Diaspora is a personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open-source social network. Did you get all that? The new Diaspora project, headed by four ambitious NYU computer science students, is set to take the internet world by storm. The concept is simple enough (much like all great inventions); Create a social network that is truly private and secure. Why send your updates a to a central hub to be dispersed to all your friends and connections when you can simply connect directly to your friends. This creates a more secure and private connection.
This project has been dubbed the “anti-facebook” purely because it is a private, open-source social network that puts you in control of your personal data. The idea of Diaspora was conceived when the four NYU students, Daniel Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg, Raphael Sofaer, and Ilya Zhitomirskiy spent time building a Makerbot (a type of web robot). They started discussing the possibilities of a distributed social network and hence, Diaspora was born.
We already have a rudimentary prototype of Diaspora running on our machines, and are working like mad to make it all we can be. Our current implementations include PGP encryption, scraping Twitter and Flickr, awesome design aesthetics, and the initial stages of connection infrastructure (“friending” other Diaspora instances).
Although Diaspora hasn’t yet been completely developed, the concept and a simple working model has been completed (Not yet available to the public). This is due to a lack of funds which I believe they have now managed to source. The exciting thing about this project is the fact that they are going to release the software under the aGPL open-source software license. I cant wait to get my hands on this!
Once Diaspora has been set up, the software can aggregate your information such as tweets, RSS feeds, photos, etc. When you decide to “friend” another user online, you’ll actually connect directly to that user. This eliminates the need for a central server and therefore eliminates most security risks involved with that process. You and your friends can then share information privately with each other using PGP encryption.
Personally, I reckon this is going to revolutionize the way we connect socially online. I have been constantly trying to think of the “new social media” and it seems these guys have beat me to it.