In September at TechCrunch50 Craig and I got up on stage and told a couple thousand of our closest friends — and tens of thousands of our closest friends who couldn’t make it to SF so they watched on ustream — that our Crowd Fusion platform is being released as an open source project. Unlike the hour-and-a-half episode of This Week in Startups that I was on, this was a six minute presentation (video here) with two minutes of questions from the panel of expert judges. It was a blast being on stage and having people come up to us afterwards with feedback and questions. I definitely need to go to more events and do more speaking!
After a whirlwind tour of Crowd Fusion’s features, we gave out the URL for registering for our beta program. We had 500 signups in the first week and we’ve got about 700 total now. We are managing the beta applicants using our own CMS as a CRM system.
The first round of developers has had access for a few weeks now. The second round is getting access later today, now that most of our documentation has been written. We are going slowly, taking our time with each new user, answering questions about the platform and helping get sites built. “Concierge” is a pretty accurate description of this process. We’ll do a few more rounds of access and then release Crowd Fusion publicly some time in early 2010.