Archive for May, 2008


Visualization services are stagnating

Activity on all the leading online data visualization sites appears to have plateaued.

Data360 has received no new data contributions in several months. The site is currently under a comment spam attack which they seem unable to repel.

Swivel is entirely focused on their private service for business customers. Almost all the new activity on over the last couple of weeks has been in the form of data contributions by a single customer.

GraphWise has gone nowhere since their launch last year.

Many Eyes continues to get steady user traffic and new contributions, but commenting activity is down.

These sites have huge potential for encouraging online collaboration, but that potential has not been realized yet. What’s missing?


Cognitive Surplus

Clay Shirky discusses cognitive surplus in his recent speech at Web 2.0, promoting his latest book, Here Comes Everybody.

Shirky’s point is the gradual replacement of passive media consumption (watching TV) with participatory media (Wikipedia, blogs).

Online data analysis services are in a similar position to where social software and services were several years ago. The promise is the replacement of passive consumption of data analysis (reading the paper, watching TV) with participatory analysis. Instead of waiting for someone designated as an expert to make a pronouncement concerning some new piece of data, we’ll all be able to inquire, explore and analyze such information ourselves, and to share our findings with others.