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Publish2 is a content-sharing company meant to perform a role similar to traditional syndication networks.
Publish2’s first iteration was aimed at helping journalists share content online more easily by aggregating links and posts and creating widgets for news websites. It was similar to social bookmarking sites like Digg and Delicious, though oriented toward journalists. The company was founded in 2007 by Robert Young and Scott Karp and received $2.75 million in funding from Velocity Interactive Group in 2008.
Publish2 introduced features in 2009 that allow journalists to aggregate real-time social-media updates. It also launched Digital Sunlight, a collaborative link journalism initiative. News organizations have used Publish2 to aggregate breaking news, and to create topic pages, collect daily link roundups and build a collaborative newswire.
In May 2010, Publish2 shifted its focus toward building a content distribution network (originally called News Exchange), a content-sharing service for publishers. The system is aimed at creating a cheaper, more efficient alternative to the Associated Press’ distribution system.
In May 2011, Karp wrote that Publish2 had built a “new business model” through the network via software-as-a-service. While distributing content through the company’s network is free, news outlets desiring greater automation and direct inputs into their content management systems will be asked to pay a fee to use Publish2’s tools.
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…