Backfence.com, a citizen or neighborhood journalism effort based in McLean, Virginia, has recently expanded to a total of eight sites with more sites scheduled to be coming soon. The current sites are in the communities surrounding Washington, DC and San Francisco.
Backfence has been around since 2004, and I recall visiting the site just a few months ago to find it a far cry from a designer's masterpiece. However, it appears Backfence redesigned with big growth in mind. Frank Barnako recently explaining the plans based on an interview with Susan DeFife, president and CEO, Backfence. According to Frank she said:
"...the east and west coast operations of Backfence will each add a site a month through the end of the year. A Chicago site will launch after Labor Day, and it, too, will grow monthly."
Backfence made more headlines yesterday (August 16, 2006) by partnering with Alarm.com to launch a crime blog for the local communities which reports on the crimes in the area. I wonder how this effort will pan out. Will Backfence be able to find consistent users to contribute solid content to sustain user interest and keep these sites afloat? In true web 2.0 fashion, we will find out.