I was actually going to post Onswipe as a Cool Tool back in June but found the start-up was still experiencing some growing pains. Nevertheless, I was optimistic that the good folks at Onswipe (namely co-founders Jason Baptiste Andres Barreto) would grow up fast. And they did, culling $6 million in VC funding for trailblazing.

Onswipe bills itself as a magazine-style publishing and advertising platform for tablet devices. They have some big name publishers like Ziff Davis, Slate, and Marie Claire. Nice. But the idea I really like is Onswipe makes it “insanely easy” to convert ordinary WordPress blogs into a slick touch-screen friendly e-zines. They do this with open-souce PHP and NodeJS with a MongoDB database on the back-end and HTML5/CSS3 (and their own JavaScript framework called SwipeCore) on the front-end.

It is pretty simple to get started: create an account, select a layout, and pick a custom URL like touch.virtual-arts.com. You can have Onswipe auto-detect the user’s device and redirect to this URL but you will have to update the primary domain DNS settings with a CNAME record (call your domain registrar to help you with this step). The application also lets you specify a Google Analytics ID for tracking site usage.

Overall a nice first step in the right direction if you don’t mind relinquishing some design. Clearly the greater advantage is to ad-driven sites with lots of content. I’ve yet to delve that deep into the publication end and suspect there are some limitations but the convenience of delivering content to touch-screen devices without the hassle of redesigning your site is compelling (at least for the short-term). Something to keep an eye on.