It was just a few weeks ago that Digg introduced a feature called ‘Digg Swarm’ to monitor the real-time activity on Digg.’Swarm the dot com‘ uses a Firefox Extension to make a graphical map to show what the world is searching for right now. Esentially, it’s the same concept as the ‘Digg Swarm,’ but graphs the entire web.The graphical map is updated every second with the sites that are becoming more popular moving towards the center of the ‘swarm’.
‘Swarm the dot com‘ uses anonymous statistics that it gathers from users who have a Firefox Etension installed. They ensure that no personal data is collected, no email, and no registration is required. If for some reason you don’t want your website statistics collected, you’re able to turn the extension on and off.They of course note this tool is more for browsing and wouldn’t be used for searching the web. Besides the graphical map, they also have a ‘Text Swarm’ to view the top visited sites as well as the sites that are being visited right now.
Because they use a Firefox Extension to gather data, the top visited sites really wouldn’t be what you’d call an accurate sampling of what the entire web is viewing. It’s just a small sample (probably more tech savy sample) of what Firefox users are viewing. In case you’re wondering, one of the most visited sites is ‘The Official Weird Al Yankovic WebSite.’ This site is in Beta version 0.1 which also helps to explain the results because it has yet to become widely used among Firefox users, thus giving us results from a small sample of users. When I first saw the “Digg Swarm“, I thought it was pretty cool. Swarmthe.com is a very similar concept that could become a good way to browse the web; however I think they need to get a few more people in the sample. Download the extension here and lets build the swarm!