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Big Tent Design, Inc.
Type Private
Founded 2006
Headquarters San Francisco, California, USA
Key people Donna Novitsky (CEO), Laney Whitcanack (Founder)
Industry Social Networking
Employees 24[1]

BigTent is a web-based organization and communication portal for groups. Groups can plan events, manage memberships, host discussion forums, collect payments, and organize subgroups.[2] Examples of groups using BigTent are parenting groups, neighborhood groups, school groups, alumni and professional groups, and hobby groups.

Some functionality (e.g., forums) of BigTent is free. Some functionality (e.g., payment collection) requires payment on top of any self-imposed group-specific fees (e.g., membership fees, event fees). BigTent uses advertising as an additional revenue source. BigTent has also proposed fees to remove advertising on a per-group basis.[3]

Laney Whitcanack co-founded BigTent with Nicholas Chim in February 2006.



BigTent development began in February 2006. In January 2008, BigTent announced that it raised $5 million in funding,[4] led by Menlo Ventures and also funded by return backer, Mohr, Davidow Ventures. In October 2008, BigTent announced its official launch after completing a site redesign and navigation overhaul.[2]

In September 2009, BigTent announced that FlyLady was switching its 500,000+ member following over from Yahoo! Groups.[5]

Joining a group

BigTent is a members only site. In order to see content on BigTent, you must be invited to join a group, or request an invitation through a group's Web page. Each group operates differently; some groups have open enrollment, others require approval and review of a pending member's form before he or she can join, and others are invitation-only.

Starting a group

BigTent is open to all groups who agree to abide by the Community Code. According to the Community Code, examples of groups not permitted on BigTent are "groups with a focus on including hate speech, nudity, or explicit sexual content."[6]

See also


  1. Fact Sheet
  2. 2.0 2.1 Cashmore, Pete. "BigTent's Community Networking Engine Opens to the Public." Mashable. 29 Oct. 2008. 1 Aug. 2009. Web.
  3. "bigtent/subscription". BigTent. 1 Sept. 2009. [1].
  4. Nicole, Kristen. "Ning Competitor Big Tent Raises $5 Million." Mashable. 14 Jan. 2008. 1 Aug. 2009. Web.
  5. Cilley, Marla. "The FlyLady: Big dreams can come true." Mormon Times. 26 Sep. 2009. 7 Oct. 2009. Web.
  6. "bigtent/create_group". BigTent. 1 Oct. 2009. Web.

External links

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