YouTube for Data

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

TechCrunch is running an interesting report on Swivel, which bills itself as "YouTube for data". Anyone and everyone can upload data sets to share with the rest of the world, link together, and what have you. It's going to be a great resource for teaching...

...but I'm less enthusiastic about it for science, unless its creators have some verification and validation magic up their sleeves that they're not yet talking about. Still, it's another sign of what Richard Dawkins called "the evolution of evolvability": every new kind of thing (segmented bodies, eyes, web services) gives evolution a new affordance on which to act. Taggable public upload is turning out to be a very mutable affordance...

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