Diaspora - decentralising social networking with better user controlled privacy


Creative Writer
In the midst of another privacy furore: Facebook Calls All Hands Meeting On Privacy Along comes a quartet of guys wanting to spend their time coding a new type of social networking that gives the ultimate power of privacy and content control in the hands of the users: Four Nerds and a Cry to Arms Against Facebook (Published 2010) Interesting to note they only wanted $10,000 to cover their expenses where they should have been working to cover their tuition fees/rent/etc and within 12 hours I've seen it jump from practically $25,000 to $130,000 showing a lot of people are concerned over privacy issues or just hate Facebook enough from past experience to put their pennies in.

There is little details on the new system they are proposing, so I'm wary of saying much myself right now. Although initial impressions suggest that the data is held on a users pc? This has led to me wondering about storage and bandwidth for media data such as pics, music and videos. Comments have suggested social networking servers should be moved to Iceland to use geothermal energy where the growing electricity needs from traditional power stations is going to become prohibitive. For now, the end user is going to see additional energy costs running their machines as data nodes possibly. With the skyrocketing cost of energy in the UK and other places in the EU I wonder if this might cause a problem for the end user? The new nuclear power stations bandied around have come with comments that the cost will be offloaded on the consumers, increasing fuel costs even further. There is only a future of worry to peoples wallets. Bandwidth constrained users may find themselves left out too. In the UK we have people getting internet via mobile phone operators with only 1-2gig allowances per month.

Facebook is in another battle as we speak with the creators of mini games integrated into their site including Farmville and Mafia Wars: The Times & The Sunday Times where Facebook has shifted money transactions to "Facebook Credits" and they want 30% of Zynga's incoming monies. Balking at this, a new social networking site is being considered for creation to run the games, maybe taking away more Facebook users. Considering a goods developer trying to sell in a bricks and mortar premises belonging to someone else rarely see 50% of the RRP the goods go for, is this really so bad a situation?

Whatever happens, things are likely to splinter this summer as more big players get in the game, arguments lead to crumbling 'partnerships' and communities lose touch with each other. No longer can Facebook hold the world in its hands with no viable competitors. This monolithic corporation has to listen to its partners, its community and ultimately the end users. If it cannot strike a deal, then splintering will occur. As an additional note, the new Community Pages on Facebook seem to be setting out a wiki type section to be fully implemented later on.

Already I've seen one brand, a linguistic website, who find now there is a community page on Facebook which if you "like" then any posts you make with links to stories on the linguistics website appear on the community page, causing privacy issues and also copyright queries from the people whose brands have suddenly appeared there, even if there is a plain text warning it is a community page. People can be misled, and any brand creating a community webpage on Facebook finds that the original generated one is still present, competing and splintering their corporate image. Take down notices have started to be sent in, we wait and see what happens.

Log In or Sign Up to View This is, of course, a worry! What does this website do now after so many years in existence? and what does a Duran Duran video have to do with us? This shows the confusion brands face now.

BTW, Kevin, I have control of the Coolscifi fan page application on Facebook. I grabbed the name and created a default application with no working components apart from adding some logos a long time ago to prevent anyone else ripping it off and causing a problem, chasing after them. I keep forgetting to tell you, but will hand it over anytime you want it, although can't find any transfer details or a way to delete the app right now strangely. If you noticed it existed and was worried about it, now you know I grabbed it for this sites safety.