Tuesday, March 4, 2008

R.I.P Business Objects 'Insight'

I blogged in July last year about community data sites such as Swivel and Many Eyes.

I also mentioned that the Business Objects play in this area - insight.businessobjects.com - looked to be trumped up marketing hype.

Well, eight months on, I can't find hide nor hair of the BO site. It has simply vanished.

This is a good thing. BO launched this initiative with no real effort to build a community. And its goals were too lofty.

Today the world becomes more intelligent, said Bernard Liautaud, founder, chairman, and chief strategy officer of Business Objects. While there are a number of sites dedicated to aggregating and analyzing data, Insight is unique in providing members with tools for data visualization, data collaboration, and a platform to publish challenges to the online community. Our goal is to change the way problems get solved, to work on issues that have a global impact, and to challenge the conventions and paradigms of online communities.
That's an excerpt from the original press release.

So they wanted to 'challenge the conventions and paradigms of online communities'. To illustrate just how ridiculously far they fell short, have a look at these two YouTube videos

This one is the CEO of the company talking about the new initiative.

This one is one of there business partners talking about the new initiative.

Total combined views on YouTube? Less than 500. And not one comment. Not one person saying, 'go BO, change the world'!

Their 'insight' site is dead, so I can't imagine it had any greater numbers. Or any community at all. There certainly wasn't the last time I looked.

To put this in context, the one YouTube video I released of UK house prices plotted to a roller-coaster (my attempt at experimental data visualization) is currently at 1,400 views with 7 comments.

So with $35 (the cost of the software) and 2 hours of my own time I tripled the views of the ($500,000?) BO launch initiative on YouTube and actually got a conversation going.

Credit to BO for trying. But the Internet is just a different game.

On the Internet, no one knows (or cares) you're a dog - or a billion dollar company.

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nathan said...

yeah, i remember this. i remember going to the page and wondering what it was exactly they were trying to do. it was all really vague and no way to interact with anything, really.

Paul Soldera said...

I remember having the exact same feeling Nathan. For a company that is meant to specialize in data and information, it was a pretty poor showing.