This year, Facebook has undergone a number of problems related to privacy 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 Diaspora: 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 zillionaire. This already happened more than once before; for instance with Digg hype people went crazy and you have at least three successful FLOSS clones: Meneame, Pligg and Drigg; just to mention only one of those efforts. Portuguese know for sure the DoMelhor (which is based on Meneame) and others may know about Free Software Daily (which is based on Drupal’s based distro Drigg).
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.