Posts tagged with Community News

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 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.


Lawrence high schools’ students produce ‘lip dubs’

Whether it's sports, academics or artistic endeavors, the rivalry between the two Lawrence high schools runs very deep. As we all know, rivalries can be very good and very bad. In February, LJWorld Entertainment Editor Jon Niccum reported in the Journal-World that students from both, Lawrence and Free State, high schools produced "lip dubs" with very successful results.

Lawrence High School's rendition of "Kids in America" was made public first and got a lot of attention. According to the post on room125productions' YouTube channel, the version originally posted had more than 130,000 views — not too shabby, in my opinion. (Unfortunately, the original video was hacked and the channel had to delete the video and repost it.)

Free State's "lip dub" was made public just a short time later and also received a lot of attention (according to the page view count on the freestatelipdub YouTube channel, the video has been watched more than 4,000 times). Again, pretty impressive.

The work of both student bodies should be celebrated and enjoyed, but the sad reality is that the intensity of the rivalry in Lawrence pushes some to maliciously damage the work of others. Like Niccum, I have no direct ties to either Lawrence school and have nothing but positive feelings toward both. So, here's to hoping that students at both schools will start appreciating the work of their competitors, and instead of publicly condemning it or vandalizing it, will work to top the other through their performance or production. I'm not against a good rivalry, but rivalries should push people to get better and do better — not destroy and criticize.

For those of you who have yet to see the videos, definitely check them out:


Directory of Lawrence-related Twitter lists
Ben and Whitney previously introduced our plan to create @LawrenceLists, and now our Twitter list directory is here.

@LawrenceLists is a way for all members of the Lawrence community to participate in our official lists. These are opt-in Twitter lists for all things Lawrence - from KU sports to local music and politics. We are still collecting names from local individuals or businesses. If you want to be included, just make sure you're following @LawrenceLists on Twitter. Then go to to sign up.

The completed lists are easily accessible on Twitter @LawrenceLists.

We also invited others in the Lawrence community to share their Twitter lists with us (and I stumbled across a few more).

Here is a rundown of people who have quality Lawrence-related lists (just click on their name to view their lists):


If you would like your list to be included, e-mail me at

Current Social Media Projects

There’s so much happening in the World Company social media department right now, I want to share a few updates on our department's projects.

We’re busy working on April’s Free State Social conference, and we've added another great speaker to our lineup. Scott Raymond is co-founder and CTO of the location-based social network Gowalla. Scott will share some fresh insights on geo-targeted social activity, and also happens to be a KU graduate - a nice tie back to Lawrence! Another exciting development this week is the addition of Mashable as a media sponsor. With more than 15 million monthly page views, Mashable is the world’s largest blog focused exclusively on Web 2.0 and Social Media news. It’s a great partnership which helps put the conference in front of a national audience.

In February we have two social media workshops that are a collaboration with the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. The workshops will take place at the Lawrence Arts Center and represent part of our ongoing outreach to introduce the local community to the exciting world of social media.

Then in March we have the first of our niche social media workshops. To kick things off, we'll be focusing on social media and real estate. We'll educate realtors on ways they can use social media to both connect with the community and to better serve their clients. Details on that workshop series will be posted this week.

Meantime, we’ve been planning a re-launch of the Facebook page. This week you’ll see big changes in the content we post to the page. The focus will now be on interaction with our fans vs. sending out links and headlines. There will also be some Facebook-exclusive content – polls, contests, galleries, user submitted content, and a fun video series “Minglin’ on Mass Street”. Check out the first video posted on Facebook page on Monday.

One final thing I’d like to share relates to the print edition of the Journal-World. Beginning on Tuesday morning, links to our Facebook and Twitter pages were added to the section fronts, 1A index, and all inside “Contact Us” boxes. Bringing social media in to our print edition is another step toward truly integrating our news coverage and indicates the significance placed on the role of social media in our company's evolution.


Directory of World Company’s Social Media Accounts

The World Company has a number of accounts on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. We encourage active use of these accounts by our staff, and encourage our readers to use the accounts to connect with us both on a business and personal level.  We have compiled this directory so you can easily see the accounts we have and connect with those that interest you. If you have any questions or any suggestions on other accounts you would find useful, feel free to leave us a message in the comments section.

Lawrence Journal-World/6News Accounts

Lawrence Journal-World @ljworld
Jonathan Kealing, LJW Online Editor @LJWJKealing
Tom Keegan, LJW Sports Editor @TomKeeganLJW
6 News Lawrence @6newslawrence
Matt Elwell, 6News Chief Meteorologist @6NewsWeather
Gary Bedore, KU basketball reporter @garybedore
George Diepenbrock, General assignment reporter @gdiepenbrock
Karrey Britt, Health & Environment reporter @LJW6NEWSHealth
Scott Rothschild, Statehouse Reporter @ljwrothschild
Mark Fagan, Transportation reporter @WheelGenius
Shaun Hittle, Reporter @shaunhittle
Lawrence Crime News @lawrencecrime
Lawrence Education News@LJW6NewsEduNews
LJWOvernights @LJWOvernights
LJWPulse @LJWPulse
LJWOpinions @LJWOpinions
Customer Service/Circulation @yourLJWorld




Location-Based Networks
Foursquare: LJWorld
Gowalla: LJWorld

KU Sports @KUSports
Big12 Spotlight @Big12_Spotlight

KU Sports

Twitter @lcom


KTKA 49 ABC News

49News @49news
Denise Eck, KTKA News Director @deniseeck
Matt Miller, Chief Meteorologist for 49 Storm Team @WX_MattMiller
Ed Bloodsworth, Meteorologist @EdBloodsworth49
Nic Hoch, 49 News Sports Director @nhoch49
Matt Lothrop, Sports Reporter @MattLothrop49
Jessica Drew, 49 News Community reporter @jessicaddrew
Lindsey Elliott, Manhattan Bureau reporter @LindseyElliott
Marshanna Hester, Co-anchor & money reporter @MHester49
Daniel Winn, City and Safety Reporter @dwinn49
Ben Bauman, Anchor @bbauman49
Lauren Seabrook, Emporia and Education Reporter @lseabrook49
Syed Shabbir, Crime and Safety Reporter @sshabbir49

KTKA 49 ABC News
49 Storm Team Weather

Community Newspapers

Baldwin City Signal @baldwincity
Basehor Sentinel @basehorsentinel
The Chieftan @bonnersprings
De Soto Explorer @desotoexplorer
Eudora News @eudoranews
Shawnee Dispatch@shawneedispatch
Tonganoxie Mirror @tonganoxie

Shawnee Dispatch
DeSoto Explorer

Sunflower Publishing

Lawrence Magazine @Lawrence_Mag
Manhattan Magazine @manhattanmag
Shawnee Magazine @shawneemag
Statements Magazine @StatementsMag
Topeka Magazine @TopekaMagazine

Lawrence Magazine
Manhattan Magazine
Shawnee Magazine
STATEMENTS Magazine – The Word Declared


Sunflower Broadband

Sunflower Broadband @sfbroadband

Sunflower Broadband

Free State Studios

Free State Studios @freestatestudio
Shop Talk with Jenn and Julie @KSShopTalk
Home and Away @home_away
Jayni's Kitchen @jayniskitchen
The Drive @the_drive_show
The Turnpike @TheTurnpike

Free State Studios
Shop Talk with Jenn and Julie
The Drive

The Turnpike

Social Media Department

The World Company's Official Social Media Source @WorldCoSocial
Ben Smith, Social Media Manager @BenaSmith
Whitney Mathews, Social Media Consultant @whitneymathews
Kristopher McDonald, Social Media Intern @KrisMcDonald21
Lawrence Now @LawrenceNow
LJW Lists @LawrenceLists
John Brown Jayhawk @JohnBJayhawk

Free State Social

Free State Social @FreeStateSocial

Free State Social

Free State Social


Lawrence Marketplace @LJWMarketplace

Lawrence Marketplace

Lawrence Marketplace

Advertising Department

Crave Lawrence @cravelawrence
LJWorld Classifieds @LJWorldClass

Human Resources

Debbie Snyder, Sr. HR Consultant @DebbienHR


Changes for the Social Media Department

Today marks my 10 year anniversary at the World Company and just over 10 years of living in the United States.

A lot has happened here at the World Company over those 10 years. Perhaps the most significant changes are in the technology we have at our disposal and how the company has embraced both those technological advances and changes in the media industry itself. It's been exciting to be part of this process.

I've spent those 10 years employed in the Advertising Department, being responsible for the company's major and national advertising. In the last year I assumed a dual role, taking on the position of Social Media Manager in addition to my existing responsibilities.

Social Media is a real passion of mine. To be able to make that part of my workday was a great opportunity and since then I've enjoyed working with all divisions of the World Company in developing social media strategies and helping make social media a primary focus of our future plans. It was also a chance to form a social media department within the World Company, the first new member of that team being Whitney Mathews who joined us to run the client services side of social media.

2010 is going to be a big year for the World Company, and it's great to see the significant role social media will play in that. Of course we have the Free State Social conference coming up in April - a real testament to the importance this company places on social media. There are many other projects in the works that are truly groundbreaking. We'll share details on those when we can.

As part of this process I am making some changes as far as my position here goes. As of next week I will no longer be part of the Advertising Department. Both Whitney and I will become part of World Online, the online division of our company. I will no longer be working with our major and national advertisers and will be dedicated exclusively to the role of World Company Social Media Manager.

While I will truly miss my colleagues in the Advertising Department and the clients I have built strong relationships with over the years, it's a great opportunity to be able to focus solely on social media and make that a key component of everything we do at the World Company. Next week Whitney and myself will relocate to the News Center along with Kris, our intern. It's a big adjustment, but a great opportunity.

I am so grateful to work for a company that recognizes the vital role social media plays in the future of our industry and our community.


Introducing the Free State Social

Today we launched our Web site and began selling tickets for the Free State Social. Below is the press release in our About section. Questions? Let us know. Email or find us on Twitter @FreeStateSocial.

Social media is much more than a fad - it's changing the way the world communicates. The communities in northeast Kansas are at the forefront of this movement and have made the region a hub for innovative technologies and social media use.

Because of this, the World Company is hosting a brand new social media event: The Free State Social.

"The Free State Social will highlight the best in social media from our area and put local innovations and ideas on a national - even global - stage," Ben Smith, World Company Social Media Manager, said. "Our purpose is to educate attendees about the current state of social media, present opportunities for its use and talk about where the industry is headed."

The Free State Social will be held on April 29-30, 2010 at the new Oread hotel in Lawrence, Kan. Keynote speakers include Jeremiah Owyang, Ellyn Angellotti, Shawna Coronado, Sarah Evans and Chris Brogan, co-author of the New York Times best-seller Trust Agents.

"The good stuff is happening in the heart of America. It's not just New York and LA that know what media can do for business. Lawrence is yet another hotspot of inventive, entrepreneurial spirits who see the new Web as a business tool par excellence," Brogan said of his participation in the event.

After the sessions on April 29, conference speakers and attendees will have a chance to connect with the local social media community during a special TweetUp in historic downtown Lawrence.

Tickets are available for purchase at $295 and $395 (VIP). April 29 sessions are open to all ticket holders, while April 30 is reserved for VIP ticket holders. The April 30 half-day includes small group and one-on-one discussions with the Free State Social keynote speakers.

A limited amount of sponsorships are available at $3,500, $2,500 and $2,000 levels.

For more information, visit or email On Twitter @FreeStateSocial and #FSSocial.

About the World Company
The World Company was founded more than 100 years ago with the launch of a daily newspaper, which became the Lawrence Journal-World. In 1995, the Lawrence Journal-World became one of the first daily newspapers in the country to formally begin publishing on the Internet. It has been featured in an NPR series titled Convergence Capital USA, and described by the New York Times as the “newspaper of the future.” Today, nine of 10 local households turn to the company’s newspaper, cable television, or Internet editions to receive information. In the fall of 2001, The World Company became one of the first media groups to combine its print, television and Internet news-gathering into one newsroom. Along with the Lawrence Journal-World and a related group of community newspapers, The World Company consists of cable and broadcast television and news operations; magazine publishing; commercial software development; and a broad range of news, media and technology services.


Free State Social Contacts
Whitney Mathews
Online Consultant, The World Company
(785) 979-7842

Ben Smith
Social Media Manager, The World Company
(785) 423-4538


Introducing the LawrenceNow desktop application

LAWRENCE, KAN. - The World Company is excited to announce the launch of LawrenceNow, a desktop application created in partnership with Myriad Tech.

LawrenceNow gives readers of, and full access to customized news in the form of a desktop ticker. Users can add or remove any desired news feeds.

The goal of LawrenceNow is to keep users connected to the latest news and events without constantly refreshing browser pages or RSS readers. It brings the information that users want to see directly to their desktop in a non-invasive way while allowing them to socialize specific pieces of content.

LawrenceNow users have the option to share specific stories on their Facebook and Twitter accounts without having to open a browser window. This represents a new model for traditional media by allowing instantaneous sharing of information and socialization of local content. By integrating Facebook and Twitter, LawrenceNow is adapting technology to meet users’ needs.

Users can also customize the look and feel of the application. Options include changing the speed and transparency of the ticker, color-coding feeds by category and importing feeds from Google Reader.

LawrenceNow runs in Adobe Air so it is compatible with PC, Mac or Linux platforms. It is available for free download here.

About the World Company
The World Company was founded more than 100 years ago with the launch of a daily newspaper, which became the Lawrence Journal-World. In 1995, the Lawrence Journal-World became one of the first daily newspapers in the country to formally begin publishing on the Internet. It has been featured in an NPR series titled Convergence Capital USA, and described by the New York Times as the “newspaper of the future.” Today, nine of 10 local households turn to the company’s newspaper, cable television, or Internet editions to receive information. In the fall of 2001, the World Company became one of the first media groups to combine its print, television and Internet news-gathering into one newsroom. Along with the Lawrence Journal-World and a related group of community newspapers, The World Company consists of cable and broadcast television and news operations; magazine publishing; commercial software development; and a broad range of news, media and technology services.


About Myriad Tech
Based out of Lawrence, Kan. Myriad Tech, offers cutting-edge services in the ever-evolving social media industry. As pioneers on the forefront of social media marketing and software development, Myriad is equipped with the technical knowledge and foresight required to build highly flexible Web, mobile and desktop applications.


The World Company
Ben Smith
Social Media Manager
(785) 423-4538

Myriad Tech
Ryan Flannagan
(785) 383-5397


The World Company Social Media Policy

On Monday I shared some background information on our social media efforts here at the World Company, and today I’m sharing our complete Social Media Policy.

Please take a moment to read Monday’s Post to get a clear idea of our overall strategy and how the policy fits as part of those plans.

Our Social Media Committee created the policy in order to help guide the company and our employees. I took the lead in creating the policy, with input from the members of the committee.

The policy is split in to two sections. We define social media, and explain the differences among personal and professional social media accounts. Then we put together some basic guidelines geared toward protecting our company, employees, sources and clients. Basically, we want everyone to use common sense: If you wouldn’t say it in a column or on a postcard or on air or to a customer on the phone, don’t say it on Twitter or Facebook.

The basic guidelines apply to everyone in our company. In addition, each department is adding its own how-to’s. For example, Sunflower Broadband staff focus mostly on customer service, while our newsrooms’ relationship with their communities focuses on news, information and the people that provide or consume them.

After we finished putting the policy and basic guidelines together, Maria Preston-Cargill and Mike Zimmerman in our marketing department organized two “lunch and learn” meetings for the company’s managers and the social media liaisons so that they could preview the policy and provide feedback.

Kelly Calvert, our human resources director, distributed the social media policy early this month to all employees. After three months, the social media committee will review the policy to see if we need to make any changes.

I’m sharing the entire social media policy with you, you can download a PDF of the policy here. Feel free to read it, share it and discuss it in the comments. I’ll try to answer any questions you have.



Social Media at the World Company

Social media is more than an online fad. It’s changing the way we communicate with each other and with our communities. Here at the World Company, we have a tradition of embracing new technology, and of being leaders in news and communications. Many people in our organization have been using Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace — personally and professionally — since the networks were born. But we think that everyone in our company — from the customer rep in our cable TV division to the newspaper circulation manager — should be engaged in social media. So, over the last few months we’ve been implementing some major changes to include social media in our daily operations across all divisions of our organization.

A big part of social media is to be transparent and open, so here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how we’re embracing social media.

Social Media Manager
The first step for us was to formalize the role of social media in our organization. I was appointed social media manager, responsible for coordinating and overseeing all our social media activities, internally and externally. I report to Jane Stevens, our director of media strategies.

Social Media Committee
In August, we formed a social media committee. The committee consists of a representative (and liaison) from each department and division of the World Company (including the Journal-World, our community newspaper group, Sunflower Broadband, and KTKA, our TV station in Topeka). We began meeting weekly to develop strategies and policies that are shared with and implemented in each department and division. We set up a Basecamp account — online project management software — to share information.

With the committee in place, we created a social media policy to help guide our company and employees. We’ll share the complete document, as well as details of its creation, with you in a second post that focuses specifically on the policy.

Social Media Tools
At this point, we have 16 Facebook pages and 62 active Twitter accounts.

We’ve also created Twitter Lists. If you need help from Sunflower Broadband, want access to real-time news and want to see who else is online in the Lawrence community, check out our Twitter Lists. This is a project that directly involves you, too, through @LawrenceLists. Read more about that.

We’re also working on some technology upgrades that will bake social tools into our Web sites and Marketplace, including news, cable customer service and client services. Soon, you’ll have more ways you can share our content with your friends on your favorite social networks.

Social Media Client Services
Last month, after many of our clients and community members asked for assistance and guidance in learning about or managing social media, we created a social media department. I manage it. Whitney Mathews and Kristen Walker are part of the team, too.

We offer consulting, monitoring, analytics and brand management services for local and regional businesses.

We also do workshops and seminars. In the last two months, we’ve given presentations to the Suburban Newspapers of America/Inland Press conferences, area chambers of commerce and other organizations. We also held a free “how-to” workshop on Twitter at the Lawrence Arts Center.

There is more planned, including workshops geared toward specific industries, as well as community outreach and education. In addition, look for regular posts on the cleverly titled Social Media Blog for stories about popular topics in our region.

We’re making all of these changes for a few reasons. First, we strongly believe that social media enables us to better serve our community, our customers and our clients with a valuable set of tools that help us keep communication open and information flowing.

Second, we know that Lawrence and the surrounding areas are some of the most active online communities in the country. Because of this, we’re planning a major social media event for April 2010. Some of the biggest names in the social media industry are coming here to see what our city has accomplished in all areas of new media, from heavier tech inventions like Django and Ellington to community-based efforts like user-generated news coverage and TweetUps.

More details are coming soon. Keep your eyes peeled for that info!

I hope this gives you some good insights on the World Company’s plans for integrating social media. Look for a second post containing the details of our social media policy on Tuesday.

Any questions or comments are obviously welcome.