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AAG Knowledge Community Discussion Group FAQ

AAG Knowledge Communities offer discussion groups to facilitate conversations among Specialty Group members via email and online. The discussion groups have replaced the Specialty Group News and Discussion Forums that the Specialty Groups were using. . Below are instructions for participating in the discussion groups.

Discussion Group Subscription Options

There are several subscription options for each of the discussion groups to which you are subscribed. To manage your subscriptions, go to My Profile > My Subscriptions. The options are:

  • Real Time (recommended) – Real Time provides the discussion group’s messages to your inbox at the time they are sent in a very user-friendly format. You will create new messages and reply to existing messages via the web interface.
  • Daily Digest – If you select the Daily Digest option, you will receive one email per day combining all of the postings made to the discussion group during the day.
  • Legacy – This option will allow you to post and reply to discussion group messages via email or your mobile device. Note, however, that there are a few drawbacks to the Legacy option, which are described in the next section.
  • No Emails – This option is handy if there is a period of time that you do not wish to have the discussion group messages sent to your inbox (e.g. when you will be on vacation).

Posting and Replying to discussion group Messages

Replying to a Message via the Web

If you have selected the Real Time or Daily Digest subscription (recommended), you will use the web interface to reply to discussion group messages. When you receive a message, there will be two Reply options included in the body of the message:

  • Reply to discussion group – this option will send your reply to everyone who is subscribed to the discussion group (except those who have selected the No Emails subscription option). If you think the group can benefit from your reply, use this option.
  • Reply to Sender – this option will send your reply only to the person who posted the message to which you are replying. This option is appropriate when sending a simple “thank you” or similar message that is intended only for the sender. Both options will take you to a form very similar to the Post Message form described on the previous page. However, the “To” and “Subject” fields will be pre-filled, and the original message will be included in the Message field, with a place for you to type your reply. If you choose Reply to discussion group, you will have the option to include attachments. With Reply to Sender, you cannot include an attachment.

Posting and Replying Via Email

If you are subscribed to an discussion group using the Legacy setting (see above), you are able to post new messages and reply to existing messages via email or your mobile device.

Drawbacks of the Legacy setting

  • Legacy discussion group emails will be in plain text format and will not include some of the handy links that are included in Real Time or Daily Digest messages (however, those links are available should you choose to view one of the messages online).
  • When posting via email, you cannot include attachments. If you have an attachment (file) to include with an discussion group posting, you will need to use the web interface, as described on the next page.

Posting Via the Web

If you have not selected the Legacy subscription option, or if you have an attachment to include with your message, you will need to use the web interface to post and reply to discussion group messages.

  • Go to Discussions > Post a Message.
  • Select the appropriate community from the “To” drop-down menu.
  • Complete the Subject line.
  • If applicable, in the “Cross Post To” drop-down menu, select a second community to which you’d like to send the message. (Note: This is only appropriate in select circumstances. For example, an urban planning CFP could be posted to the Urban Planning Specialty Group as well as the GIS Specialty group provided you are a member of both groups.)
  • Type your message in the Message box, above your signature. (Note: To change your default signature, go to Discussions > My Signature.)
  • If you have an attachment to include, click the Attach button. See below for Attachment instructions.
  • When finished, click the Send button.

Including an Attachment

When posting via the web, you have the option to include one or more attachments (files) with your message. To include an attachment, click the Attach button at the bottom of the Post Message form. The form pictured to the right will appear. Files that are attached to an email are added to the community’s Resource Library. Because of this, there are two steps you need to take to add an attachment – the first is to create a “Document,” which is similar to a folder. Then you can add one or more files to the document.

  1. Use the Title field to name your document (remember, this is similar to a folder).
  2. Enter a brief Description.
  3. Click the Browse button to find the first file you’d like to attach.
  4. You have the option to enter a File Name for your file (in case the actual filename is not clear/obvious).
  5. Click Upload.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 if you have additional file(s) to attach to your message.
  7. Click the Finish button.

Accessing Past discussion group Messages

The Knowledge Community site stores an archive of all discussion group messages. To access
a community’s discussion group archive, go to Discussions > All Discussions, and then click on the name of the discussion group.

  • You can search all messages for a keyword(s). This is particularly useful if you recall the group discussing a particular topic and want to find the previous conversation thread rather than sking the question again.
  • You also can browse the messages chronologically.
  • Click on a message subject to view that message. From there, you have the option to reply to the discussion group or to the sender as described above.

Questions? Contact AAG technical support at or call 202-234-1450.