Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WISDOM in MEDIA: NewAgeUniverse.com


NewAgeUniverse.com is a bit of a hidden gem, a somewhat old-school website  that, despite its HTML layouts, offers a surprising amount of original content like the front page article excerpted above.  The piece "Could Be Good, Could Be Bad" tells a parable for the Chinese New Year, written by regular contributors Tom and Linda Peters who enjoy bringing the deeper stories behind holidays to light, as witnessed with their "Radical Re-Thinking of Valentine's Day" article in February.  

Born when "internet portals" were all the rage in the late '90s, NewAgeUniverse.com has outlasted many of it's competitors, including holistic print magazines that launched websites and have since closed them for lack of funding.  Private ownership, a community approach, and not spending on hi-tech upgrades has allowed the site to remain online, however, the owners, Suzanne Doucet and Beth Ann Hilton, think the time is right for a complete upgrade to a modern interactive model with accompanying store. How that will be accomplished - via investors or crowdfunding - remains to be seen.

Why now?  Hilton, the site's editor-in-chief, explains, "With the LOHAS market worldwide now estimated at $500+ Billion, the timing is good, and necessary; there simply aren't enough positive content sites out there to serve the market the way our planned re-design could. We are regularly approached by product reps, authors and musicians hungry for a place to publish or advertise their goods and services. We've turned them away for years, but recently looked at our traffic numbers and were amazed with what we found compared to similar sites.  Amazing, considering we really don't promote, we just do what we find interesting and relevant...it's almost like a scrapbook, well curated by experts in the field.  It's got great bones and is ready for its makeover!"

Freelance writers like the Peters' and subtopic editors are lining up to participate.  One of the site's charming twists is that the site topics are arranged in such a way that they can be searched and cross-referenced according to their related Chakras, curated by Doucet, an expert in Harmonics. For instance, one would click the "Body" button on the lefthand menu, and pages are sorted into four subcategories of topics: Beauty, Holistic Health, Nutrition and Bodywork/Yoga. Clicking on any of those takes one to a subcategory page of both original content and referral links out to approved sites and other publications.  

In fact, the freedom with which NewAgeUniverse.com shares info and links away from itself to other sites is remarkable.  Many portals of the past have shut down, or have been bought out, their editorial degraded into cheesy sites full of lists designed to grab traffic. But, the founders point out the the old portals did not have original content or a sense of niche community, and that makes all the difference.  The democratization and sharing of information is not only in line with community values, it is also the true spirit of the New Age.

Visit www.NewAgeUniverse.com today.  Interested investors, writers and advertisers can email info@newageuniverse.com.