Drama at Backfence.com

By Steve Outing

Backfence.com is a company I watch very closely. Its citizen media based networks of hyperlocal news sites is the geographic equivalent of my company’s network of citizen media based topical websites on various adventure and participant sports. So it’s with interest that I note that CEO Susan DeFife has resigned, citing differences with the company’s board of directors.

LocalInsider.com quotes DeFife: “Ultimately, we did not share the same strategic vision for the company as the Board of Directors.”

DeFife’s departure follows the recent resignation of co-founder Mark Potts, who did stay on the board. Now Potts returns to Backfence as interim CEO. In late 2005, Backfence raised $3 million in venture capital funding (SAS Investors and the Omidyar Network; the latter also is an investor in my company). The company recently laid off 12 of its 18 members.

Sounds like quite the drama was on stage over there. Good luck, Mark, in getting things settled down!

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

5 Responses to "Drama at Backfence.com"

  1. Pascal Chesnais
    Pascal Chesnais 10 years ago .Reply

    Boardroom drama aside, do companies BackFence have a future, and what was their particular weak spot? I feel there is great potential there, but a number of folks seemed inclined to say it is doomed to fail.

  2. Pascal Chesnais
    Pascal Chesnais 10 years ago .Reply

    Boardroom drama aside, do companies BackFence have a future, and what was their particular weak spot? I feel there is great potential there, but a number of folks seemed inclined to say it is doomed to fail.

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  4. Brendan Lally
    Brendan Lally 10 years ago .Reply

    Steve,
    interesting…
    Hadn’t seen that but have following Backfence and some of the other sites in the ‘local’ space.
    Your ‘offerings’ seem a lot more focused.

    I suspect that investors are getting antsy that their returns don’t seem any time soon….

    (I was involved with a local social networking recommendation site awhile back)

    Lal

  5. Brendan Lally
    Brendan Lally 10 years ago .Reply

    Steve, interesting… Hadn't seen that but have following Backfence and some of the other sites in the 'local' space. Your 'offerings' seem a lot more focused. I suspect that investors are getting antsy that their returns don't seem any time soon…. (I was involved with a local social networking recommendation site awhile back) Lal

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