Arthritis Foundation Web Site Integrates Social Media Features with Assistance from ThePort

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Profile-Building, Blogging and Photo Galleries Helping Site Users Share and Connect

Nonprofits are recognizing social networking as a way to unite supporters online and encourage advocacy for their causes. We are pleased the Arthritis Foundation is using our social media platform to extend key new capabilities to site members.

The Arthritis Foundation (http://www.arthritis.org) announced today that it has enhanced its online presence using ThePort™ Network, Inc.'s Web 2.0 social media platform. Features enabled through the platform will help to engage users and facilitate the sharing of information related to understanding, living with and treating the chronic disease. The new social networking features went live this month. ThePort is exhibiting in booth no. 1055 at the ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership's Annual Meeting and Exposition, Aug.16-19 in San Diego.

The Arthritis Foundation is a national not-for-profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Arthritis is a prevalent health problem and one of the most common causes of disability.

Through the new features enabled by ThePort Web 2.0 platform, site members can develop their own unique profile pages, "friend" users with like interests, upload photos, publish their own blogs and comment on blogs posted by others, including Arthritis Foundation administrators. Real Simple Syndication (RSS) also enables members to tailor their own news feeds on arthritis-related topics.

"Our objective is to be as comprehensive a community as possible for people affected by arthritis and related diseases," said Delia Carter, Group Vice President, Strategic Communications for the Arthritis Foundation. "We wanted to improve the user experience on our web site by adding tools that enable people to contribute in a meaningful way, while also facilitating networking between users. ThePort is a valued partner in helping us to achieve our goals."

According to Bob Cramer, CEO and Co-Founder of ThePort Network, "Nonprofits are recognizing social networking as a way to unite supporters online and encourage advocacy for their causes. We are pleased the Arthritis Foundation is using our social media platform to extend key new capabilities to site members."

To ensure a seamless user experience, ThePort migrated existing content and user registration data from the Foundation's old community to the new social networking environment. Additionally, conventional discussion boards that were a core part of the previous web site have been integrated into the social community. Site members can access and post in forums, and also join sub-groups focused on specific topics, events or geographic regions.

In particular, social networking features being enabled through ThePort will help the Arthritis Foundation to attract new constituents and encourage repeat visits and longer durations of stay - enriching the level of interest and activism in sponsored programs.

You can experience the new community at http://community.arthritis.org.

About The Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is the only national not-for-profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions. Founded in 1948, with headquarters in Atlanta, the Arthritis Foundation has multiple service points located throughout the country. The Arthritis Foundation is the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $380 million in research grants since 1948. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the foundation helps people take control of arthritis by providing public health education; pursuing public policy and legislation; and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis.

About ThePort Network

ThePort™ Network, Inc. provides an enterprise-class social media platform that enables media companies, associations and non-profits to seamlessly integrate social media capabilities into their existing web assets to facilitate high-engagement marketing, foster increased member-to-member interaction and create expanded revenue opportunities. ThePort Social Media Suite is offered as a service over the Internet and is comprised of ThePort Start Page and Comment Engine, ThePort Social Network and ThePort Rich Media Blog Publisher. Based in Atlanta, Ga., the company's customers include Lee Enterprises, E.W. Scripps, American City Business Journals, Easter Seals and CARE. For more information, visit http://www.theport.com.

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Kathy Cabrera
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