There is already a lot of hype being generated for a social network that doesn't even exist yet. I'm talking about Diaspora, which if you've been keeping up with the discussion around Facebook privacy and user unrest, you've probably heard name-dropped a few times.
Diaspora is a social networking "project", which has raised over $100,000 in donations so far. The project it the brain child of a few young guys who want to give users clear and open control over their social networking activities. They want to give users their own nodes.
Here is their explanation:
"We are 140-character ideas. We are the pictures of your cat. We are blog posts about the economy. We are the collective knowledge that is Wikipedia," the team says. "The internet is a canvas – of which, we paint broad and fine strokes of our lives with. It is a forward extension of our physical lives; a meta-self comprised of ones and zeros. We are all that is digital: If we weren’t, the internet wouldn’t either."
The guys claim to have a "rudimentary prototype" of Diaspora running on their own machines, which includes GPG encryption, scraping Twitter and Flickr, “awesome design aesthetic”, and the "initial stages of connection infrastructure." OpenID, VoIP, distributed encrypted backups, IM protocol, and UDP integration are some of the things in the plans.
The team says that its goal is to get Diaspora in the hands of every man, woman, and child at summer's end. If that's their only goal, I'm afraid they're setting themselves up for failure, but they do plan to release the first iteration of the project in September.
What do you think? Is Diaspora just the hype of the moment - a product of mass Facebook criticism, or will this become a household name? Hard to say without seeing a product. Share your thoughts.