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Definitely agree with Michael Arrington that the Swivel website is probably one of the 'freshest' ideas that I have seen in the recent past. My initial comments are towards how interesting it is !

If there is one site where you can have some fun and still pick up some 'information' I would vote Swivel 7 or 8 / 10.

As I read the post one statement "I already see a lot of fairly useless data included on the site, which makes the good stuff harder to find. As the active community grows the better data will hopefully rise to the top via the rating and feedback system" got me thinking towards identifying the key factors that would decide how successful it is.

1. What is the ratio of visitors to a site contribute (you can probably term them as active) by feeding back / ranking the data and content they see. My hunch is it should not be more than 10-20% for the top sites.

2. In the way page ranking works I think the relevance and correctness of the ranking any data / content gets is dependent on only one factor - how fast does it get its first few votes. After the first few votes are in, its only a matter of time before that content moves up the ranking. Some possible suggestions to make the ranking a little more relevant and useful,
  • How about having special voting rights for some classified experts - something similar to the special voting rights on company shares. One vote from these identified set can count for say 10 or 100 normal votes. If some body wants to complicate things the multiplier on any identified expert depends on how many of his voted posts in fact makes it to the top of the heap
  • How about having it necessary to get a few votes say 10 or 20 from identified experts before the post gets opened out to everybody else. A ranking system can be put in place to identify and dismantle experts on a regular basis
3. In my view the above two possibilities really aggravate the situation when we move into more complex data forms like graphs, tables etc which is exactly what Swivel is trying to do.

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