I still love the idea of Swivel, but I think they have some serious challenges ahead of them. Hopefully they can overcome them with your help.

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I love playing with data. I’m always poring over Google Analytics looking for ways to improve things on my sites. If you’re like me, then you’ll almost certainly enjoy Swivel, the “YouTube of data.” They’re a San Francisco based company that makes it extremely easy to visualize and compare data. For instance, you can take a look at cities with low temperature variance and how their highs and lows vary over the course of a year. (I can tell you that Chicago is not on that list with a high of 12 degrees today after much warmer weather just a few weeks ago.) I still haven’t figured out how to make the most out of Swivel, but I definitely see the potential for using it to identify some interesting relationships.

Visualize Yourself at Swivel

I first learned about Swivel (before they even launched) just about 3 years from the Freakonomics Blog. Since then Swivel has definitely grown, but I think they’re still a long way from making data sharing as easy as YouTube makes video sharing. It does appear that Swivel is in the process of launching a new version of their site, and it comes with an increased focus on their business services—people and companies can pay a monthly fee to use swivel with private data. I still love the idea of Swivel, but I think they have some serious challenges ahead of them if they’re going to build a serious business. Hopefully they can do it with your help. Right now they’re looking for a Web Designer, a JavaScript/Rails Developer, and a Product Marketing Manager according to their Jobs page. They also offer the option to apply for an unlisted position. Maybe you could even upload some data about yourself and mash it up with data about Swivel to find a creative way to apply.

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