Monday, 17 May 2010

Feeling lonely?

To coincide with some new publicity material, I'm taking the opportunity to remind people about the Communities service offered by the NGS.

I know that for a lot of people using the NGS is their first experience of grid computing and it can seem like a big scary place! Some of our users are lucky and are in research groups where they already make extensive use of the NGS so there is plenty of local support available. However some people may be the pioneer in their research group or even institution and be the first person to use it.

Basically the Communities service allows NGS users to search for other users! For example if you are a researcher at the University of York who is performing molecular dynamics using NAMD you can do all of the following things -
  • browse a list of other NGS users at the University of York
  • search user case studies for the keywords "NAMD" and / or "molecular dynamics"
  • browse a list of users performing research in "biology", "biochemistry", "chemistry" etc
  • and many combinations of the above!
An email address is available for all users in Communities so they can be contacted. Users are free to opt out of Communities at any time by simply visiting their user account page. You can also visit your user account page to change any of your details such as the research area you are currently allocated under, to make ammendments to your case study (the more information you provide, the more likely people are to find you!) etc.

We have some anecdotal evidence of people using the Communities service but if you have any comments, feedback or experiences of using the service, we'd love to hear from you!

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