How to use the site

[ how to use the site | how to edit pages | what's a wiki? ]

Site Structure

The different sections of the site and how they work are described below.
The Purpose of PolicyComNet and Guidelines for use pages describe the content one might post on those pages.

Forum Highlights & Community Headings in Left Panel

Forum Community
The Forum section should be used to discuss the issues until you reach some consensus on what needs to be communicated to public policy officials. See invitation & demo page (top left navigation panel). Your next step is to collaborate on a document (see Community) that you can use to accomplish that. This section is for use AFTER you've figured what you want to say (using the Forum) and you're ready to create a model of how you want to communicate it in a message to public policy officials for other GSA members to use as a model. Click on the "example page" link on the "Create New Policy Documents" page in the left navigation panel, and use it if you wish to practice editing before creating a your new policy document.


Forum Highlights pages are directly tied to the Discussion Forum. This was done to make it easy to see the most recent topics and comment on them. You can also access these discussions by visiting the discussion forum link in the top menu and drilling down to your area of interest.
To edit or delete your post (you can only edit or delete posts that you authored):

  1. Click on the title (this will take you to the discussion forum proper).
  2. Just under your post at the right, you will see two links: reply | options. Select options.
  3. This brings up another 3 choices: permanent link | edit | delete. Select the appropriate action. "Permanent link" shows you the URL link for that post. This way you can link directly to that post from a different forum post or page (such as the collaboration page).
  4. Go to How to Edit Pages to see how to add images, attach files, etc.


Carry out your part by contacting public policy people responsible for taking action to relevant GSA Position Statements as a background for your own message and how it relates to the local or state public policy they are considering.

The pages in this section are separate from the forum. Pages can be added, edited, and commented on.

  • Collaborate on documents in real time. No need to send emails to everyone with attachments containing hard-to-read track-changes. You can view all changes ever made to a document — and even revert to an earlier version — by clicking on the "History" button (at bottom of screen).
  • Help others learn from your experience by offering tips and suggestions in the Lessons Learned section.
  • We are also looking for your Geoscience Hero Stories in the Success Stories section, where geoscience input helped resolve critical resource, environmental, or land-use issues, and/or saved money or examples of policies where geoscience information could have helped avoid deleterious unintended consequences.


These are links to GSA documents that we hope you find useful. Let us know if you'd like to see other links there.

Member Info

  • See who else has joined the site.
  • Invite other GSA members to join PolicyComNet. They will receive an email invitation from you containing a link that will grant them automatic PolicyComNet membership (after they create a wikidot account).

Page Tags

One of the most important tools on the site is the "Add Tags" button. Please add tags to your pages and posts. Tags should be keywords that help people filter the content of the site. You can use the button in the top menu or the one at the bottom of the page.

Top Menu

  • "Add Tags" button (see above).
  • Access to the Discussion Forum is also available from here — it just looks a little different than the Forum Highlights section. NOTE: the forum also has a category for site-related discussion if anyone needs help or wants to offer site tips.
  • Contact information for the PolicyComNet Manager.
  • Search (self explanatory)
  • Wiki tools and administrator section.

Bottom Buttons

  • At the bottom of the pages, you see a row of buttons (edit, tags, history, files, print, site tools, + options). Pages in the "Collaboration" part of the site are editable and you are encouraged to view the history on those pages. The Tags button is the same as the one in the top menu. You probably won't need most of the other buttons.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License