Quick Start Guide

SPM Connect Quick Start Guide


Here is a Quick Start guide to Connect, SPM’s online discussion platform.
More detailed information is in the Connect FAQ and Connect ‘How to…’ documentation. There is also an introductory video.


Login and password basics

Your SPM membership information and profile are maintained on SPM’s website, participatorymedicine.org. Login to the main SPM website here. SPM-Connect is available to all SPM members, but has its own separate and independent login system.

In order to use Connect, you must first establish a Connect account, separate from your membership account:

  • You should get an email when you become an SPM member explaining how to register on Connect and giving a link. If you have lost that email, here is the link to register and set your password. Click the ‘Set or Reset Your Password’ link.
  • You will be asked to enter your email address. This MUST be the email address associated with your SPM membership.
  • You will be sent a link to that address to agree to terms and set your password. You may use the same password you use as part of your membership account in SPM, but you do not have to. The two systems have separate logins and passwords.
  • After this, you should be able to login to Connect with your email address and the password you set. (See the next section.)

Once you have a Connect account, you access the content by logging in with the blue Sign In button on the top right, using your email address and the password you set for Connect.

(More details and screenshots are on the FAQ and How to… guides mentioned above.)



Discussions on Connect are divided into individual topic-based communities (sometimes referred to as SIGs for special interest groups). By default, all new members are added to our four basic communities:

  • Open Forum for general discussions
  • Introduce Yourself where new members are encouraged to post about themselves
  • Using the forum: to ask questions or look for best practices or solutions to problems with the Forum.
  • The Lounge: for social and off-topic conversations.

You can access the list of Your Communities from the Communities drop down menu in the top blue menu bar.

You can see the list of All Communities from the All Communities item in the Communities drop down and you can use the Join a community link in the top-level blue Participate drop down to see the list of communities you can join. Both paths give you the list with descriptions of the communities. Use the blue JOIN button on the right to join a community. (Some communities are restricted or require an invitation to join.)



The blue menu bar just below the SPM banner contains the key navigation tabs:

  • Home: the home or landing page for Connect.
  • Communities: A drop down menu that lets you access the list of communities you have joined (Your Communities) or the full list of communities you are eligble to join (All Communities).
  • Directory: allows you to search for members on Connect.
  • Calendar: brings you to the SPM Google calendar of events.
  • *Browse: From this drop down you can elect to see the most recent threads and posts. This is recommended as the best way to see what is happening.
  • Participate: this drop down lets you start a new thread on Connect (Start a thread) or find communities to join.
  • User’s Guide: this drop down contains links to a more detailed How To, FAQs for the site, an introductory video tutorial, and Netiquette guidelines for SPM.
  • Join/Renew brings you to the participatorymedicine.org site to renew your membership in SPM.


Posting new threads or replies to other posts.

You can only post in a community where you are a member. There are many ways to start a thread, but the easiest are these:

  • Navigate to one of your communities and use the green ADD button next to the Latest Discussion Posts header. This leads to an input form to choose where to post, give a subject for your post, use a WYSIWYG tool to create your post, and submit with the blue Send button at the bottom.
  • Use the Participate drop down and the Start a thread link to bring you to the same input form.

To reply to a post in a thread, navigate to that discussion in that community. If you want your reply to be below a specific post in a discussion, use the Reply button in that post to open the form for creating your reply. If you want your reply to be a reply to the general conversation, you must scroll to the bottom and use the Reply button after the last post in the discussion thread.

Saved drafts: if you save a draft of a post, you can return to it by navigating to your Connect profile, and using the My Contributions tab, navigate to List of Contributions and your draft(s) will be at the top of the list. 



When you join a new community (and the four communities you are in by default when you join SPM) your preferences are set to send you a daily email digest of the posts in that community. You can change that preference by navigating to a community, clicking to the Settings button at the top of the community, and selecting Real Time, Daily Digest, or No Email.


More info and help

  • More detailed information is in the Connect FAQ and Connect ‘How to…’
  • There is also an introductory video.
  • The ‘Contact Us’ link at the very top of each page can be used to contact the admins and ask a question or ask for help.
  • The Using This Forum community is a good place to describe a problem, make a suggestion, or ask for help. It is monitored by the admins here, and has the added benefit of making the answers and solutions available to others.