One of the talks on 32C3 titled "A new kid on the block" talked about Diaspora* and the social networking effects required to build alternatives to existing social network structures. Now, I must admit I haven't paid too much attention to Diaspora* in the past, despite it having been around for quite a while, but now I got more curious and set up my own pod to test it a bit, with the added side benefit that I can stop using Hootsuite to publish blog posts to Twitter and Facebook as it can be integrated directly in this service.
So, what is Diaspora? The official website focus on three aspects:
- Decentralization: Instead of everyone’s data being contained on huge central servers owned by a large organization, local servers (“pods”) can be set up anywhere in the world. You choose which pod to register with - perhaps your local pod - and seamlessly connect with the diaspora* community worldwide.
- Freedom: You can be whoever you want to be in diaspora*. Unlike some networks, you don’t have to use your real identity. You can interact with whomever you choose in whatever way you want. The only limit is your imagination. diaspora* is also Free Software, giving you liberty to use it as you wish.
- Privacy: In diaspora* you own your data. You do not sign over any rights to a corporation or other interest who could use it. With diaspora*, your friends, your habits, and your content is your business ... not ours! In addition, you choose who sees what you share, using Aspects.
My own Diaspora page can be seen on social.sumptuouscapital.com. Time will show whether that increase my activity on social networks in general. As participating on Diaspora requires access to a pod, if you are an acquaintance of mine and want access to sign up send me a message and I'll arrange for an invite. For others, there are plenty of publicly available pods that can be used, including those in this list.