This website is an initiative of J-Lab.

Who's Blogging

 
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Kim Box
After a long career in the high tech industry Box left the corporate world to pursue her passion for making a difference in the community through entrepreneurial ventures.

imageSusan Lyte King
Currently a global communications manager for a leading high-tech company, Susan Lyte King's experience marries her background in strategic communications, psychology, addiction and recovery, and journalism.


Click for full bios.

Project Blog: Parent Pathway

What began with five mothers in California supporting each other through their children’s drug addictions has turned into an organization devoted to the idea of arming parents with information on how to handle the treacherous waters of substance abuse. This site will allow users to pose questions to experts, find resources, schedule meet-ups and share stories.

Parents of Kids on Drugs can “Ask an Expert”  or use “Meeting in a Box” Resources

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our Parent Pathway website was launched in July 2011.  We began with a “soft launch” to ensure we had time for early viewers to give feedback so we could make any adjustments necessary.

Our first priority has been to ensure that our processes associated with the website are working well.  For example, in the “Ask the Expert” feature we needed to queue up our experts properly and make sure that all technical aspects were robust.  We have been ensuring that all business processes are solid so that we can respond and interact successfully with our customers as our visitor load increases. 

Sucesses
We have seen a steady increase in traffic since we introduced our site, as seen below:

Parent Pathway Website Traffic

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   • Posted by Kim Box on 01/12 at 01:23 PM

Full Steam Ahead

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We’ve now got the wind behind our sails and would like to report on recent developments with ParentPathway.com.  We have had a soft launch and are now attracting new subscribers to the Parents Seeking Serenity blog; our Ask the Expert feature has received some submissions; and we’ve received very good feedback from users who have found our site.

Keeping the content fresh is a requirement and a challenge.  We recently posted Part 1 of an interview with Joyce Mitchell, the producer of our Collision Course documentary. (You can watch Collision Course here), and we plan to conduct our next interview via videotape or audiotape.  Once we have developed a good following, we plan to offer webinars by experts, such as an expert in the abuse of over-the-counter drugs.

We will soon develop the marketing plan for our site.  Who can benefit from the information we provide?  Parents, certainly. What about rehabs?  Hospitals?  Associations of counselors and physicians? We will be brainstorming soon about the best ways to reach these audiences.

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   • Posted by Susan Lyte King on 10/25 at 09:22 AM

Ready, Set, Launch!  The new Parent Pathway site is up and running!

Friday, September 09, 2011

It is a very exciting time for the Parent Pathway team!  We have official launched our new website - www.parentpathway.com

We consider this phase a ‘soft launch’ which means it is live on the internet and fully functional but we are not going to advertise the site for the first couple of weeks.  We will be going through the site and have identified parents who will use the site and give us feedback on issues.  This way we will be able to make sure that any problems not caught in the pre-release phase testing are identified. 

We have had many delays in our release of the website.  Our main delay has been underestimating the amount of work on our project team’s side versus our web developer’s side.  There have been many points along our timeline where the content has held up the development side.  While this must seem obvious in a project of this sort, it still eluded us along the way.  Our team is a group of very capable professionals with a mixture of skills and experience, yet each of us has responsibilities that have competed with the workload of our project.

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   • Posted by Kim Box on 09/09 at 12:00 PM

Just Steps Away from the Finish Line!

Thursday, July 28, 2011


 

We are so close to the finish line that we can almost taste it now!  Our web design is complete, we have finalized most of our content, and we are taking a final pass to make sure everything is working as planned.  Along the way, we have found that things tend to take much longer than expected, which is frustrating because we are anxious to launch but want everything to be right. At the same time, we realize that our site is a work in progress and we will continue to fine-tune it over time.

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   • Posted by Susan Lyte King on 07/28 at 09:01 AM

What’s in a Name?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

As we draw ever closer to launching our website, we have an exciting announcement:  We are changing our name from “Parents Unite Against Addiction” to “Parent Pathway.” We found that our former name certainly conveyed our reason for being, but it was a mouthful, and it was not particularly memorable. 

When we realized the name we chose was not quite right, we began researching website names.  We found excellent resources that helped us understand why certain names worked and others didn’t, what to consider and how it might affect our website visibility.  For instance, you can create a word that isn’t a word (such as Facebook or Yelp), but then you have to work hard to brand it and get visibility since search engines won’t easily find it.  This is one of many elements to consider in selecting a successful website name.

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   • Posted by Kim Box on 06/23 at 10:06 AM

The Bad, the Ugly and the Good

Monday, June 06, 2011

We are continuing with our full court press to complete the web design and content so we can launch the Parent Pathway beta test site within the next month.  One unexpected snag:  we found that our original web page design lacked the vibrant and dynamic sense of “connection” we were looking for.  Because we felt that the design would fail to create a “trusted advisor” relationship with our readers, we went back to the drawing board to some extent to infuse it with energy and connection.  Our requested changes were more than cosmetic and required rework on the back end which ended up being very time-consuming.  We are so fortunate to work with a web designer who shares our passion and our vision.  While she is flexible and accommodating, the changes consumed an unexpected amount of time.  We have been delighted to find that the rework has paid off—the revised web page creates a dynamic connection with the reader, and our team is excited about the results.

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   • Posted by Kim Box on 06/06 at 08:27 AM

We’re in the Home Stretch

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It is an exciting time for our project!  We are nearing our launch goal of May with many activities to complete in order to make it to the finish line.  It is a wonderful place in the process when you get to view the full website and see your wireframe come to life.  We’ve spent countless hours mocking up the wireframe and reviewing pages and graphics; seeing it in its full implementation is just magical!

Last week we had a meeting with our web developer to review where we are and what we need to complete to go live with our website.  As we all know, there are multiple dimensions involved when developing an on-line social media environment.  Our web developer has approximately 80% of the website complete, but our team has about 70% of content to create or finalize, along with processes to complete to manage the administration once in production.  We have reviewed the areas where the content was complete and developed a plan to populate the remaining areas.  This translates into actions ranging from formatting content that we have completed and sending it to the development team or creating some new content entirely.

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   • Posted by Kim Box on 04/26 at 04:12 PM

Making the Connections

Monday, April 18, 2011

Our team of intrepid mothers continues to hammer away at the Meetings in a Box, an essential and unique cornerstone of the Parents Unite Against Addiction web resources.  Each of our moms offers special insights when we brainstorm about the various elements of a meeting.  For a meeting about “hope,” one mom may have the perfect book at her fingertips.  Another mom may know the perfect music that resonates of hope.  And collectively, we have been coming up with “conversation starters” to help an individual or a group of parents tackle the topic.  The Meetings in a Box are coming along nicely, and we are close to winding up this part of the project.

We have gotten feedback from many corners of the country that validates the need for the Parents Unite web site, which will provide unique content while aggregating some of the best resources available at other internet sites.  For example, we have just discovered several powerful downloadable booklets about addiction and intervention, which will make great additions to our web pages.  Connecting with other authoritative sources lets us offer some “quick wins” to parents in need.

We have also connected with some enterprises that offer affiliate marketing opportunities.  One of these, www.seekingserenity.com sells products that “bring to life the emotion of spirituality and recovery through words, creativity, and design.”  Another company, www.rxdrugsafe.com, will offer their small steel drug safes on our PUAA web pages.  Making these affiliate marketing opportunities a reality with our web designer is the next step.

   • Posted by Kim Box on 04/18 at 03:40 PM

Lining up the Experts

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ricki Townsend, a grief recovery specialist, is the first to answer “Ask the Expert” questions.
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The “Ask the Expert” feature is one of the most important elements of the Parents Unite web resources.  Parents who struggle with their children’s addiction often have nowhere to turn in their desperate search for information.  Our “Ask the Expert” feature will enable parents to ask questions anonymously and obtain information from trusted advisors.  We expect to post one new question and answer every week and then compile all questions and answers in an easy-to-search repository. 

The first expert to join our expert line-up is board-registered interventionist Ricki Townsend, NAADAC, who helps families confront the disease of addiction as they strive to find answers for their loved ones who are caught in the grip of drugs or alcohol.  Ricki’s focus on education helps families understand addiction/alcoholism as a disease of the brain, rather than a disease of character or will power.  Her gentle shepherding, coupled with her technical knowledge, provides a powerful weapon against a deadly and conniving disease.  Ricki also gives families the gift of hope for recovery, which can sustain them during the darkest of hours.  She possesses great wisdom, tact, compassion and technical knowledge that helps families recover from addiction.

Ricki has been trained in various models of intervention, as well as Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM).  She is also a Grief Recovery Specialist(r) and a Community Law Enforcement Chaplain.  Ricki lives in Northern California and conducts interventions all over the country.

We are in the process of identifying our other experts now and developing the contract that spells out responsibilities and commitments.

   • Posted by Kim Box on 03/28 at 10:58 AM

“Meetings in a Box” Make Meetings Easy for Parents

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We continue to make progress towards our goals, and our May 1 launch date is fast approaching. 

We have met with our web developer and reviewed our status to determine what we need to get done over the next couple of months.  It is clear that we need to raise funds beyond the NMWE awards initial seed money.  One opportunity to shift our funds lies in the structure of our website and how the functionality will be delivered in various phases.  To capitalize on this opportunity, we have reviewed what we can complete with the first phase and pushed back some of the more costly features to later in the timeline.  While we have had to take an honest look at the reality of where we are and how to proceed, the good news is that we will still be meeting our roll-out goals.

In February, our team met for a full day to work on the content for our Meeting in a Box resources.  We are developing a year’s worth of weekly meeting guides.  Our plan is to provide a downloadable PDF file that will include a guided set of instructions for a group of parents to use at their meeting.  For each topic, we provide a goal, a description, conversation starters, an activity, references, quotes, a link to our parent blog, books, music, and websites that apply to the topic. Here is an example of how we have approached the topic of denial:

Topic:  Denial

Goal: To recognize and break through your own denial.

Description: a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. (Wikipedia)

Conversation Starter: What purpose does denial serve in my life? What does denial look like? 

Music: “Move Along” by All American Rejects, “Wall of Denial” by Stevie Ray Vaughn

Blog post: The River of Tears Called Denial

Quotes: “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt”  by Mark Twain, “It’s not denial. I’m just selective about the reality I accept” by Bill Watterson

Activities:
1.  Discussion:  When have I been in denial in the past and what did it look like?               
2.  Discussion:  Am I still in denial now and why am I holding on to it?                                 
3.  Exercise:; What was the act of denial?  What was the consequence? (A spreadsheet will be provided to fill out)

We finished fifteen of the meetings so we have further to go.  We agreed to continue to meet as a team until we have completed the 52 meetings in time for the launch.  There is a lot of positive energy from the group and excitement about helping other parents during a difficult time in their life.

   • Posted by Kim Box on 03/10 at 10:16 AM