CDS Connect Help

How do I get started?

  1. Log into CDS Connect at Update your profile and photo by clicking My Profile.
  2. View groups you're in by clicking My Groups and add any missing groups through your CDS subscriptions page.
  3. Join some Groups by clicking Find Groups to Join.
  4. Start a discussion by clicking Post New Discussion from the Discussions tab of any group.
  5. Reply to a discussion by clicking "Reply..." from within the discussion online OR by replying to a discussion email notification.

What is my username and password?

If you don't know your username and password, visit here to login. You may also email

How do I join a group?

You can join a group right on the CDS Connect website.

How do I start a new discussion?

You can find a link to "Post a New Discussion" two different ways - by clicking your name and profile icon in the upper righthand corner of the screen, or by clicking on "My Account" in the left sidebar.

You can also start a new discussion via the link in the bottom of all CDS Connect notification emails.

How do I reply to a discussion?

To reply to a discussion, simply reply to the email notification you received; your reply will be emailed out to all group members and posted to the website. 

If you want to reply to an individual personally, clicking on the name of the poster will bring you to his or her profile page. If you click "Message" there, you've started a personal email chain with the individual.

You can also reply to the discussion via the website by clicking on the discussion topic and clicking the "reply" button.

Who can see what I post to a group?

All of our groups are members-only, so only fellow CDS community members can see your posts.

Some groups, are private; when you post a discussion to a private group that you belong to, only members of that group will see your message.

How do I search group discussion history?

You can search all discussion topics via the CDS Connect homepage bar in the middle of your screen or via Search Discussions in the "Search" dropdown on the lefthand side.

How do I unsubscribe from group email notification, or from a group entirely?

To change the frequency of emails you get from any group or to unsubscribe from any group, click "My Account" on the lefthand side and select "Email Preferences."

How do I receive daily digests or a weekly digest of group discussions vs. real-time email notifications of group discussions?

Under "Email Preferences" (which is also accessible via the "Notifications" tab when you update your profile), you can select whether you want to receive emails immediately, daily, weekly, or not at all. Your preferences may differe from group to group depending on the activity level of the group or your personal stake in the topic; email notifications may be selected on a group-by-group basis.

(Note: If there are no new discussions that day or week, you will not get a digest email.)

How do I add or change my profile picture?

To add or change a profile picture, click the "My Account" dropdown on the lefthand side and select "My Profile." When you click the edit icon (which looks like a pencil) on the top right corner of the profile icon, you'll be able to locate and save a picture to your profile.

If I can just reply to emails, why is there a website?

While the system can be used entirely via email, the website offers many features that are not available via email. Here are a few of the most popular things you can do on the website:

  • Search the archives of all group discussions.
  • Update your profile and/or upload a photo to be associated with your profile.
  • Privately message another member.
  • Join groups.

How do I access the website?

Many of the links in the notification emails will automatically log you onto the Connect website. To access the site directly, visit

Why am I receiving some notifications but not others?

It is likely that your anti-SPAM system is blocking some of the messages. Add "" to your list of "safe senders" to ensure you receive all notifications. (This setting is different for each email system, so check your email system's help resource or ask your IT provider for information on how to do this.)

Do I need to follow certain etiquette when using CDS Connect?

Yes, please; you can view the CDS Connect Etiquette here.

What are the points I see associated with people and Groups?

Points are used to help you see the level of activity in any group and the level of participation of any member. Groups gain points each time there is activity in them, and people gain points each time they contribute to a group.

Group lists and member lists can be sorted by point value to see which groups and which people are the most active in the system

How can I send a private message to an individual?

For privacy reasons, you are not able to view the email address of any members, but CDS Connect allows you to easily send a message to another member.

You can find a member in the "Search" dropdown on the lefthand of your screen, or click on the person's name in any group or notification email. This will bring you to that person's profile page; you can click on the "Message" button to open a new private message.

You can see all of your private messages by selecting "My Account" and then "Private Messages"; you can compose a message from that screen as well. Simply start typing the person's name and then select the individual you want to message. Add a subject line and a message and click "Post"!

I can't find the answer to my question. What do I do?

If you need help and can't find the answer here, contact