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Microsite Manager Update

February 21, 2007

In this issue:

  • A new home for your microsite
  • Internet Explorer 7 and Ektron
  • To blog or not to blog?
  • Tips and Tricks: NAMIWalks Pages
  • Stat Snapshot
  • Share your ideas!


Your Microsite Will Soon Have a New Home

As part of NAMI's ongoing efforts to improve our technology resources, the NAMI Web site, along with all microsites, will soon be moving to a new facility.

Up to this point, NAMI's Web servers have been located in the NAMI National office. But due to increased traffic and a desire to ensure maximum availability, we will soon turn over hosting of our Web sites to a professional hosting company.

Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Edge Web Hosting will benefit you in the following ways:

  • They guarantee 99.99% uptime
  • They have impressive bandwidth, power, security, climate control, and fire suppression features that NAMI would never be able to practically match in-house
  • They have experience managing other sites on the Active Matter platform, which is the "make and model" of NAMI's site
  • They have been providing hosting since 1998
  • They have won the "Best Web Host" award by the ColdFusion community for the past 5 years. (Cold Fusion is the server technology NAMI uses; it is the reason your Web pages end in ".cfm")

What will this mean for you?

By moving our hosting, this will mean that your microsite is safer, runs better, and experiences less down time.

We will make the switch at some point between now and mid-March. Once a firm date has been set, we will let you know so you can plan accordingly. If all goes well, you should notice minimal disruption.

If your use your own domain name: If you have purchased and use your own domain name (such as, you will have to take the additional step of contacting the company you purchased your domain name from and having them point your domain name to the new server. Again, we will provide additional details once the date is closer. For now, you should simply be sure you have the contact information for your domain name host.


Internet Explorer 7 and Ektron

Whenever you create or edit a page on your microsite, you probably use the Ektron editor. It's the Microsoft Word-like interface that came with your microsite that you use to enter and format your text.

As you may recall from the first time you used Ektron, you had to go through a brief process to install it on your computer. More specifically, you were installing it into your Internet Explorer Web browser.

In October 2006, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7. If you plan to upgrade to Internet Explorer 7, keep in mind that you will also need to re-install the Ektron editor. You will be prompted to do so the first time you attempt to use Ektron in IE 7. When installing Ektron in IE7 you will notice a small bar towards the top of the browser that says "Click here to install this ActiveX control."  You will need to click on this bar several times to complete the installation process. Also, keep in mind that Internet Explorer is the only Web browser supported by Ektron. It will not work in Netscape, Firefox, Safari, or other browsers.

If you need a refresher on installing Ektron, please see page 19 of your Microsite Administrator guide. The guide is available online from your main Microsite administration page.


To Blog or Not to Blog?

Blogs (or "Web logs") are an increasingly popular way to communicate online. They are essentially a running online journal, where entries appear on a single Web page in a chronological list. They also feature a feedback mechanism, where those who read the blog can post their responses.

Several NAMI organizations have begun their own blogs. One of them is NAMI Oklahoma. Executive Director Steve Buck recently explained why NAMI Oklahoma decided to enter the "blogosphere":

“One of my biggest priorities upon returning to NAMI Oklahoma was modifying our communications approach to appeal to the 18 – 35 demographic. Both consultants and constituents convinced me that “blogging” was a preferred communications platform for this demographic band.

Our approach is to use the blog as a “community network” without the attention to detail reserved for formal Web pages. Only NAMI OK staff can post to the blog and we is use it to provide updates on current events, express opinions on policy developments and other topics that create a sense of community and dialog. However, we allow any constituent to respond to our posts and only ask that they subscribe to a “golden rule” of etiquette.

Our staff (cumulatively) spends about an hour per week on postings.”

NAMI Oklahoma uses a free Web service for its blog called Blogger. Owned by Google, Blogger makes it simple to setup and maintain a blog.

So do you need a blog if you already have a Web site? Not necessarily, though here are some reasons you may wish to consider it:

  • Blogs make it easy for you to post all of your news, updates and opinions in one place, and automatically organize things chronologically.
  • Blogs allow for your visitors to react and respond to what you post, providing you with feedback and helping to build community.
  • Blogs give you a way to post more informal, opinion-based or reflective material online and keep it separate from the more formal, "official" content of your Web site. For example, on your Web site you might have a page with information about an upcoming legislative rally or education class, but on a blog you could be freer to discuss your personal reasons for participating.
  • Blogs increase the presence of your organization within search engines. Google especially favors blogs, and tends to rank them high in its search results. Therefore, blogs increase the likelihood that Web searchers will find your organization.

If you do decide to try blogging, here are couple of points to keep in mind:

  • The best blogs have an individual voice and represent a personal point of view, for example, that of your executive director, program director or Walk manager.
  • If you build it they will come – but they won't keep coming unless you keep it fresh. Create a regular schedule for updating your blog, and stick to it. Even saying something brief is better than nothing at all.

NAMI blog examples:


Tips and Tricks: NAMIWalks pages

Many of you who have microsites are also in areas with NAMIWalks. Did you know that you can have your NAMIWalks page from the main NAMI Web site display within your microsite template, just as if it were part of your site? Here's how, step-by-step:

  1. Go to your NAMIWalks page on the NAMI Web site (
  2. Notice in the Address bar of your Web browser that the URL for your NAMIWalk page ends in a three digit number. Make note of this number.
  3. Now, create a new section or sub-section of your microsite called "NAMIWALKS" (or whatever you wish to call it)
  4. Enter a title, description and date for this page, as you normally would
  5. Under the "Linked Content" tab on the Content Properties screen, enter the following:
    URL: /customsource/NAMIWalks/WalksiteDetail.cfm&walksiteID=[ID number] (replace [IDnumber] with the three-digit ID number of your Walk from step #2 above. Do not use the brackets)
    Link Name: [The name of your NAMIWalk]
  6. Click "Add/Update"
  7. When the page reloads, click "Preview" at the top. If everything was done correctly, you should now see your Walk page displaying within your microsite template.
  8. Publish the page

This same technique can be used to cause basically any page on the NAMI Web site to display within your template. The general rule is that when you view a page on the NAMI site, you should copy from the Address bar of your browser everything after the part of the link that says "&template=".


Stat Snapshot

Top 10 Microsites, January 2007:

Site Visits Visitors

NAMI Oklahoma



NAMI Indiana



NAMI of Connecticut, Inc



NAMI Orange County






NAMI - Multnomah County



NAMI Vermont



NAMI Alabama



NAMI Arkansas



NAMI Austin




Total number of NAMI Microsites


Number that have launched

122 (78%)

Number of sites updated in the past 30 days

59 (48%)

Number of sites updated in the past 31 – 90 days

21 (17%)

Welcome newest microsites!:


Launched On:

NAMI New Mexico


NAMI Austin


NAMI Franklin County (OH)


NAMI Clinton County (IA)


NAMI St. Louis


NAMI Los Angeles


Share your ideas!

Have a great idea that you would like to share with other microsite managers? Post it to the Microsite Manager discussion group! Access the discussion group from the main Microsite Manager screen.