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The site was founded in 1998 by Ken Fisher, who remains its editor-in-chief. It was acquired by Conde Nast in 2008 for about $25 million and had a staff of about 10 as of 2009. (It added full-time sales staff in 2012.) While the site is relatively small to with other tech blogs like TechCrunch and Gizmodo, it is quite influential and is known for its in-depth articles.
Ars Technica has sold premium-content subscriptions since 2001, though it is primarily funded by advertising. In 2010, it tried blocking its site to users who used ad-blocking web browsers. The site has also sold some of its content as Kindle ebooks.
Backfence was a network of user-driven hyperlocal news sites that launched in 2005 and closed in 2007. Backfence was founded in 2005 by Mark Potts and Susan DeFife with five staff members and two community sites in the Washington, D.C., area. It raised $3 million in local and national investment and eventually expanded to 13…