email.
We've made registering for My Bond as simple as possible: all you need to do is enter your name and email and pick your organisation from a drop-down list of Bond members.
If you work for a Bond member organisation, you can register right now.
As long as your email suffix (the bit after the @) matches what we have in the database, you'll be sent a password straight away and you can log in at the top of the page.
If you have an email suffix that doesn't match what we have on file for your organisation, your organisation admin will get an email with a link to verify that you do work for a Bond member.
We've migrated all group members from our old site to the new one, so if you're already a member of a group, you should be able to use your existing password to log in right away.
If you have a password but have forgotten it, it's easy to reset it.
Finding your way around
My Bond has four sections:
The red navigation bar at the top of the page has a drop-down menu with links to those sections. Underneath that is a crumbtrail menu that shows you where you are and allows you to go up a level to a parent page.
From anywhere in My Bond you can click on a user's name or photo to go to their profile; in most places you can also mouseover names to see people's organisation and job title.
The homepage shows the most recent activity and people who have recently joined.
Both your organisation and you as an individual have a profile page in My Bond.
Organisation profiles provide details about what you do and how to keep up to date with your news.
The staff tab lists registered users and their job titles, and the content tab lists content and events added to an organisation.
Organisation admins can set your organisation profile to pull in Twitter feeds and, as long as you have an RSS feed, your latest news too. You can also link to Facebook and LinkedIn and fill in some key facts about your organisation
By default, the Bond Contact is the admin for the organisation on My Bond, but an organisation can have as many admins as you want.
As well as editing information about the organisation, the organisation admin can promote others to be admins and remove any staff who have left, via the staff tab. Admins can also use the messaging function to send a message to all registered staff via email.
All registered staff of an organisation can post content, events, create a collaborative document or start a discussion within the organisation's profile.
Group and workspace admins have similar roles within their groups.
Once you've registered, you'll get a My Bond profile, where you can add details about who you are and what you do. You can pull in Twitter feeds and link to Facebook and LinkedIn too.
It's really important to add a photo – online communities work much better if people can see your face!
The more information you add about yourself, your work and your professional interests, the easier it will be for others to find you.
You can easily find your profile by going to My Bond > My Profile from the red drop-down menu at the top of the page.
Under the edit tab you'll find links to change your account details (email address, password) and profile information (image, job title etc).
The content tab on your profile lists all your content, discussion posts and events and connections show who you follow, and who follows you. The notifications tab (see below) is where you can set what you want to receive email notifications about.
You can follow other people and organisations by clicking the "follow" button on their profile pages, which means that you'll get their updates in your feed, and be able to keep up to date more easily with what they're doing. By default we've set all new users to follow Bond, but you can unfollow us if you wish!
Groups and workspaces
Existing Bond groups have new spaces on My Bond where they can share documents, discuss issues, organise events and meetings.
We've also opened up this space so that users can create their own new workspaces. Workspaces and groups share the same functionality but anyone can create a new workspace around whatever topic they want.
This is a great opportunity for new groups of people to communicate and collaborate, whether that's around a particular topic or an area of work within international development.
My Bond groups and workspaces are open by default - join them by clicking "join" in the right-hand column - but they can also be made hidden, closed and invitation only. Within an open group you can create a private workspace if you want to discuss or work on something sensitive.
In a group or workspace, its members can have discussions, upload files and work together on online documents.
You can also send individuals a message via email, and group admins can send messages to the whole group. But we'd recommend using this functionality only when you really have to - it will be more effective to keep content in the system than lost in people's inboxes.
All events posted in My Bond can be seen in the events tab, where they can also be filtered by date and theme.
Events have a map to show where they are and you can attach documents and add tags so that others can find them more easily.
Anyone can post an event here and you can also comment on an existing event or let others know that you will be going.
You can also post an event in an organisation or in a group; it will still show up here.
Follow, like, comment, tag
The more users follow each other and "like" and comment on content, the richer, more interesting place My Bond will become. So please don't hold back from asking questions and letting others know what you think.
Tagging your content enables others to find it using the hot topics tag cloud.
We've made the notifications from My Bond as configurable as possible.
By default if you join a new group you'll get notifications straight away when there is activity in the group but you can change this to be a daily or weekly digest or turn off notifications altogether. If you want, you can decide to get notifications immediately for one group but not for another.
You can also subscribe to an individual event, discussion or item of content. You'll then be notified when there are any changes or comments.
Edit your notification settings in My profile > notifications > subscriptions