Diaspora, free Facebook for the masses

This year, Facebook has undergone a number of problems related to of its users. Faced with this, four American students devised a social network of open format, allowing its users and managers to have more control over this aspect: the Diaspora — which is in fact an interesting choice for a name.

After raising more than $ 200,000.00 — from supporters ranging from ordinary users to companies and executives, including Facebook — their creators have announced a release date for the : September 15. The code will be open, meaning that programmers around the world can examine, modify and even lead to change. More on the initial idea on the video below.


Neverthless, don’t you even think that having it will turn yourself into the next . This already happened more than once before; for instance with Digg hype people went crazy and you have at least three successful clones: Meneame, Pligg and Drigg; just to mention only one of those efforts. Portuguese know for sure the DoMelhor (which is based on ) and others may know about Free Software Daily (which is based on Drupal’s based distro ).

And, besides Facebook, there are already several big contenders like MySpace and Netlog.

What makes Facebook so difficult to surpass is the same thing that makes Google search engine difficult to overrun: their massive infrastruture. That’s where the big bucks are invested and not in software development.

Another sad conclusion for us, non-Americans (inc. Canada, etc) that strive to push some FLOSS projects forward is that it is almost impossible to raise any money to invest in FLOSS outside USA and Canada — and I already experienced that in first hand with Care3G and Care2x — especially in such a crazy idea as a “Facebook” clone. And if that was not enough, without any Business Plan or other financial jiberish.

About the author

Lopo Lencastre de Almeida Entrepreneur. Project Manager, Web Strategist and Application Developer. Particularly interested in client / server systems and design of relational databases, Usability, UX and Accessibility, Security, Authentication and authorization in distributed software development. Always keen to be part of interesting projects, particularly in the spirit of FLOSS. Also interested in governance, ethics and transparency.

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Note: this article was last updated in August 27th, 2010

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