Backfence’s troubles spurs rethinking citizen media models


From the latest OPA mailing:

“A year and a half ago, Backfence was the darling of hyper-local citizen journalism, started by veterans Mark Potts and Susan DeFife and flush with $3 million in venture funding. But at the turn of the new year, there was trouble, as DeFife exited along with other executives, and co-founder Mark Potts took charge to try to shape “Backfence 2.0.” DeFife said they had sold 550 ads to local businesses on the 13 sites in the network, but critics complained that many sites looked like ghost towns and that they were too dependent on advertising. “It always ends up being so much different than the way you imagine it to be,” Potts told the Washington Post, his former employer. “We haven’t rolled out as quickly as we’d wanted to. But we think the basic concept we went after is absolutely still the right place to be.” Despite the failure of citizen media networks such as Backfence and Bayosphere, the idea is still very much alive, as the New York Times featured another such effort by to create virtual town squares.”


One Response to “Backfence’s troubles spurs rethinking citizen media models”

  1. What happened to the amateur hour “The Gillmore Gang?” They only had two ads, Go Daddy and Earthlink. And were so drunk, they just kept repeating the same half-assed ads read on one take by Dan Gillmore.

    Let me know. I think WordPress has a much brighter future.

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