Hyperlocal launch: Backfence.com
: BackFence.com, the hyperlocal venture started by Mark Potts (ex WashingtonPost.com), is up and it looks very good.
I am days (I hope) away from launching town blogs in three day-job markets and they will look quite similar because Mark and I have lshared notes and have long been following the same good local efforts — most notably, NorthwestVoice.com and GoSkokie — and have long agreed about what a town web site can and should be.
The question remains for all of us what a town web site will be once it is handed over to the people. Will they write? Will they read? Will they talk? Will they advertise? I believe they will. Mark is betting a new company on the belief that they will. And so it is a brave move to be the guy to do that.
If Backfence succeeds a lot of good things come out of it for local news: We’ll get more news, more conversation, more viewpoints, and a new medium for very local advertising to support all that.