Monday, 17 May 2010

Diaspora: A Newer, Friendlier, More Open Facebook?



I'm really excited about Diaspora.

After the massive (mostly justified) hoo-ha over privacy settings on Facebook over the past few days, hearing about this new, *free* (i.e you keep your private data private) open source social network is a real breath of fresh air, and could potentially be bad news for Facebook, which has yet again been rocked by new privacy allegations, after some cheeky scamps made a site that exposed just how public your data is.

(as a sidenote, it's interesting to see the 'I'm not racist but...' status update/misinformation is spreading very quickly. Looking at the way racists use social media looks like a bit of a dissertation-in-the-making).

The way I see it, Facebook is essentially a very old company posing as a new, cutting edge company. It is a glorified mall for you to hang out in, and whilst you can have fun with your friends in it, you get the sense that, well, it isn't really yours. This counts for brands as well. The whole experience seems to be run like a lease, and the landlords aren't very responsible with your information, farming it out to every site on the web in an attempt to seem open and honest - although not with you, the user. You want to leave? Fine, but we'll keep your information forever. Hey, you should have read the small print.

You may not be able to get your information back (yet), but you can pack your bags and go elsewhere. And if you are a brand? Well, then you can build a neat, bespoke social page that will really stand out.

Until then? Well, my advice is to basically share less if you don't feel comfortable.