I know what you’re thinking…another social network? Well, according to a few articles I have read, Diaspora* is supposed to be quite the up and coming thing. I really didn’t know much about Diaspora*, I had just heard the name once or twice. We had a discussion about it in our class this week and I was interested to see what all the talk was about.
After some research there were a few things that stood out to me. One of these things was about the creators and how they were portrayed. In a New York Times article the creators were described as four nerdy college students. The article painted the picture of these being the stereotypical guys you think of designing a computer program, guys holed up in a computer room living off fast food and sleeping under the desks. I think this says something about the program, it is made by average people who want to see a change. The following is a link to a video in which the creators describe some cool features of Diaspora*. Throughout the video you can kind of get a sense of the individuals who created this type of program, some being more talkative than others, etc. Although it was helpful to hear about some of the features, I was more interested in observing the creators.
Another thing that stood out to me were some of the features that were just described in that video. Particularly that all of a person’s information can be found in one central location. Each person creates their own pod and that can be connected to any other site that person uses. Users can then take their pods into the eco system of Diaspora* and connect with others. This leads into the privacy feature. By being in control of your own pod it ensures that no one else will have access to your information, not even the creators of Diaspora*. I think that is a very key feature because many people complain about the lack of privacy on Facebook, and Diaspora* is actually doing something about it. This seems to be a program that was made by the people for the people and I think it could potentially become something great.
However, the real question is: where is Diaspora*? The creators came out with the idea almost two years ago but we still have not seen the actual program. They seemed to fundraise quickly and make some good initial progress but Diaspora* is still not up and running fully. I think that this is seriously hurting its potential. People want to see results immediately and the fact that they havent seen anything from Diaspora* does not bode well for the future of the social network. Also, now that Google + is up and running Diaspora* will have more competition. At some point people will get tired of belonging to so many different social networks and will shift to using just one. If Diaspora* doesn’t get up and running quickly it may not have a chance of becoming anything at all.