Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Forgot to mention Swivel...

The previous post forget to mention Swivel - a valley start-up that is looking to democratize the world's data. Its premise isn't far from the Many Eyes mission.

I love to see people starting things like this, and it looks as if Dmitry and Brian (the founders of Swivel) are getting quite a bit of recognition - good on 'em.

However, having been back and forth on Swivel for a while (it completely slipped my mind when posting below), it's tough to get a sense for the community. There are lots of graphs and data sets, but little rhyme or easily understood reason to a lot of it. Some groups have discussions, others (it feels like the majority) are void of life.

I think it goes back to the problems of trying to build a community around data - most of it is meaningless without a good deal of context and explanation.

Still, it's only been 7 months since the site launched, so we're in the early days. I'd love to see it succeed, but it needs another hook...

Oh yeah, Freebase is doing something related.

Anyone know of any other sites?

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swoodie said...

Hi Paul - Thanks for your comments about Swivel. You have certainly pointed out a number of issues we are grappling with at the moment. Building community is key, especially considering that one of our goals is getting people to care about data in the first place - and to understand its implications for their own lives.

Recently we made a blog post about some other interesting products working with data in new ways. As the space is so new, it is great to see what people are doing. And we actually talk with many of these folks on a regular basis. I think you can expect alot of cool things to come...

Thanks again,
Sara Wood

Paul Soldera said...

Hi Sara,

Thanks for the comment. I love the idea of Swivel because I love the notion of shared information. We're not quite in that space, but I'd offer what help I can to keep that idea alive and well.

We're doing some pretty cool things with data access and visualization, so there might be something we can collaborate on.

Love to chat if you have a chance.


swoodie said...

Sure, contact me anytime. Would love to chat. sara at swivel dot com.

Paul Soldera said...

Hey Sara, I've sent a couple of emails since you left the address, but haven't had a reply. I take it they aren't getting through for some reason - have you checked your spam filter?