The Well Group Acquisition Q & A


Contact: Naomi Pearce 510.528.0824

(SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 20, 2012)

The Well Group Acquisition Q & A

Q: Why did Salon sell The WELL?

A: Salon Media Group expressed to us a high regard for The WELL, however, as part of the company’s review of its own strategic objectives, Salon determined that The WELL no longer aligned with their business plans and accordingly they began exploring transferring The WELL to new management.

Q: What’s the business model for The WELL? Are you going to have to grow it on a fast track to make money?

A: While many Silicon Valley businesses require fast-paced or explosive growth, this is an investor group interested in a sustainable business model. We would not have invested in The WELL if we didn’t think it has a sustainable business model, but business is far from the only reason we got involved. The WELL is a treasure trove of history, but more to the point, a vibrant conversation about current events and a wide range of topics, with people who are constantly adding to that sum total. We are confident the WELL will continue to provide a place for thoughtful conversation, provide a positive cash flow to sustain its operation, and attract new members for years to come.

Q: Is the “” domain included in the acquisition?

A: Yes. The WELL is simply changing ownership; everything else remains the same. The domain will still be, the user web pages will still be in the same location, and the conferences will still be lively.

Q: Was the “” domain name for sale?

A: As noted in a filing with the SEC, discussions with interested parties were initiated. However, not being in the room, we can’t say for certain how serious any domain discussions may have proven. We are simply pleased that the domain remained with the WELL system. < 033112.htm>

Q: What did it cost to buy The WELL?

A: That’s really a question for Salon. As a public company, they have filing requirements to make that information publicly available. Until they make that information public, we are precluded from doing so, even if we wanted.

Q: What is it about this place that made you want to invest?

A: The fact is that the WELL is a community of friends and acquaintances for many of us, with ties going back many years. While it includes much history about the development of the Internet and the World Wide Web, it’s also a wealth of information related to current events and people’s reactions to them, plus massive amounts of information on a wide range of topics and the people who are constantly willing to add to that sum total. First and foremost, however, it’s about the people and our connections with each other.

Q: Why didn’t you all just move to a space on another social network?

A: On the WELL, the policy of You Own Your Own Words (YOYOW) and the focus that prevents service to two masters (members and advertisers) combine to create an environment unlike anything else. The activity centers around topics of conversation, not around a personality. In addition, posts on The WELL aren’t limited to a few characters or a small display box, and anyone can open a topic in any interest conference, or private conference into which one has been invited. The archives are invaluable, but it’s the current lively topics that are tremendous, valuable and definitely in motion. There’s simply nothing else quite like The WELL.

Q: What changes do you see making in the Well under your new ownership?

A: Having just purchased The WELL, our next focus will be on running the place for a while. First we have to transition every gear, crank and system over, including those we’ve never seen before. Once transitioned, we will want to just run it and observe long enough to inform us from the custodial perspective. Then maybe we can look beyond, perhaps to nurture some slow growth while maintaining the great garden of community and conversation that we have.

Q: Can new people join The WELL?

A: Absolutely. If you appreciate the quality and diversity of the dialog, and an advertising-free environment is for you, The WELL might be for you. Membership is not for everyone, partly because we are non-anonymous here. To learn more about whether The WELL is for you, and whether you’re for The WELL, visit: Join the Well.


The WELL is a registered trademark of The Well Group, Inc. Copyright (c) 2012, all rights reserved. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

The Well Group, Inc., 584 Castro St. #2034, San Francisco, CA  94114 <>