By Steve Outing
No, that’s the not the real URL. But Dan Gillmor’s Bayosphere citizen-media initiative serving the San Francisco Bay Area is being acquired by Backfence.com, a Virginia-based, venture-backed company creating a network of community news and information sites that rely on citizen reporting. That’s pretty big news in the still-fledgling citizen-media industry.
Bayosphere looked to be in mortal danger when Gillmor decided earlier this year that he’d rather spend most of his time creating the non-profit Center for Citizen Media than the commercial Bayosphere.
The deal (no terms are available) appears to be good for both enterprises: Bayosphere gets an owner that will expand to cover multiple communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (first one in Palo Alto, set to debut in May). And Backfence gets to begin its long-planned expansion from its Virginia/D.C. roots with a leg up at building a business in another part of the country.
Congrats to Dan (who is an investor and advisor for my company) and to Backfence founders Mark Potts and Susan Defife.