Diaspora* is an initiative of four New York University students. It's a social networking platform based on an open source personal web server that will put individuals in complete control of their data. Basic operation revolves around Diaspora Seed, once you have it, you will have you own social network. You can do whatever you want like sharing videos, pictures and much more and yet you will have full control of your online identity and your seed network. They haven't mentioned clearly that it's an anti-facebook project, but one can easily understand their motivation after watching the video below.
Diaspora team (Daniel Grippi, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, Maxwell Salzberg and Raphael Sofaer) believes that privacy and sharing information doesn't necessarily have to be mutually exclusive. In our normal life we share information directly with each other, so our online virtual life should work similar as well. Diaspora will replace today's centralized social web with a more secure and convenient decentralized network. Diaspora will be easy to use, and it will be centered on you instead of a faceless hub.
Most of such initiatives/alternatives usually don't go quite far, but the pace at which Diaspora* open source project is gaining moment is really marvelous. Diaspora team started its journey with a dream to raise $10,000 by June 1, and they have already raised $100,000! and still two weeks remaining in deadline. Facebook's recent alterations in user privacy settings could be another reason for this kind of huge support.
Diaspora Technical Specifications
* Full-fledged communications between Seeds (Diaspora instances)
* Complete PGP encryption
* External Service Scraping of most major services (reclaim your data)
* Version 1 of Diaspora's API with documentation
* Public GitHub repository of all Diaspora code
There isn't any committed timeline for Diaspora release, we only know that the team has already started work on the project and it will continue over summer, hopefully around Sept-2010, we would be able to see some sort of results.
It's hard to comment that Diaspora will succeed or not, but it surely is a nice initiative. Let's see how much they can deliver to what they have committed, also it would interesting if Facebook responds to Diaspora project in someway.Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback