This has now become five blog posts!
I have not written a final, sixth part, which will be a review of the changes introduced by Facebook just now, in the light of what I have learnt about the Social Networking space.
I publish on two blogs one at
http://conjoint.biz:1080/recent - to the recent entries index - is hosted on my own machine and is a nanoki lua wiki.
If you are interested in any of that you can look up links on either site.
However there are lua implementations on mobile devices and the design is strictly RESTful - in fact it is an object lesson in good design and creative thinking by its creator and lua contributor Raphaël Szwarc. lua is moon in Portugese, it is one of several jokes of the wiki.
Enough of this irrelevance though!
Diaspora Part One
In this part, after a general introduction, I introduce the problem from a business persepective and what may be the issues confronting social networking sites, for example Facebook. I introduce an hypothesis about the reasons for user dissatisfaction and try to illuminate the areas that this dissatisfaction covers. I examine nine points and it does seem to me that much (7 out of 9 points) of what people may object to in Facebook is common marketing practice, the boundaries of which it does seem are being pushed by Facebook. I will cover this in more detail in the final section. But I am very interested in what others think about this.
I haven't had time to follow up all the links for the final article. One thing I did notice is that Facebook describe what they offer to advertisers as the march of progress and also point out something I had noticed before, that they sell the package to their customers, they do not allow their customers access to the data to trawl themselves. I do find this last point disingenious as, quite obviously, they want to be the gate keepers to that data, that is, after all. how they make their money.
Diaspora Part Two
Here I offer my version of what Diaspora may be in a nut shell and contrast it in three basic points with Facebook.
I then broaden out to look at W3C, as a standards body, and some of their work in the areas of our concern.
Diaspora Part Three
In Part Three I look at issues of security, privacy and trust, defining the terms in a more technical way. I also look at attendant issues, such as reliability of service. I contrast a peer to peer solution with a highly centralised one such as Facebook drawing some conclusions about quality of service and the way user expectations may be met.
Diaspora Part Four
In this part I look deeper at the technical detail of two proposed solutions.
As I do not know what Diaspora are intending apart from brief comments in videos I extrapolate from those comments as best I can and contrast them with another possible solution based on an identification and authorisation framework known as foaf+ssl, which the Social Web Architect Henry Story writes about in a series of blogs. I really favour the most ubiquitous and open solution and that seems to me to be that of something based on foaf+ssl in the HTTP protocol (both for ubiquity and foaf to open up to the possibilites of the semantic web.)
Most importantly I point out that either solution could be hosted on existing always on devices, that is home DSL units.
This is a subject for further blog posts.
Diaspora Part Five
This final part offers a brief insight into some of the issues currently being discussed in the semantic web space. It isn't an evaluation of progress, nor a recommendation of subjects to tackle.
In fact there is something unsatisfactory about this as there is an air of research rather than application about it all. i believe that impression may be misleading.
Again, I may take these issues up at some later date.
Here are the same links again from conjoint.biz.
conjoint.biz:Diaspora Part One
conjoint.biz:Diaspora Part Two
conjoint.biz:Diaspora Part Three
conjoint.biz:Diaspora Part Four
conjoint.biz:Diaspora Part Five