ICMA / Knowledge Network / Help / Topics


The Knowledge Network is organized by more than 200 topics covering all aspects of local government.

All of the questions, documents, groups, and other content on the Knowledge Network is tagged with one or more topics. The Knowledge Network’s more than 200 topics cover a wide range of local government issues, from accountability to zoning. These topics organize the wealth of content on the site, helping you to find the information you're looking for and to connect you with interesting resources, discussions, and  local government professionals. This page shows how topics work and will help you use topics to make the most of the Knowledge Network.

On This Page


Topic Directory

To browse the full list of Knowledge Network topics, go to the Topics tab in the Knowledge Network menu bar.

Topic Directory

There, you can browse topics by category or alphabetically. Topics are sized according to their relative level of activity. Click any topic to go to the topic page.


Topic tags

Outside of the topic directory, you’ll find topics on articles, questions, document, blogs, and other pages throughout the site with tags that look like this:

Related Topics

Anytime you see a topic tag, click it to go directly to the topic page.


Topic Page

Each topic has a dedicated topic page that aggregates all of the content in that topic. The layout of the topic page’s overview tab is similar to that of the Knowledge Network homepage.

Topic Page

Browse the most recent articles, blog posts, questions, documents, and other content related that topic on the overview tab. Groups and wikis related to this topic will also display on the topic page, and many topics have upcoming events listed on the right column.

Shortcut buttons

Use the links at the top right of the topic page to quickly add that topic to your interests. You can also ask a question, start a group, submit a document, or create a wiki on this topic.


People with Expertise and Topic Leaders

The profiles of Knowledge Network users who identify themselves as experts on a topic will appear on the topic page under People with Expertise. Do you have expertise to share? Learn how to identify yourself as a topic expert.

Several topics also have Topic Leaders, individuals designated by ICMA and the Alliance for Innovation to facilitate conversations and provide fresh content for a given topic.

Many topic leaders and experts are happy to share their insights directly when you contact them with a related issue.

Topic Leaders and Experts

Other Tabs on the Topic Page

To search a particular type of content in more depth, select the appropriate tab on the topic page, like Questions:

Topic Questions

Note: When you select the tab for Articles, Bogs, Questions, Documents, Groups, and Wikis on the topic page, your results will automatically be narrowed to show only content related to that topic. To browse this content for all topics on the Knowledge Network, use the tabs in the Knowledge Network menu bar above.


Topics in User Profiles

In addition to helping organize Knowledge Network resources, topics are also a part of user profiles. Check a profile to see a user’s topic interests in the column at right.

Topics of interest in a profile

For users who are topic experts, the areas of expertise will also be identified in this space.

Tip: Use the Narrow by Topic Interest filter in Who’s Who to search for users interested in a specific topic. Learn more about searching for people with filters.

Be sure to add your own topics of interest to your profile to help your local government colleagues get to know you. Learn how to add topic interests and areas of expertise.


Topics for Question Notifications

One of the most important functions of topics is to help deliver notifications of new questions to the users who are most likely to be interested in that question. A user posting a question usually selects one or more related topics. (Questions directed to a group, such as the ICMA Members group, do not require a topic.) Then, Knowledge Network users who have said they are interested in at least one of those topics will be notified of the question.

Asking a Question

When posting a new question, select related topics from the question form to ensure that interested users will see you question and help you get the best answer.

Subscribing to Questions of Interest

Once you have added topics of interest to your profile, check the box for email notifications from Topics I’m interested in on the preferences tab.


Return to Knowledge Network User Guide.

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