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Diaspora On Schedule, One Month In 90

schlick writes with word that the Diaspora project (last mentioned here several weeks back) has an update with a demo and some screen shots. Diaspora's goal: to provide social networking without the privacy invasion possibilities inherent in sites like Facebook.
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Diaspora On Schedule, One Month In

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  • I don't understand (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deathtopaulw ( 1032050 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @11:09PM (#32782926) Homepage
    How can you have a website where you broadcast your most intimate thoughts and personality traits to hundreds of people willingly at the same time and still retain privacy? Or are they just vowing to not sell our info to advertisers? This would be stupid if they wanted the website to last more than a few seconds without a subscription service.
  • by MichaelSmith ( 789609 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @11:16PM (#32782966) Homepage Journal

    The wiki article describes Diaspora as an open source personal web server, but for a lot of people their home machine, if they have one, is about the most insecure place to put things. For a lot of other people they have a work machine they never install stuff on, and an iphone, on which the userland belongs to Steve Jobs.

    I have a personal web server. It serves http and rss. But I am not normal and I can't see myself installing this thing.

  • by SilverHatHacker ( 1381259 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @11:22PM (#32783000)
    It's GPG encrypted, for one thing. Also, the info-sharing settings actually work, and don't get changed by default every couple months. As far as funding goes, so far the plan is to offer a paid hosting service, or let you run your own server.
  • by Rotworm ( 649729 ) * on Friday July 02, 2010 @11:34PM (#32783046) Homepage Journal
    I've always imagined it would roll out in a manner similar to Wordpress. You can host your own by installing from either source or package (if offered by your distribution). Or you can sign-up for an account at their hosted service. IANAC (I am not a cryptographer) but I guess the hosted service is still secure due to the GPG implementation.
  • good luck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pat sajak ( 1368465 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @11:49PM (#32783110)
    i wish them the best (and will sign up when i can) but i can't help but think this will fail hard. the vast majority of facebook users are not concerned with privacy, rather they actively seek to do away with it. they want to make sure each of their 700 friends knows every inconsequential detail of their daily lives; facebook provides them with the platform to do this, diaspora likely will not. diaspora may find a niche but i can't see it taking a significant dent out of facebook's market share.
  • by reiisi ( 1211052 ) on Friday July 02, 2010 @11:53PM (#32783130) Homepage

    The house phone will become a server, it will run asterisk, and it will host the family/indvidual website and bulletin board.

    Diaspora appears to be the bulletin board part.

    Phone companies really don't get it. What they should be developing is a backup system for individual servers, and default configurations for customers who prefer trusting the phone companies over trusting themselves.

    The servers should be left to the community to develop, since the phone companies simly can't understand this kind of decentralization.

  • Re:good luck (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf ( 665390 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @12:11AM (#32783190) Homepage

    the vast majority of facebook users are not concerned with privacy

    This is a point that seems lost on most Slashdotters: Most of the people that use Facebook are quite happy with its "privacy" rules. They willingly supply personal information, and have the expectation that it will be spread about. Thus, Facebook is mostly a problem for those that don't use it.

  • Comment removed (Score:4, Insightful)

    by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @12:50AM (#32783344)
    Comment removed based on user account deletion
  • Re:Meanwhile... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zeroduck ( 691015 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @01:20AM (#32783464)

    The Diaspora guys' only real talent seems to be marketing that allowed them to raise a boatload of cash on vaporware hype and a catchy name.

    I think it's a little early to make that judgement. How fast are you expecting this to be developed?

    Both names don't make a lot of sense to me. If I hadn't heard of either, I would have no clue what it is or what it does. Facebook is pretty damn clear. mySpace is pretty clear. Friendster is clear. Hopefully, for Diaspora, a few good hubs will emerge with better names.

  • Re:Meanwhile... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dominion ( 3153 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @02:18AM (#32783648) Homepage

    How fast are you expecting this to be developed?

    My expectation, have been there and back again, is around 12 months of full time work for four people. This is until something is stable and usable, not what can be considered a "Facebook Killer". To be feature complete with where Facebook is *right now* will take much longer. This is, of course, assuming that their project has a solid blueprint and plan, which won't require any major rewrites or result in any major fundamental design flaws (like being spammer friendly, for instance).

    Appleseed is looking at around 9 months to a year to be (basically) feature complete with Facebook, but we have the advantage of a six year head start on Diaspora. A project like this is a massive undertaking, anyone who's released code can tell you that. It's unfortunate that supporters have gotten the idea that the product that will be out in September will be anything but Alpha quality. The interesting thing is to see how Diaspora deals with it's prospective users getting antsy.

    Both names don't make a lot of sense to me.

    The names of the project don't have to make sense to anyone except for people running servers, really. Can you tell me, off hand, what a Joomla or a Drupal is? Users of distributed social networking hubs only have to know that and are compatible with the broader open social network.

    Michael Chisari
    The Appleseed Project - []

  • by darrylo ( 97569 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @02:28AM (#32783686)

    Contrast with Facebook :)


    1) Can I farm till 3am?

    People may think this is funny, but there's a metric *ssload of truth there.

    While Diaspora may still be successful, Diaspora and all of the other social networking wannabe's will never, ever, be as successful as facebook if they don't have the equivalent mindcrack. IMO, a huge part of fb's success is not due to plain "social networking", but to the totally inane mindcrack games that sucks on peoples' souls: like farmville, castle age, mafia wars, etc., etc..

    Note to Diaspora, Google Me, and all other social networking wannabe's: if you want to achieve facebook-level success, you need to have soul-sucking mindcrack games.

  • by fat_mike ( 71855 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @03:09AM (#32783834)
    Your signature alone tells me about your grasp of things that the majority of people don't care about.

    Asterisk is a joke in the home. The last time I checked I could get phone service for $9.95 a month and buy a cheap analog phone for $15.00. Do you really expect people to pay $830 for a 24 station analog card along with the computer and other crap they'll need to run Asterisk?

    This Diaspora is nothing more than playing catch-up. Remember when you HAD to be on AOL then Craigslists was the poop, then MySpace, then Facebook and now Twitter? Its the idea and correct implementation and marketing that made those successful for the given period of time they were.

    This is another project trying to collect the scraps from the tables of the big boys that will eventually be noted as, "Whatever happened to Diaspora? They haven't updated their logo contest in eight months!"

  • by ardle ( 523599 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:12AM (#32784038)
    ...or a plugin for same....
  • Re:Meanwhile... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by priegog ( 1291820 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:31AM (#32784096)

    From what I gather from the Appleseed site, they are different things (with some overlap), so I don't know why they'd need to "compete" with eachother.
    In an ideal world, social networking would be what the diaspora guys are trying to do. In the real world (where not everyones cares or even wants to care about running some piece of software), I think Appleseed has a concept that would be much easier to take over facebook et-al.
    They're both great concepts, and in the end I believe there's a place for both. Specially if diaspora is planning on making it "interoperable" (whatever that means, but I take it to mean to act as a client for other sites), maybe the utopic social networking scene will end up being some sort of combination of the 2 (like, people who are more tinfoil-hatty will run their own (diaspora) seed, and the rest who just don't give a $%% will create an account in their "local" (city, school, geeky friend's) server (running Appleseed), and everything will Just Work

    Michael, maybe you could try and get in contact with the diaspora guys (since they're just starting to code and all) so that you can make sure this future is possible (making much more likely for this idea of "open social network" to happen), instead of what happens to most FOSS projects that try to do similar things (fragment the market and make all of them unpopular as a result)?

  • Comment removed (Score:3, Insightful)

    by account_deleted ( 4530225 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @04:32AM (#32784104)
    Comment removed based on user account deletion
  • by LaRainette ( 1739938 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @06:51AM (#32784560)
    The idea is to broadcast the part of your life you agree to, and not the rest.
  • It Won't Work... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by greenlead ( 841089 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @06:58AM (#32784578) Journal

    ... because it will never reach the critical mass necessary to unseat Facebook.

    This will never catch on unless there are sites similar to Facebook (hubs) where less-knowledgeable users can sign up. The Facebook population (in my circle, at least) is getting older and many of them tend to learn as little as possible. Advising them to set up a personal web site -- or worse, a server -- especially with security concerns considered, would be a very bad idea.

    A better idea would be standardization of social networking protocols, similar to email. This standardization, where users of any social networking service can interact with users on other services, though perhaps with a different user interface, is the answer to solving this problem, rather than a particular software package.

  • Re:good luck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mdmkolbe ( 944892 ) on Saturday July 03, 2010 @12:07PM (#32786280)

    Facebook is mostly a problem for those that don't use it.

    Which is fine until clubs and organizations decide to organize via Facebook. Then you have to join if you want to stay involved. This is a trend that I've already started to notice.

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