Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
I really hope you make this happen. If you need help, or a deal with www.neo4j.org for backing your social graphs up, please contact me!
Hi there guys! Many congratulations!
Since you fundraised some 1733% of what you set out for, perhaps I could suggest some extra features.
We run an academic network for Media Anthropologists (and someone really should be studying the roll out of diaspora...) http://media-anthropology.net
We would love to host a diaspora node. However, I think in common with many of the University types who will support the roll-out of this project, a social bibliography function would be killer functionaity for us.
Could you think about designing diaspora so that it is good for supporting researchers? The current open source bibliography software (e.g. refbase, zotero) does not in any one instance provide all the support needed. One model that works quite well is Joomla's JResearch.
This type of thing would give you rock solid support amongst the university community. Even more so if you could do an authentification bridge with something like Moodle, as a teaching and learning package:
(The Open University, the world's biggest distance learning establishment uses moodle)
There is a successful moodle authentification bridge with Joomla!
Good luck, great, great project.
Getting that money would have freaked me out :)) making it impossible to do anything very productive under the glare of such media attention. If I were them here is what I would do:
1. Get organised.
2. Code for 3 months and then *stop* for some time and keep 10,000$ for the effort.
3. Start an Americal Idol/The Apprentice like program to create actual code in phases.
4. Setup a Jury with 3 luminaries like Bruce Schneier as judges.
5. Opensource projects can participate for bounties to create various pieces of the jig saw puzzle. The entire contest would not involve any actual travel. Just a mob of coders checking into GitHub and Google code and so on. Their own code also gets to participate in the contest ;-).
6. Try get guys like Larry Page involved... LOT of people apart from the poor geek on the street want to see FB dead ;-).
Note: These guys *are* celebrities now. They can easily become notorious. They are young. The best thing for them to do to themselves is to not get a bad name by blowing away the dough. If they keep the money away/use it as a catalyst for the FB killer, they will earn goodwill worth millions.
They can "encash that goodwill" over time. With their skills+goodwill they can at a future date start a real startup through a program like YC maybe even in an entirely different domain, and earn fortunes. Their greatest asset right now is that a LOT people will now listen to them for a *short* time. If they manage to pull it off, even more people who matter will LISTEN to them. That would translate to a lot *more* than the millions they may raise right now.
Wishing them luck. Hope they will be billionares some day. but not from donations, but from a real startup they create in either social networking or another area that really brings value to its customers.
@Joe It's going to be released under AGPL license which was specifically designed to protect the freedoms you're worried about. AGPL is even more strict in this matter than classic GPL because it requires anybody who is using it on their hosting to release full code to the public so it can not ever end up as Facebook ... there would be pretty big fat lawsuit landing on Zuckerergs desk if FB was licensed under AGPL ... lol
@Joe Erickson: This isn't a community like "those." This is a project to deliver software that you run independently of any centralized group. With a decentralized social network, you make the decisions that affect your data.
As long as this, like so many other things started in good faith, doesn't get bought out and controlled by companies who don't care about your safety. One reason and one reason only I have not donated to this project and that is because of the potential for this going the same way as facebook, twitter, myspace and any other community like those.
Hey, since the Diaspora people seem to be pretty busy I've started a blog to keep track of the Diaspora and Facebook coverage scattered around the web.
@Adam Even if they don't raise a million through Kickstarter, I'm guessing there are others interested in backing them. And even if not, and all they had was the $172,223 raised so far, I'm thinking they'll do just fine. Facebook was started with $500,000 in relative obscurity. Diaspora has a lot more going for it right now than just the money. And that, I think, is what will make the real difference here.
Sort of thing not think
Pledge amount 13/05/2010 21:10
When I last calculated this pledges were at about $53/min
Now 17/05/2010 00:43
Pledges, just over
Which might make a grand total of
Clearly a huge tailing off.
This has been an example of social marketing phenomena. It is little wonder that companies are interested in this sort of think. For example, they might ask how it is that word spread in this period of time to the people it spread to, not by name, but by location, age and other characteristic.
They would want to know this in order to maximise the sell, as maybe a correctly targeted message could stop the tail off.
I think it is intrinsically interesting to ask the question how the Diaspora phenomena has spread, to model the rise and tail off in charts. Even to find out the age profile of contributors and so on.
But much of the impetus for Diaspora is around the issues this behaviour entails.
People who might have the above information (as far as I know no one in reality does have this info, I am just giving Diaspora as an example) would not know individuals, just aspects of individuals as part of a jigsaw picture for marketing purposes.
One question is, Is this objectionable?
An obvious answer is that it well could be.
Imagine this anachronism, turning the clock back 40 years or so.
In this scenario there is a Civil Rights Group and information about the preferences of members of that group is gathered. They are then targeted with merchandise, what ever has been discovered as the sorts of preferences of people of that group. I don't know what others feel about these sorts of possibilities but I know I think there is something profoundly wrong with that picture. Notice I am not invoking the notion of being spied on, just being marketed to.
I also think there must be another thought in the air. Some f word expletives could be placed in this sentence.
If information about me is so (deleted) valuable to you then why don't you (deleted) purchase it from me?
It is true that we get something in return, not least the infrastructure, but, at least superficially, this seems reasonable to me.
Tomorrow I will write a blog entry about Diaspora covering some technical issues and summarise here with a link to the post.
I will be trying to get to grips with the architecture and also make a couple of comments about IP as the issue has been raised here.
i've been bemoaning the extent that facebook & google have monopolized control over my online identity, but i'm tired of whining about it. i think we all, secretly, want out of the monster facebook has become, but are so afraid of losing our friend networks, connections & photos that unplugging is literally frightening. (tho i suspect it would be freeing as well...)
i did something about it today. i can officially say that i stand behind my beliefs for an open, decentralized internet because i donated to the cause. proud to be 1 of 4638. i believe in what you're trying to achieve. (just make it secure, ok?)
Stay passionate about your mission and be persistent and you will make Diaspora a success. Good luck!
I can't wait to give Diaspora a try! I started deactivating my Facebook account whenever I don't use it.
Sorry, I got carried away. I am not affiliated in any way with the diaspora team. I just had the idea that it might be a good idea to start a forum for discussion. Maybe I was too fast to get involed. For the time being, PLEASE IGNORE MY PREVIOUS POST! Maybe there will be a time for discussion later. First, let things settle a bit. I have the feeling that this thing is getting too big too fast.
Anyway, I fully agree with Suzanne Katsman.
All the best for the project!
Decentralized information is the ground breaking idea behind this project.
It will not be just another facebook clone that relies on some server somewhere that belongs to somebody.
I'm looking forward seeing this project come true.
How much do I have to pledge to get the job doing your UX/UI? ;) Love what you're doing! Love the attention you're getting! Good luck!
@openfacebook ... WHAT!!!
Where did the Diaspora team "submit" their project to your admins for review? You're seeming like some fly-by-night outfit trying to ride on the coattails of the Diaspora team.
These are four young men who are working on a code for something they wanted to see in the open source community. They asked for 10K on Kickstarter (with no expectation that they would actually raise it) so that they could finish and share it. They set no expectations and made no promises. All they want to do is write code and those naysayers need to back off and let them do it. Some of the individuals who thought they could do this or did not have the guts to try, need to stop being so critical and support these four brilliant minds. The team obviously has integrity and a great support network of experts in their field. The people that are behind them do so with great knowledge, enthusiasm and passion. Let's continue to give them positive feedback so they are not bogged down by negativity and can get this done for all of us!
New ourproject.org Project Submitted
Project Full Name: Open Facebook
Submitted Description: A forum for discussion about an open alternative to facebook.
Facebook is a privately-owned, web-based social networking platform with a current user-base of hundreds of millions of users. Facebook offers its users powerful tools to connect to each other. However, facebook is also subject to heavy controversy with respect to the privacy and commercial exploitation of user data.
The current tremendous response to fund-raising call from project "diaspora" ( http://www.joindiaspora.com/ ) has made apparent the need of an open alternative for facebook that is designed to protect the privacy of its users, instead of exploiting user data commercially.
The intention of this project is to provide an open platform for discussion about all aspects of such an undertaking, including, but not limited to, technical, legal, organizational, and sociological aspects.
License: Creative-Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
The ourproject.org admin team will now examine your project submission. You will be notified of their decision.
@click170: The only promise these guys have made is on the front page of their site: "We promise to you that Diaspora will be aGPL software which will released at the end of the summer. " They didn't promise to deal with submitters while they code. They didn't promise that anyone could ever become a committer. Let them do some coding, and consider supporting them now, because if you do, you'll have a higher chance of seeing something down the road. When they've got the project under control and presentable, you'll get to see it -- and maybe they'll even let you contribute something more than a tiny bit of cash. And if they don't let you in, well, it's going to be aGPL. You can fork if you don't like the way they're running the show.
No I agree, its not surprising that some developers would like to try and polish their code before publishing, but in my experience those kinds of arguments are more frequently used because the developer are ashamed of the quality of their code.
Now these are comp sci students so I wouldn't make the leap to say they are poor programmers, but that _is_ the impression I get when I hear that argument. Just sayin.
@click170: Wow, spare us the wall of text. They only asked for $10k, enough to put up a few nodes. You put up a lot of arguments in your post, but I have yet to see anything that indicates their expectations or thoughts on free software or how they planned on making money. I agree that the code should be opened. It isn't surprising that some developers would like to get at least a first somewhat polished cut out there before opening it up to the world. I wouldn't call it suspect, though.
I hope to contribute as well, so the sooner I see some code, the sooner I can help.
Ive seen a couple comments here saying that Diaspora is open source.
Is it? Really? Wheres the public repository? What URL can I pull from?
It has _intentions_ of becoming open source _after_ they release their beta in September, IIUC, and that is not the same thing as _currently being an open source project_.
Please, please! Let me contribute now! lol
Wow, even after proofreading I missed that.
"now" in the first paragraph is supposed to be "not".
I very much agree with Mike Linksvayer. Public repository from day 1 or the project is suspect. I cannot in good conscience contribute to a project that will now show me their progress.
I absolutely love the concept behind the Diaspora project, but the more I learn about it the less impressed I am.
I get that your fresh out of school and am looking for ways to make money, but is that really the way to go about this?
Whats wrong with starting work on the project regardless of donations and working on it merely because it needs to be done for the good of the community? And don't give me that "well software development costs money" nonsense - see Free Software Movement.
Then of course there is the argument that "If we started work and just asked for donations along the way we'd have no guarantee of income". That's correct, and that's how much of the Free Software world works. Also, keep in mind that all your doing by setting a pledge goal is flipping it around 180 degrees so now the lack of a guarantee is on the contributor. He may donate to the project because he likes the sound of your ideas, but if your not even going to let him see your source code then really he has no guarantee that your going to produce anything. When you start a non-free project and set a pledge goal your really saying "If you pay me X many monies, I'll spend time working on this project, I promise." whereas if you would just start on the project then the person who is donating is saying "I like the work that you've done so far, it looks promising, and I'd like to help enable you to keep doing that". Its a fundamental difference, and in my opinion I prefer to donate based on the work that I can see has been done, not based "I promise Ill work on it".
Clearly your ideas are popular and in many people's eyes are contribution worthy, so I don't see the problem in starting work the project and allowing your momentum and achievements to power donations. Obviously even the mention of them is enough to draw contributions, imagine what you'd get if people could actually see you making substantial forward progress in their own judgments.
As a Free Software developer myself I was ecstatic at the thought of a viable, distributed, secure, privacy-centric Facebook alternative. This is a huge undertaking and my first thought upon hearing about the project was "I gotta get in on contributing to that project" but sadly, you are starting off as a closed proprietary project not allowing anyone to help you.
I think that's going to be detrimental to your progress and the pickup of Diaspora as an alternative. If Diaspora is aiming to be the community alternative then it should be community developed and we should all have a chance to contribute, or dare I say fork if you make a disputed change.
Then I saw that you wanted a donation of a thousand dollars or more _just_ to get access to the nightly builds, and I honestly laughed at you. That is _not_ helpful in encouraging me to contribute to the project.
I can appreciate that you feel your tight-knit group will be able to hammer out large scale changes more efficiently without having to explain those changes to other people. I also have a fairly short patience when it comes to explaining my actions. And the "our codebase will shift a lot" argument is a solid one, its your code and you should be unencumbered in changing it however you want.
However, I think grouping everyone who would be looking at your public repository into one big group of people and think of them as a nuisance is a monumental mistake. Sure, you'll have the odd man (or woman?) out who's going around posting "wtf why doesn't your code work", and "howcome you broke function X", but for every one of those there are 2 or 3 more who do understand the big picture and why those changes had to be made, and who have the patience to deal with trolls like that.
A rapidly evolving code base does not have to preclude community involvement. It just precludes contributions from people who need a little longer to get a grasp on the code, or perhaps who don't invest as much time in developing as the rest of us.
There are good developer's, we are out here, and we'd love to help with this project, if only you'd let us.
Check this site out and pass it on to your Facebook friends. http://youropenbook.org/ "Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life. Whether you want to or not."
This could be the Wordpress of personal identity. Go guys. DO IT. PLEASE!
The team did post an update on twitter
"all, sorry for the radio silence, trying to recover/get organized from our crazy week. back tomorrow with good updates :)"
If $10,000 was enough for four guys to dedicate three months to the project, I'm presuming that almost $200,000 will be enough for them to focus on it for a couple years! I'm not entirely sure how widespread this will be if people have to either host the content on their own systems or pay to host it elsewhere, but anything is better than the corporate options right now.
So when are these kids going to give us another update? I would love to know what they are thinking now!
Wish you good luck!
I will have a party when version 1 is released.
Hello, I am impressed with what you are doing. I have left sites like FB because of this privacy hurdle and sometimes people just don't want to go backwards in life. Why speak with the high school kid you didnt like to begin with and why would I want to let people know what I did last night?
I've asked my colleagues from time to time, would you place a sign in your front yard stating, "I am off to the bar for drinks and pick up woman!" Would you post this daily?
I love what you are doing and want to get involved.
@energyharvesting "The coding is not the hurdle"
Wrong. The coding is the hurdle. As Eben Moglen says, "proof of concept + RUNNING CODE = revolution"
@Jorge, I think you might be misinterpreting the objectives of the contributors.
The coding is not the hurdle -- and you and your classmates' creative efforts are part of the critical mass of existing development knowledge that Even those close to the project make this point.
This funding moment is our collective opportunity to launch this effort without the interdiction of the VC community. It's a chance to shift into the next era in how the world can connect, and the seismic impact if this can get as far as possible with supporter funding is historic.
Part of Zuckerberg's contribution was to reshape, in hugely positive ways, how networks can connect. It's not the world's job, though, to worry about his or his team's or his investors' wealth creation interests.
I am a bit surprised that someone could raise more than 150K$ to do something that resembles something I (and about 100 more students) already did in my distributed applications course.
You can read all about that in here:
@Jordan As kragil pointed out Eben Moglen has taken on the Diaspora team as clients and is also informally advising them. Have you heard of the Software Freedom Law Center? Do you know that Eben Moglen spends time working to invalidate patents (like those on the drug Lipitor) for kicks? But if you think you have some insights on possible patent issues that Professor Moglen hasn't thought of maybe you should contact him.
@David Schryer Suree, because strong GPG encryption is cracked by some fat federal nerds in Britian every day. Dream on and keep watching 24.
@Jordan: It doesn't have to be "for pay". It can be a freemium model, where basic messaging, sharing is free, but once you want to store Gigs of photos or videos you have to pay.
And honestly, stop your whining. We have heard all your lame arguments. Move along and let these guys have a shot at it. They have strong legal backing in Prof. Eben Moglen, who knows more about IT law than all commenters here combined.
Aw man, you guys got me. Facebook pays me to express concern about the number of patents they hold for the key user experience elements on their site. To fake being scared, and worry about the legal issues that would be faced by any serious competitor. Probably better if you don't actually know the landscape before you dive in. I forget that they put the blinders on horses for good reason.
I'm one seriously embarrassed paytroll.
@EricAshworth if you really think that a for-pay social networking service is going to attract the critical mass that would be required to upend a site like Facebook, well... Don't get on your high horse just because you can name 4507 suckers
Many of the comments are useful and well thought, and I've enjoyed them.
Two issues are less commented.
One is that the Diaspora platform is open source. There are thousands (tens of thousands) of elite programmers around the world who are ready and wanting to contribute to this effort, and there are tens of millions of VC dollars ready to back the commerce opportunities that Diaspora's market disruption will spark.
The second is the extraordinary impact Diaspora's efforts will have on the spread of democracy and freedom -- and I cringe as I use these loaded terms. The Iranian government (and the Chinese,) are adept now in interrupting information flow with present technologies. Diaspora is literally a life and death project for many Iranian students.
I have been surprised at the superficial media reporting of this event. Diaspora is no more a "Facebook Killer" than the internet was an "AOL Killer." It's easy to imagine that the real anxiety at Accel, Greylock, and the other VC's, is to get the IPO done before the micron-thick longevity issues of Facebook becomes too visible.
Fernando, si te interesan los detalles técnicos, te interesa aprender inglés.
For those of you mocking the guys because they're young: do you know what other project was started by a single young undergrad in 1991?
@David Schryer: If the GPG encryption they plan to use is well implemented inside the protocol, I doubt it.
Good luck, guys!
For all of you interested in an insightful BBC podcast regarding the kind of technology available for people who actively read personal data -- check this out. I am sure they will crack into Diaspora within weeks.
My last post included extra characters, bah!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eben_Moglen...no doubt what he doesn't know about certain law aspects as it pertains to this venture, he'll have a list of specialists he can call on. Think the boys are covered ;P
@Tony: Kids don't talk about patents - he's probably a shill.
I deactivated my FB account on impulse last week, piqued that my profile info had been violated without consent and concerned about the indifference to privacy being displayed by Mark Zuckerberg et al., leaving us vulnerable to government surveillance and every adman, conman, and marketeer. The concept of what you are doing also came to my mind before I had heard of Diaspora. Great minds in sync! I am considering reactivating my FB account long enough to get all of my friends contact details, advertise your alternative and join in with the mass deactivation planned for June 6th. I was happy to donate towards your cause, skint as I may be, because I believe in you. :-)
Wow! Someone is actually defending facebook? LMAO!!!!! That's like some of the kids defending myspace when facebook came around.