From IVP Wiki

Background on Circulate . . . the news social network

In 2009, the University of Missouri's Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute joined with four individuals to form Circlabs Inc. to experiment with news-personalization services primarily intended to help U.S. daily newspapers update and morph their relationship with readers and users.




This page last edited, Aug. 2010

  • CircLabs is addressing the urgent need for sustainable business models for authoritative journalism with a new type of content distribution service, named Circulate. CircLabs' customers will include first newspapers and later broadcasters, new-media entrepreneurs and other publishers and producers of multimedia content.
  • CircLabs and its publishing customers must market to and satisfy the needs of online users. Therefore, we define the target market of the service as active news and social-media consumers. However, Circulate works through its business-to-business partners, so our initial market is publishers and other creators of news.
  • The initial market for Circulate consists of all consumers of online English-language news. However, Circulate is designed to tap into social networks and to leverage the viral growth of social media. Therefore, we intend to work through our publishing partners to expand the market for Circulate from an initial base of "power news users" to the much larger group of social media users.

What is "Circulate"?

  • Circulate is a new way for consumers to receive trustworthy information that helps them through their day.

How did we get here?

  • Let's skim through VERY BRIEFLY how we got here (the RJI process)

The "airplane" pitch" to consumers

  • Circulate is a new way for consumers to receive trustworthy information that helps them through their day through a partnership with their most-trusted "information valet" -- formerly their local newspaper publisher.


Circulate is a service that allows you to have an account at your most trusted Information Valet -- like your local newspaper or public radio station. You can optionally -- it's your choice -- provide profile information about you and you information preferences.

The the Circulate discovery engine goes to work and finds information around the web that's relevant to you. You have access to it via a little toolbar on the top of your browser that's always there when you want it to be as you move about the web. It includes the brand of the local InfoValet that's helping you, a search box, some space for text ads that are relevant to your interests, and a set of pull-down bars, each of which shows you updating links and headlines to trustworthy information you've asked for -- including the ability to share your information interests with your friends.

So you get to control of your personal privacy -- your "persona" at a single trusted location. You save time by allowing your InfoValet to discover the information you care about instead of having to go searching for it. You get to see more advertising and offers that are related to the interests you've specified right now. And, Circulate can even give you optional access to a subscription network of special stories and multimedia information you can't get on the free Internet today -- for as little as $3 a month.

Privacy, personalization, relevant and unique information and a news social network-- all from Circulate and from your (local news organization).


Circulate turns the newspaper business and you -- into a node on the news social network. It puts you in a partnership with consumers to protect and manage their personal privacy, enhance the value and effectiveness of advertising, and be able to offer optional subscription to hundreds of websites with one ID, one account, one bill simplicity.

It will help you migrate your print customers to the web, and give you a compelling new service to offer new subscribers. With it, your subscribers can connect to information from almost anywhere, while always maintaining a relationship and connection with you.

Here's how it works: In our beta version, we create an always-available browser toolbar for consumers that includes your brand, a place for you to create and display multiple text advertising messages from your local businesses, dynamic links to stories at your paper and those of other affilliated papers and to news services all over the web. These links are customized based on the user's interests. In addition, users can build a network of friends and share news and information links and references.

You become the consumer's information home base -- InfoValet -- across the web. You enroll the users -- existing subscribers or new ones. You decide how they are rewarded or if they should pay. The benefits to you are deep, permission-based knowledge about your users -- so you can earn higher CPMs on advertising, new traffic among newspaper websites, and a way to easily and simply begin offering consumers valuable, unique information on a subscription basis.

And best of all -- you have control of the user base. You enroll the users -- existing subscribers or new ones. You decide how they are rewarded or if they should pay.