Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Lauded “local news co-op” shuts down without warning, leaving its co-owners in the dark
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Jan. 13, 2014, 11:22 a.m.
LINK: recode.net  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   January 13, 2014

Peter Kafka at Recode (née AllThingsD) has the details, and Branch founder Josh Miller has the Facebook post (natch) to announce it.

After two years building Branch and Potluck, I am thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our mission at Facebook!

We will be forming Facebook’s Conversations group, based in New York City, with the goal of helping people connect with others around their interests. Their pitch to us was: “Build Branch at Facebook scale!”

Although the products we build will be reminiscent of Branch and Potluck, those services will live on outside of Facebook. A more thoughtful note and details to come soon but I am writing this haphazardly from a mountain in Japan (I was tipped that the story was going to leak while on vacation).

Jay Rosen has a take:

(While Miller says Branch and Potluck “will live on outside of Facebook,” this sort of acquisition often ends with a quiet shutdown six months later. This smells a lot like an acquihire.)

Personally, I always liked the ideas behind Branch — structured conversations that are both open and curated, where discussion is as much a first-class citizen as content. When Branches went well, they could be great. But it never got anything close to the traction a community-based site would need. (Potluck didn’t interest me as much, beyond its status as another attempt to figure out the right UX for news on phones.) Here’s our 2012 Q&A with Miller about Branch and our story on the Potluck pivot in November.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 50,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Lauded “local news co-op” shuts down without warning, leaving its co-owners in the dark
The Devil Strip’s board of directors said on Tuesday that the site had run out of money and needed to raise $75,000 to rehire staff — but didn’t explain how things got so bad in the first place.
“Think of it as a Kickstarter tote bag but much, much better”: Dirt, an entertainment newsletter, is funding itself with NFTs, not subscriptions
“NFTs are the newest form of digital content. Structurally, that fits with Dirt’s scope.”
Travel writer Sarah Khan’s next destination is a top editing job in Dubai — and making travel media more inclusive
“At the end of the day travel journalism is service journalism and so you need to do a service to your readers who are very diverse.”