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Open Source Social Network In Private Alpha

Open-source social website Diaspora said on Tuesday that the first set of invites to the private alpha were released. The team said that more people will be invited every week, starting with the "Kickstarter backers" and then moving through the mailing list.

The term diaspora is defined as the migration of a group of people away from its traditional homeland. For the social network, the name seems to imply a movement away from the "traditional" social network structure, allowing users to retain full control of their personal information including friend lists, messages, photos, and profile details.

Diaspora was built using Ruby on Rails, an open source web application framework written in the Ruby programming language-- Ruby is a dynamically typed language similar to Perl and Python. Focusing on user privacy, the new social network incorporates the use of "aspects," a way to separate friend lists and set levels of privacy for each.

"Diaspora lets you create 'aspects,' which are personal lists that let you group people according to the roles they play in your life," the Diaspora team said. "We think that aspects are a simple, straightforward, lightweight way to make it really clear who is receiving your posts and who you are receiving posts from. It isn’t perfect, but the best way to improve is to get it into your hands and listen closely to your response."

According to the team, it's taken five months to reach the current alpha state. "We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how people can share in a private way, and still do all the things people love to do on social networks. We hope you’ll find it fun to use and a great way to keep in touch with all the people in your life," they said.

To get a spot in the alpha, social networking junkies can apply here.

  • bison88
    On one hand I would love to see Zuckerburg get dethroned along with his Facebook, but at the same time I'm getting sick and tired of playing this round-robin game with social networking every couple of years moving everything from Myspace to Facebook and now possibly Diaspora. Social Networking hows now become entrenched in so many peoples lives it's like switching email providers, not a very easy task even with the tools and tricks out there to help simplify the process. If the competition of services keeps going the way they are you're going to have entire IT departments dedicated to maintaining social networking connections and services for a company. We need a one-social-network to rule them all or marketing will splinter and collapse and users will be tossed between a dozen services in which they have to pick and choose which to focus their attention and time to missing out on the benefits of other services.

    I find open source to be a comical term to use for advertising their service because if we had other platforms be more "open source" oriented we would've already had a all-in-one site. Maybe this service will eventually get around that? *crosses fingers*
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  • kingssman
    I'm getting sick and tired of playing this round-robin game with social networking every couple of years moving everything from Myspace to Facebook and now possibly Diaspora

    Gotta go with what works and what suits you personally. While if in it for the self promotion, its not bad having an account with every network out there, Just find a spot and live there.

    Myspace was OK, it became a group of poorly coded webpages and a dump of youtube poop videos and bad pirated music.

    Facebook seem more formal, to the point, your life on the web, yet offers too much fodder for stalkers

    Twitter pretty much put the status update from facebook, and made it into a giant message board. Sometimes i link it as a hybrid IRC chat room / message board postings with no rooms, no subjects.

    Google's lattitude tried to clone Facebook but was pretty much a merger of all the other google apps and added "status update". Plus abilities to make yourself super stalkable by having yourself placed on GoogleMaps via realtime for a "Look! I'm HERE!!" feature.
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  • "allowing users to retain full control of their personal information including friend lists, messages, photos, and profile details"

    If this is true and they get the user experience right it would be worth switching to me. I just wonder if they'll be able to compete without those idiotic apps like FB has. Will developers want to develop for this platform if they don't have enough users to data mine, especially if they can't data mine?
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  • safcmanfr
    1) Diaspora sounds like a good idea imo....

    2) when will someone create a program that logins into all social networking sites (that you are a member of) and allows you to instant update your status/photos etc across all social sites simultaneously? Similar to the messaging clients that allow you to chat with all MSN, IRC, Yahoo contacts at the same time.

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  • of the way
    DIASPORA* only supports modern browsers.

    As in no IE support. Love it.
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  • eddieroolz
    I'm somewhat excited for them, but I don't think I'll be joining another social network again. I've been perfectly fine living my life without facebook - it's been quiet.
    Reply