Introducing you to

By now you've probably noticed the new, beige box in the middle of the homepage.

Some of you have probably seen or heard us talking about the new health project we've been working on for the past six months. Well, today, we take a giant step forward with that project by introducing to all of you, our community.

We're really excited about because it's a new concept in online community building: part journalism, part community activism, part social network. We really think this is the future of online news communities and is our first effort at testing that theory.

We have built this with input from our advisory group — about 40 people who are involved or interested in some aspect of health care in Lawrence and Douglas County. These folks have been meeting with us regularly for months, and we could not have made this much progress without them.

When you check out, you'll see that we've turned over more of the site than ever to our users and to trusted members of our community. No more is the site built on the "we talk, you listen" model. We want this to be a true community conversation, but also a safe place and a trusted source for people to exchange ideas and gather information.

To that end, you'll also note that we're requiring all users who want to interact on to use their real name. Your account will work on, but if you're an anonymous user on and would like to stay anonymous, you might consider creating a new account strictly for

For the rest of this year, we'll be rolling out more communities like on varying topics in which research, data, and our communities indicate an interest. Here are just two examples: Education and Weather.

Many of the features you see on will find their way onto soon as well. If you see something that doesn't make sense, please do get in touch with us.

You can also leave questions or feedback in the comments below.


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