How does this Website add value to existing networks and resources?

By creating the Website, a variety of local community groups interested in marine conservation and management are able to come together to build a uniquely shared place for  sourcing information, tools and resources to develop community-focused solutions to some of the current challenges Scotland’s seas are facing.  The Website seeks to establish a strong communication and action platform for building the community voice within marine conservation and management in Scotland.

How can I (or my group) join the Coastal Communities Network website, and who is this intended for exactly?

The intention behind creating the Website is to encourage communication and idea sharing between local groups and to engage a diverse, thickly networked community, beyond our usual contacts, so as to build the community voice in Scotland’s marine management and conservation sectors. Community groups who feel interested in this field of work and in potentially joining the Coastal Communities Network website are encouraged to contact the Network facilitators about joining.

Why is some content visible to the public and some closed through a Members Area?

It is important to have a public facing profile to the nascent Network, to build awareness around the movement and provide information on members, topical news and consultations, etc. However, it is recognised that some conversations and resources are more sensitive than others and therefore there is a need to create a secure place for this kind of sharing. Feedback from the constituent community groups linked into the Website has also identified a real value in building the Network itself and in cultivating this through a Members Area.

How is the Website handling intellectual property rights (IPR)?

One of the core values of the Website is knowledge exchange, and as such it encourages, where appropriate, an open source ethos for collaboration and development. However, users must ensure that before putting any information in the public domain (which includes the public section of the website and the Members Area) that they have sought unambiguous authorisation from the owners of the intellectual property rights or copyright holders. Our definitive Terms of Use can be viewed here.

Who can I contact for more information, and with additional questions?

The website Facilitators can be contacted at info@communitiesforseas.scot.

What’s the purpose of the Network Forums - can’t we just use email to talk to one another?

The intended purpose of the Network Forums is to fully engage with others who we may not normally be able to easily engage with.  It is also to encourage openness within the Website members, where appropriate, of discussions which others may be interested in from a technical viewpoint, or to learn from the experiences of others, even if they are not directly engaging in the discussion.  Through an active Forum ideas can be better seeded.

How can I create a specific discussion thread to share information on a particular experience of mine or on my technical area of expertise?

Registered Network users can enter the Network Forums and discover the forum categories which contain various threads within them. Under these broad forums you may be able to find the relevant category for your discussion topic. If you can’t find a suitable topic within the forums you can also start a brand new topic of conversation within the relevant existing forum. However only the Website Facilitators can create forums –  if there is no suitable forum for the discussion you are seeking to have please email us with the details.

The Wesbite Facilitators reserve the right to move topics to more relevant forums where necessary and to remove any material that contravenes the community guidelines.

As a Coastal Communities Network member, will I receive email alerts with updates when I subscribe to groups and contribute to discussion threads?

When Network Forum users create a new topic or post a reply to an existing post, they can opt to automatically receive email alerts for additional posts. This is done by checking the “Notify me of follow-up replies via email” checkbox underneath the text entry window.  Users can choose to switch off these alerts at any time by unchecking this option – please note this must be done for each topic separately.  This means you can opt to receive alerts for whichever topics you choose.

Users can also subscribe to forums or topics for which they want to receive updates.  They will then receive emails when new posts have been added.  To stop these emails, select ‘unsubscribe’ at the top of each forum or topic to which you are subscribed.

If you choose not to select either of these options then you will not receive any email updates.

There is functionality within the forums that allows users to “tag” other users in their comments by entering their usernames precceded by an @ symbol – e.g. @john_doe.  Tagging a user then sends an email notification to their registered email address with the content of the post and a link to easily sign in to the forum and respond.

If you would prefer not to receive these notifications please contact the moderators at info@communitiesforseas.scot.  Please note that you will then not receive any notification that you have been involved in a forum discussion and will need to manually check the network forum for any updates.

Is there a risk that information shared on the Website could fall into the wrong hands and hinder the Networks efforts?

In the wrong hands, there is always some degree of risk that any information can be used for purposes other than those intended. But, the absence of communication platforms constrains progress. As part of the Terms of Use, community members agree to a code of conduct, which includes not sharing information openly that may be sensitive or proprietary.  Users are also urged to keep their login details private and to change their password if they suspect that it is known by someone else.  This can be done through the member login screen.

What kind of protections are in place to prevent malicious posts on the Website?

The Website’s community guidelines outline the rules for participating in the community, in order to ensure that it is a safe, welcoming and collaborative place for all members. If you feel unhappy or uncomfortable with any of the content posted within the Members Area of the site then please contact the Website Facilitators, who will make a decision on its continued publication. If a post or thread is reported within 24 hours for its content by three or more community members, it will be unpublished, with any further use of the content then subject to review by the Network Facilitators.

How will the Website manage risk if sensitive information is posted by community members and it goes public?

There are various visible materials and resources on the public-facing end of the website. However, some of the resources on the full site will not be publicly visible and will not be searchable by non-members. When joining the Network, all members must agree to the Terms of Use.

Although we have different visibility settings, we would caution members to be careful about what they choose to reveal online. As we state in our community guidelines, no matter where you talk on the site, we advise you to refrain from discussing highly sensitive information about your work, or revealing private details openly.

What if I no longer want to be a member of the Coastal Communities Network website?

If you no longer want to be a registered member of the Coastal Communities Network website then please contact the site facilitators at info@communitiesforseas.scot and we will delete your profile and any associated data including login details, username, image etc.  You will no longer have access to the password-protected members area and any associated content, and will receive no further emails from us including forum updates and members newsletter.