The free and open source answer to the ever degrading social networking is almost here! It is called Diaspora*. Like the Internet itself, Diaspora* isn’t housed in any one place, and it’s not controlled by any one entity, thereby giving us absolute control over our privacy!
It’s distributed design is a huge part of it. Diaspora* will let us set up and run our own social network on our own “pod” (or server) and connect our network to the larger Diaspora* ecosystem. We can have a pod all to ourself, or one for just us and our friends, or our family, giving us complete ownership and control over our personal social information (including our identity, our posts, and our photos) and how it’s all stored and shared. Or we can simply join one of more than 20 open pods. We can make great connections with anyone in the Diaspora* ecosystem, not just the people on our own pod, because the pods are linked together.
This kind of authentic yet distributed connection will bring back the social freedom that made the Internet awesome in the first place. And this is just the beginning. We will be able to use Diaspora* as a home base for our outbound posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, writing to them all from Diaspora*. As time progresses, we’ll be able to monitor our inbound streams from Diaspora* as well.
Diaspora*’s distributed design means that no big corporation will ever control it. Diaspora* will never sell our social life to advertisers, and we won’t have to conform to someone’s arbitrary rules or look over our shoulder before we speak.
And because our information is absolutely ours, we’ll have the ultimate power- the ability to move our profile and all our social data from one pod to another, without sacrificing our connection to the social web.
Like many other Free and Open Source Softwares, Diaspora* is a genuine community effort. More than 160 people have contributed to its code, putting it in the top 2% of all open source projects tracked by Ohloh. Hundreds more volunteers have translated Diaspora* into 13 of the world’s spoken languages so far, with another 32 translations in progress. Thousands of Diasporans have given more than 3,000 points of feedback. And of course, thousands of donors have helped pay for its development, and hundreds of thousands of people including me (and you) are patiently waiting for access to try it out.
This is the era of information. And Diaspora* will give us freedom on our social information. I am waiting for this revolution to begin with a big bang! Are you?