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  • We wanted to use the last featured topic of the year as an opportunity to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who has been involved in the community in its first year and for helping to make it a success so far.

    Whether you have been with us since the start or just joined yesterday, the community is all about you as users of The National Archives and can’t be a success without you.

    In the new year, we plan to continue to develop the community, grow the membership and encourage further involvement from community members in creating your own topic discussions and groups.

    In the mean time, please use this thread to discuss how you would like to see the community develop going forward and how we can continue to make it the ‘go-to’ place for you, our online users, to engage with us and each other.

    Oh, and of course Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all!

  • Profile picture of Friends of Hoar Oak Cottage Friends of Hoar Oak Cottage 1 year, 11 months ago:

    Well – thanks so much for setting it up and getting it going as it is a great link into the National Archives Community. I recently met with the Engagement Officer for my area of the country and had a fantastically useful discussion around diverse issues but including my particular bugbear around “Archiving For Dummies”!! Matt Greenhall was very helpful and directed us to some people whose own experiences might be helpful to us and this is going to happen in the New Year. He also helped me to really understand the overall Archive Environment/Archive Landscape and where we, as a very small local organisation in the South West, sit in it and how we could strengthen our links into it. That was tremendously useful. Anyhoooo….thanks again and Happy New Year to eveyone.

  • Profile picture of Mandy Blake - Moderator Mandy Blake – Moderator 1 year, 11 months ago:

    It’s been a great year for the National Archives Community Forum, it has flourished and the membership is gradually increasing. Thank you to everyone involved at TNA for all the behind-the-scenes work in getting the software set up, sorting out the logistics, etc.

    A personal thank-you from me to James and Paul, who I communicate directly with, and other members of the Forum team. I look forward to more great things in 2014, and being a part of them!

    Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year!

    Mandy :)

  • Profile picture of Jacqui Kirk Jacqui Kirk 1 year, 10 months ago:

    Happy New Year to everyone.

    As of a few weeks ago I became a new member of the National Archives User Advisory Group as one of the Independent researchers’ representatives. I know Graham Woolgar uses this forum to obtain feedback etc and want to do much the same in future. I was not able to attend their last meeting on 17 Dec due to clashes with my role as elderly parent’s chauffeur to medical appointments etc but fully intend to be there in March for the next one.

    This forum as I see it has mixed roles – help and advice for its users, feedback on things which do and don’t work both at the National Archives and on its website and generally providing a place for chat etc. At the moment I don’t feel the social aspects are working very well probably because it is still new and we have been struggling a little with the software (well I have) as we get to know how it all works. Also possibly most of us not being the Facebook generation this kind of thing does not come naturally to us – it certainly doesn’t to me.

    As I see it most of the initial topic posts come from National Archives staff and certainly I haven’t been brave enough to start a new topic on my own even if I could think of one. This makes it all a bit stilted. Once a topic has been started it takes off but in order to see what is going on you need to actually log in and I certainly don’t do that every day. So in my case there is a pattern of log in every so often, see what is going on and then reply to a few posts then about a week before I log in again.

    What I need is some way of monitoring what topics are being discussed via my email for instance. And I have no idea how you would do this. I would still be a reactive member rather than a proactive one but if I saw something I was interested in I could respond more quickly and the forum would become more immediate to me. A bit of frivolity wouldn’t come amiss either – we are all so worthy at the moment!

    This is solely my view – now what do others think? And I will now be brave and as my New year’s resolution start my own topic for discussion which has nothing to do with this and is solely frivolous – when I can think of it!


    PS a preview of a post reply before you send it would be good to enable us to sort out typos etc

  • Hi All and Happy New Year!

    Thanks ever so much to Mandy, currently our only non-staff Moderator for all the hard work you have put in helping us to moderate the Community. Much appreciated, we couldn’t do it without you!

    Congratulations Jacqui on becoming the new User Advisory Group (UAG) rep for Independent Researchers. For anyone not familiar with the UAG – have a look at the web page here:

    The idea of the UAG is for representatives of our various user groups (for example Family Historians, Academics, Online Users, Independent Researchers etc…) to meet regularly with management here, offering another opportunity for our users to get involved in our planning and decision making processes. The aim is that all users are able to feed in to these meeting via the reps, so it will be great to see this community used more in that process.

    Thanks also for your points regarding how this community can be improved and I’m glad to see that your first ‘frivolous’ post is already up! – Here’s to lots more in the future!

    It would be great to get some more opinions on how you would like to see the Community develop in the future and how it could be improved to encourage people to post more.

    Jacqui – in response to your point about ‘following’ topics – this can be done as follows:

    You need to log in first.

    Then just go to the topic you want to follow (you can get a list of all the topics started so far by clicking ‘Forum’ on the main menu).

    Then click on ‘Follow this topic’, just above the first post in the topic.

    This will mean that you will receive an email whenever anyone posts in that topic.

    You can always click ‘Mute this topic’ if you want to stop following it.

  • Profile picture of Jacqui Kirk Jacqui Kirk 1 year, 10 months ago:

    Hi James

    I do follow various topics but what I meant was getting a notification of new topics by email although I didn’t make that clear above. That way I would know to log in to take a look. I know it’s lazy but sometimes when I’m away working in other archives I may not have decent internet or can’t remember my password or am just too tired, frustrated and fed up to log in. If I’m travelling by public transport my laptop is just too heavy to lug around nowadays without paying for it in shoulder and neck pain for days afterwards and my tablet has “issues” with this site sometimes.

    I’m in my designated time off at the moment – two weeks allocated for Christmas and New Year and to complete and submit my tax return hence the recent log ins prior to wrestling with the receipts and invoices and P60s. Back to the grindstone next week when most archives are open fully again – apart from my local in Warwick of course which will be in “closed week” mode for catching up with cataloguing – they have a backlog of over a hundred years worth I believe but their hard work is gradually paying off. Like all archives and record offices they have a historical backlog of items which were sketchily catalogued plus of course their commitment to put their catalogue online. Staffing cuts are really hitting hard on this.

  • Hi All,

    I had to remind myself(!) but there is a way to do this.

    If you click on ‘Groups’ in the main menu, you’ll get a list of all the groups that are available on the Community (everyone is a member of ‘All Users’ by default and this is the group where the vast majority of topics are discussed, but there are lots of other groups that you can optionally join).

    On the right hand side of each of the groups listed is a link that says ‘Get email updates’.

    When you click on this you can then choose between: ‘No email’, ‘Weekly summary’, ‘Daily digest’, ‘New Topics (send New topics when they arrive)’ and ‘All email (send all group activity as it arrives)’.

    You can go in and change these settings whenever you want, so its not a problem if you find you are getting too many emails, or not enough, you can just go in and update the settings.

    Hope this helps Jacqui, and I’m really glad that you asked the question as this could help lots of other users to keep track of whats going on on the Community.

  • Profile picture of Jacqui Kirk Jacqui Kirk 1 year, 10 months ago:

    Thanks James

    Well I thought I’d done that but it didn’t seem to be working. I will go through and redo them all just in case. Could you check from your end as well although it may just be my fault?


  • Profile picture of Jacqui Kirk Jacqui Kirk 1 year, 10 months ago:

    And I just had a thought – are they likely to go into spam because of the heading/sender info or whatever? I will check that too.

  • Hi Jacqui,

    The email will be from The National Archives Community or and it will go to the email address that you used when you signed up to the Community (I can tell you what this is via a private message if you want).

    It shouldn’t go in to your spam folder but I suppose there is a chance, depending on the email service you use. I just tested with my ‘personal’ account which is attached to a Googlemail email address and the emails got sent in to the main email folder very promptly.



  • Profile picture of Jacqui Kirk Jacqui Kirk 1 year, 10 months ago:

    Hi James

    Got your test topic so obviously the new topics option now works. I went through and reset everything so that it tested all the settings so now will wait and see.


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