1/1/2008 | RESOURCES

Freedom Years Web Portal

In the fall of 2007, Retirement Living Television (RLTV) engaged Audacious Inquiry to help to build up the audience of its online health-related content by developing a web portal devoted exclusively to healthy aging. The portal would also benefit from the strengths of RLTV’s corporate siblings, Erickson Health, one of the largest geriatric practices in the country, and the Erickson Tribune, a weekly newspaper that often publishes stories on health-related topics. In the future, the portal could also serve as a companion to an Erickson-developed personal health record (PHR), as emerging research shows rich media and social networking may offer cues for how patients can interact with their health information online.

The objectives were to raise awareness about the television network, to build a viewership for its programming via an alternative distribution channel, to enhance Erickson’s position as a leader in healthy aging, and to create a gathering place for American seniors online.

“We knew that, across the web, many people—particularly seniors—are searching for health information. We also knew that the health-related assets of Retirement Living TV were gaining an audience online,” said David Finney, project manager for Audacious Inquiry. “So we developed a plan to capitalize on that positive momentum.”

After an initial market research phase, the team agreed to move forward and the new portal, FreedomYears.com, was developed and deployed in February 2008. To complement dozens of informative videos from RLTV and articles from Erickson Health, the Erickson Tribune, and the National Institutes of Health’s online library, AI reached an agreement with Johns Hopkins Medicine International to produce original articles and blogs related to aging for the website. This wealth of content, combined with memory games, discussion boards, and social networking elements such as friends lists and personal messaging, comprise a rich destination for seniors and others concerned about healthy living.

Audacious Inquiry’s ongoing role has been to oversee all editorial, creative and technical aspects of the website, from executing a regular email newsletter, to logo and identity design, to deploying the hardware environment where the site is hosted. The team is also responsible for a comprehensive search engine optimization program. The site was developed using the open-source DotNetNuke content management framework. To date, thousands of people have created accounts on FreedomYears.com, and the site generates thousands of unique visits per month.