For the past several weeks, we’ve been making improvements to CrunchBase to build a more engaging product for the people that drive it – which is to say, “everybody”. Since it was launched, Crunchbase has always been a freely editable repository of information about technology companies. Since February 2008, we’ve received over 100,000 edits from anonymous users in addition to the copious amounts of information that TechCrunch writers funnel to it on a regular basis.
We’re excited to announce that these contributions no longer have to remain unattributed. Starting today, anyone with a Facebook account can sign up for an account on CrunchBase by using Facebook Connect. Edits will still be moderated (after all, this is the Internet we’re talking about here), but users who prove themselves to be trustworthy will, with time, start to see additional privileges associated with their accounts.
All of these edits represent a treasure trove of information, so we’ve also been working on ways to better present the edits as they occur. Visitors to the CrunchBase homepage will now notice a list of recent milestones – a “stream,” if you will – that represents the most recent changes to the database. We’ve filtered out the more trivial edits in an effort to make this the kind of real-time information that even Paul Carr could love. These funding rounds, acquisitions, investments, IPOs, and other major milestones will now also appear on the individual pages that they relate to.
Lastly, since it’s always better to let individuals choose what news they care about, we’re providing a way for people who sign up for a CrunchBase account to see a summary of these milestones only from the products, people and companies that are interesting to them. Logged-in users now have the ability to follow entries in the database and have relevant updates appear on their home page (sound familiar?).
If you are a developer and want to use CrunchBase data, we’ve got a very open and flexible API. And make sure to let us know when you build an app that uses CrunchBase data, we like to highlight them.
We hope you enjoy the new features, and are always taking suggestions for ways to make CrunchBase better. You can keep up to date with the latest features on the CrunchBase blog. And if you like what we’re doing, by all means, be our friend.