11
Mar
08

Opinion on future prospects for Swivel and Many Eyes

Steve Few blogged over a year ago with reviews of two public data visualization services, Swivel and Many Eyes. Steve expressed a strong preference for the quality of the visualizations produced by Many Eyes.

Over the past three months, daily Many Eyes contributions have outpaced Swivel contributions by 5 to 1 or more. The gap is widening: Swivel contributions are declining, and Many Eyes contributions are increasing.

My congratulations to Many Eyes for growing their user base, but there’s still a long way to go. Even at a rate approaching a hundred new contributions per day on the site, this level of user-generated activity is low compared to other online collaborative environments that are perceived as “successful”. I group data visualization services with other services that allow participants to complete useful work in a collaborative fashion – LinkedIn and SourceForge are examples of this. Many Eyes is not getting enough traffic to sustain the site as anything other than the research project that it is.

My conclusions, in brief:

  • Swivel is doing poorly, and could fail before the end of 2008.
  • Neither Swivel or Many Eyes are not sufficiently compelling to users for these sites to be self-sustaining.
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