WellCommons changes the news cycle

The traditional news cycle is dead. Take a moment of silence.

OK, now let’s move on.

My friend Ellyn Angelotti, Interactivity Editor at the Poynter Institute (@ellynangelotti), developed this diagram of the “new” news cycle. It integrates social technology tools like blogs, Facebook, Twitter, comments and e-mail into the “traditional” news cycle to show how information flows through the Internet.


If you’re a journalist, it shows you that information sharing doesn’t start with you anymore (come on – did it ever?)

While this is the news cycle now, we know we need to look ahead. We have to innovate on what currently exists so we don’t get left behind like many news organizations have been the past few years. WellCommons, a health-focused open forum/niche news site, is the first step in executing our vision of the future of online news.

We took the “new” news cycle and cut out the middle man, giving increased real estate and control to community members. Our “newer” news cycle looks like this:


We’re all one big, happy, content-sharing family. There is one community, with multiple resources, exchanging information all over the place. Publishers on social networks become part of the flow naturally without having to pass through a news org’s filter.

WellCommons is simply a way to organize this chaos and make a safe, trusted environment that is:

  • Available
  • Easy to find
  • Useful

Here’s the catch: This new approach requires users to step up and provide valuable content. We still have a reporter who posts blogs/stories, but we rely heavily on users to post, share, comment, link and interact with each other … or the community fails. Live together, die alone. R.I.P. LOST!

It’s a big gamble, but the alternative is staying complacent and accepting the death of our industry.

Our plan is to integrate this model into our sites, giving you the opportunity to share information in niche communities relevant to your interests. To get started on WellCommons, watch this video. If you already have an LJWorld.com account, you don’t have to re-register. Just sign in and poke around.

If you really like basil plants, I suggest you read my WellCommons blog series for the summer on trying to eat local + keeping the first plant I’ve ever owned alive. It’s … riveting.