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Swivel - the all new Internet Archive of Data

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Swivel Co-founders Dmitry Dimov and Brian Mulloy start off by describing their company as "YouTube for Data” If you trying to understand what the company does that must be a great one liner explanation. Swivel is to data what YouTube is to video. You can probably share anything which you think would make sense to somebody other than you - stock prices, your investment strategy, what trends you see for the mobile telecommunication world, commodity prices etc etc. Once the submission happens other viewers of that data can rate, comment, bookmark. Automatically this means that there is a ranking that is put on each piece of data that gets in - well yes so probably it does a little more than YouTube.

Before I move any further let me try to see how different this would be from the other page ranking sites
  1. Page ranking sites usually accept text content where as Swivel apparently accepts content in all forms
  2. Swivel probably generates or at least promises to generate patterns from all the data that gets in. The only pattern that page ranking sites generate is a cloud view of the nature of pages getting in - I personally think that a cloud view of data has limited usage.
So is Swivel going to be all success - I don't know about that but can see a few back breakers - your comments folks
  1. Most data is typically tied to the ‘environment’ in which it is collected but uploads on this archive will be devoid of this environment. Without this critical piece of the puzzle how valid would the patterns that emerge be - how useful would they be ?
  2. Data, whatever it might will have a zillion ways of representing it - both conceptually (graphs, tables, figures, plain text) and in computer formats. In my belief trying to extract any form of patterns must of course nullify the difference in formats but not spread across conceptual data forms.
  3. Assuming that this idea really takes of in a big way and people might start basing their ‘decisions and choices’ on this huge internet archive and pattern generator. Is this necessarily a good thing to happen - am doubtful. Yes the collective intelligence of lots of people is probably behind my decision but my creativity is definitely lost !
Should Google look at 'acquiring' Swivel also - first top of the mind reaction - "yes, but probably after they have some traffic".

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