A couple weeks ago at the debut of The Daily, besides the press and bloggers a few tech CEOs associated with the project were also milling about. One of them was Brian Alvey, the founder of Crowd Fusion, a content management system (CMS) that launched at TechCrunch 50 in 2009 but has been pretty quiet since.
Alvey’s been busy signing up customers at large media sites. Both The Daily and celebrity gossip site TMZ, I’ve learned, are published on Crowd Fusion. For The Daily, News Corp needed a publishing platform that could support its digital newsroom. Crowd Fusion publishes all of the pages in the iPad app (as well as the corresponding Web pages), and powers the social sharing features and voice-commenting. It pulls in photos, videos, articles, and other information from dozens of sources and feeds, which then get assembled into the publication every day. And of course, it also was the first app to work with Apple’s new subscription billing service right out of the gate.
Crowd Fusion had to essentially rebuild the CMS three times for the Daily, as the iPad newspaper hired more people and refined the workflows that would be required to put it out every day. Crowd Fusion was flexible enough to handle that. Plus, it treats content like a structured database, making it easier to surface related stories, videos, photos, and so on.