July 25, 2010

A Hyperlocal Pioneer's Next Frontier

Mark Potts last hyperlocal effort stalled after losing three million dollars. Here's why he thinks his next one is poised to succeed.

Michael Gluckstadt

For many people, "hyperlocal" is a term that only exists in the abstract. Whether they think it's saving journalism or destroying it, they discuss the concept without ever getting into its trenches, or as the case may be, suburbs. This is not true of Mark Potts. Potts spent 15 years with the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and other esteemed news organizations as a print journalist before moving on to their incipient digital efforts. Then in 2005, he cofounded Backfence.

Potts introduced Backfence as "a local, grassroots approach to helping community members share the news and information (and advertising) that they believe is most important to them." An early pioneer in the hyperlocal space, Backfence excited media speculators and venture capitalists alike, raising $3 million in seed funding and a whole lot of expectations. But for a variety of reasons, the site didn't take off and in 2007, Potts had to shut it down.

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- Media
- posted on Aug 20, 10
Tracy at WSB

Will you guys please quit calling independent community-news reporting "blogging"? Thank you. "Blog" is only a publishing format. Nothing in this conversation acknowledges the fact that many of us ARE JOURNALISTS, both journalists who previously worked in 'old media' and people who are journalists by virtue of the community journalism they are doing now.

Article by Michael Gluckstadt

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