NIH - National Cancer Institute (NCI)

screen shot of benchmarks website

WebFirst is currently working with the NIH / NCI (The National Cancer Institute) office of Media Relations to develop their Benchmarks Newsletter blog site. The site's target audience includes health and science writers as well as members of the general public who may be researching answers for themselves and their loved ones. The archived articles cover the wide variety of research at NCI from understanding how cancer metastasizes to why diabetes is the most common risk factor for liver cancer in the U.S.

NCI created Benchmarks to increase its audience by leveraging the use of social media tools.

WebFirst's solution involves the re-development of the Benchmarks newsletter on the Wordpress (open source CMS package) platform. WebFirst designed the website and utilized custom Wordpress modules to develop an archive page for past newsletters. WebFirst configured the system to allow for rapid uploads of animations, links to YouTube videos and a variety of other media enhancements.

WebFirst created custom hooks into RSS feeds, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. A Twitter Widget was installed to allow users to see a scrolling list of real-time feeds that originate from NCI’s twitter page. WebFirst created a Tagging and Category system that populates the Tag Cloud. WebFirst customized the Wordpress search engine to display the search results with thumbnails and excerpts.

WebFirst also ensured that the site is W3C and Section 508 compliant. The new system creates a framework for NCI staff to easily upload articles, utilizing Wordpress’ standardized workflow. By using this workflow, productivity improved and errors were reduced. The basic workflow allows contributors to write content and editors to review and publish it. WebFirst also imported over 70 articles on decisions in order to populate the database. The site was launched in November 2009.

Technologies Used: Wordpress, PHP, MySQL, Photoshop

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