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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.
The Miami Herald is a daily newspaper in Miami owned by The McClatchy Company. The Herald’s average daily print circulation as of fall 2010 was 151,612, plus 22,597 for its daily e-edition. The newspaper reported combined web traffic of 5.9 million monthly unique visitors in fall 2009. The Herald also operates the Spanish-language news organization El…