Like Facebook, But Minus The Suck?

Facebook is one of those things you hate yourself for using, but you keep using it and hating yourself because, well, it’s easy and fun and everyone else is using it.

But what if there was an alternative? What if there was a Facebook clone that was open source, privacy aware and personally controlled by you? What if, and I can’t imagine the sweet words are leaving my lips, what if there were no Farmville, Mafia Wars or Zooville?

Diaspora is a Kickstarter project that aims to do all of the above, and people are voting with their wallets – the project was asking for $10,000 funding and the current total is $26,022.

The goal of four young programmers from NYU, the concept for Diaspora is a simple, personal server that shares your information across a network similar to a peer-to-peer network. Each server on the network is called a ‘seed’.

The service hopes to offer people the ability to install and maintain their own ‘seed’, but also hopes to run an online simplified version for people who don’t wish to install it themselves, similar to WordPress and wordpress.com.

While I would love to see Facebook dethroned, particularly by a service with more to offer those with a little technical know how, I worry about the lengthy, arduous task of convincing Facebook users to put down the crack pipe. If you think this has legs, throw your support in here.

Written by Toby Leftly

Toby is a Mac nerd, a hardware nerd and a web nerd, rolled into one. You can find him at accentmedia.ca or on Twitter.
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Comments
  • http://www.twitter.com/VBoynton V Boynton

    It sounds like a great idea. But I’m left asking How. Exactly how will diaspora decentralize the web, when they’re offering to give the user everything they want in a single place? How will they improve privacy? How are diaspora’s offerings any different, truly different, than what Facebook has offered from the beginning?

    It’s no accident that people are flocking by the millions to a single communications hub, despite rampant complaints about privacy and the over-abundance of intrusive gaming apps. It’s a perfect example of how Perceived wants and Actual wants are usually at odds. I worry that an open source network of this nature would become increasingly fragmented and difficult to navigate over time, causing “connectedness” to suffer, and bringing everyone back, once again, to a single, formulaic platform.

  • theresa

    Great idea but I agree with V Boynton about the fragmented nature of an open-source site. And… I think the name should change. The current one seems a little vague and sounds more like a skin disorder than a networking site.

  • http://www.glitchritual.com tydunitz

    I will absolutely abandon Facebook for this. Straight up.