Yesterday I wrote about the Grand Central/Swivel makeover, and a via PaidContent.org reference about my post was directed to Byrne Reese's blog. He worked at Grand Central Communications from September 2000 to August 2004. His last job at the company was director of product management. He's now manager of platform technologies at TypePad. Reese was invited to test drive Swivel and posted his impressions on his blog. The former employee (which means he's not completely objective) started out his drive expecting to see a "Grand Central-don't-look-at-the-man-behind-the-curtain-Demo" with which he had become all too familiar. Instead he was surprised and impressed by the serivce:
There is real utility (and value) in Swivel. The utility became apparent when I first started entering in my credentials for AdSense, Amazon Associates, my weblog URL, etc. The value slapped me in the face when I saw the reports for the first time. It was nothing short of a "wow" moment. I had never thought of looking at my revenue before... I mean really look at it. Usually I just glance at the numbers in AdSense, give myself a pat on the back that someone even visits my site at all, and then move on. But Swivel shows me all the possibility and promise latent into the blogs I put so much effort into. And it shows it to me all in one place. The convenience alone of seeing all my stats in one place is why I will use your product!
Reese offers his suggestions for improving the user interface, data access, reporting and integrating with more data providers, such as Feedburner and Technorati. So, you have a former employee who starts out with a predisposition toward smoke and mirrors and ends up with a lot of positive things to say about Swivel. As Reese, suggests, Grand Central/Swivel should have blog to engage with its potential audience, and I would like a response on my queries to Grand Central CEO Halsey Minor. A transparency note: CNET, where I work, and its CEO Shelby Bonnie were investors in Grand Central.