[Spending more time with Swivel, I've already become a bigger fan]
Fat Knowledge recently reported on Swivel.com, a website that is billing itself as a Youtube for data. The site is reportedly going to allow internet users across the globe to upload data and accompanying graphs to be viewed and used by that same global community of users. The Swivel preview site is tantalizing me over what it might become, although for now it is pretty clunky and not very useful (I can't figure out how you're supposed to obtain the data in table form used for the graphs that are viewable. Instead, there are just links to the data sources putatively used, which really isn't any more helpful than any other standard search engine).
Hopefully when the full site is launched data tables formatted for statistical tools like SPSS and Excel will be made available. For scrappy amateurs with limited cognitive firepower like myself, finding and entering data sets is restrictively time consuming and exhausting. The stuff I've put out regarding IQ estimates by state consumed tens of hours, mostly in finding numbers and building the regression equations. When afflatus strikes and I think certain variables may be related, I invest an hour or so finding the numbers, entering them, and running them. Not infrequently, no meaningful relationship will exist and that time will have been squandered. By being able to access data sets custom made and formatted for anything anyone who uploads to Swivel can come up with, so much of that tedium will be removed and the energies of curious folks can spend more time finding relationships.
Imagine also how much utility this will provide as genetic sequencing becomes progressively more affordable. I invision the frequencies of different haplotypes by location being made available so that a host of social variables can then be correlated with them. The prison population, the Harvard alumnus pool, political leanings, and how the genetic makeup of these people relate to their genotypes and phenotypes, on and on. The possibilities are endless.
The internet is already smashing myths propagated by the mainstream media and political and academic elites. It is hastily becoming the empiricist's best friend.