When you have something you’d like to share with fellow MLA members, there are several ways to post it on MLA Commons. Which way is best? It depends on your goals.
Reaching a large audience. If you’re looking to reach a large audience to start a discussion or circulate news like a call for papers, information about an upcoming conference or event, or submission details about an award, you may want to create a new topic in a relevant group’s forum. The forum is a suitable place to post something because forums allow users to ask questions and discuss topics. The forum is also the first page that people see when accessing the group, so material posted there is likely to be widely visible. You cannot, however, attach files to the post.
Items of general interest. If the announcement or material is of general interest, you may want to post an update on your profile. While the profile update will not generate an e-mail notification to members, it will be visible to all MLA Commons users on the Activity page. Users will also see your most recent update when they view your profile.
Uploading files. If you’d like to share a PDF, PowerPoint slide, or other material with members of a group, consider uploading a file (please note that files cannot be edited within the Commons). If you’d like to solicit feedback on a file, consider creating a forum thread with a link to the file so that group members may share their comments and questions.
Creating collaborative documents. If you’d like to create something collaboratively, you might consider using Docs, which allow group members to edit and read the text online. Docs are great for working together on shared material. If you’re working on a session for the 2015 convention, you might create a collaborative document to share with your fellow presenters to outline the main points, structure, and key discussion questions for the session. (Note that you’ll need to create a group for the session first.)
Blog posts. Does your group have a blog? If so, you might want to share reflections or materials by writing a post on your group blog. You will need to have access to write, manage, and publish posts; the privacy settings can be adjusted so that the content is visible to the public. Talk to the group’s administrator if you’d like to contribute a blog post and don’t have the necessary permissions.
Receiving feedback. If you’re looking for thorough feedback on something, consider setting up a blog that enables CommentPress. CommentPress is an innovative tool that allows members to comment in the margins of the document in a more granular way than blogs typically permit. You can see an example of CommentPress on Literary Studies in the Digital Age, where the editors of the anthology have invited members to participate in the volume’s development by offering feedback on the essays.
As you can see, there are a number of options available to share information, and we encourage you to continue exploring the resources offered by MLA Commons. If you still have questions about which option to use for a particular purpose, don’t hesitate to contact us.