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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.