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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 sites near Washington, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Backfence averaged about one full-time staff member per site, though its content came from users, who could blog, edit wikis or post photos there. The company was supported by self-service display and classified advertising. The site was considered at the time one of the bellwethers of the “citizen journalism” movement.
Vox Media is an online media company that includes the sports blog network SB Nation, tech site The Verge, and the explanatory journalism site Vox. Vox Media was formally formed in 2011, but it began with the creation of SB Nation (short for SportsBlog Nation), a network of more than 300 fan-run sports blogs, many of them dedicated…