If you haven’t heard of Diaspora, then this short article will update you.
Diaspora is essentially a new social media platform with a twist. A very good twist.
Why another social media platform?
This is a good question, we already have more than enough of them out there, Facebook, MySpace, Shitter (I mean Twitter) and all the rest of them. The problem with almost ALL of these mainstream social media sites is they make it very clear that they “own” ANY/ALL of your information once its uploaded. They have the ability to pattern scan and analyze trends sitting in casual comments, status updates, and photo albums.
For example : (On Facebook) An every day Joe Facebook user, might post about their new mobile phone, 20 people might like this and comment. In turn, in other social networks the same phone is getting talked about much more than any other brand (The iPhone comes to mind). Now using clever scanning algorithms, Facebook will scan for any comments on the original item that contain certain keywords like BUT or Perhaps. For example: “I like this phone but I wish it had a…. ” or “Perhaps I would buy it, if it didn’t cost…..” This is a very basic example of how Facebook and marketing companies are raping our information.
How about that innocent holiday photo album you just uploaded. Did you label it “Ski Holiday Alps 2010” or “Egypt Vacation 2009” or just “Rio Dec 2009”. It doesn’t really matter the point is, since Facebook knows where you live, have pictures of you in your profile section, can using image analysis techniques detect You, in your pics, and since you’ve provided a location, they know where you’re going on holiday. This information alone is not useful, but once you apply this technique to the entire Facebook user base, suddenly you know exactly where in the world people are going to on holiday, at what times, from what locations, and this information is sold to (amongst others) developers, airline companies and hotels. For example: You might determine that Egypt is the most popular destination for people travelling from the UK, but only at certain times of the year. You might also determine that some cities are suffering out of season, and try to find ways to provide motivation for people from, for example Russia to travel to this location during certain months of the year. Again these are basic examples.
I didn’t answer the question, why Diaspora?
Diaspora is the social platform writing by ordinary people who identified what I spoke about above, and want to change that, giving people back the rights to own their own information. Diaspora doesn’t turn people into digital crop sharers. Diaspora offers a platform that is decentralized and competes directly with the “big boys” who have sold us out to marketing companies. Diaspora is essentially a glimmer of hope on the horizon.
Who is developing Diaspora?
4 (four) very smart young people. Students actually who have been funded via a community funding project called Kickstarter. Diaspora will be completely open source and be more p2p based, people will own their information, and all communication will be encrypted.
But I love Facebook?
I don’t think anyone really is in love with Facebook. People really like that all their friends are using this platform, and that it is indeed an active platform. But if you think about it, its a very basic platform, offering the ability to share textual and photographic information, and form groups and play certain games. Facebook doesn’t do very much, if you think about it. Diaspora will be able to do more, offering levels of communication, and have the ability to segregate social networks, for example – who ever found Facebook unable to distinguish between friends and family. So your drunk party photos, also happen to be available to your mother. Diaspora solves issues like this. But Diaspora does more, offering extensions that make it possible for Diaspora to communicate directly with Facebook, Twitter (Shitter) or any other platform you may be on. So you can use Facebook via Diaspora, until more people join Diaspora.