Diaspora Part Six - The Diaspora Vision

Published on Tuesday, June 1st 2010. Edited by Rat Outzipape. tag

Recent Facebook changes, Has Anything Changed?
I promissed that I would review the recent changes to Facebook in the light of Diaspora as a Facebook alternative.
These are the most interesting articles that I have found about the changes to Facebook privacy settings.
Two are from the UK newspaper, The Guardian.
OK, I have my bias, but I did read other sources too.
Facebook: our hiccups on privacy
The first few comments are worth reading as well.
Facebook Privacy Settings Red Herring
This is a commercial blog post.
List Helpful Posts And Videos About Facebook Privacy Settings
10 Reasons Why Privacy Issues Won't Drive People Away from Facebook
The main points get repeated so I wont repeat them here.
My conclusion from reading these articles is that the near distant future is of more interest than the immediate effect of slight adjustments to the Facebook privacy control user WGUI.

The Crunch Question
What seems to be a crunch question is whether people in large numbers want an alternative and what sort.
There is a difference between creating a project that is Open Source that has the attention of a few thousand potential users to creating a viable and sustained alternative Social Networking medium.

Finding an Alternative Answer
There is another perspective to be had on this.
Social Networking is a medium that is evolving out of the substrate of the Internet.
The ease of use, including choice over exposure, association and privacy is increasingly going to become integral to the substrate of this medium. It is being built in.
This means that the Internet is evolving. As it does so its users will find many different ways of dealing with these issues.
In this regard all the articles I have read have been short sighted.

The Diaspora Vision
I think that the Diaspora team has this vision.
It maybe that there will be difficulties in finding how to pitch Diaspora, which parts work and which do not; difficulties in how users will adopt varous aspects of what it offers.
But finally Diaspora is part of this evolving Internet. How people come to think of the Web and use it will be influenced by the possibilities that Diaspora make available to users as it finds its own place in this evolution.

A Legislative Framework For The Decentralised World
Although the UK broadcasting model is informative, I doubt this model will be adopted by the Internet, in fact I think broadcasting in the UK is going to be subject to less control in the near future. Anyway, that model of control depends to a large extent on centralised authority, the very thing that the new Internet, Diaspora, will begin to dispell.
What I do think is that the means of delivering a new user experience will improve and that this will mean that the need for large social networking sites will change. To survive, they will have to offer something else to keep users interested.
They, too, will have to correspond with the new Internet.

Adam Saltiel

June 2010

1: Facebook: our hiccups on privacy
2: Facebook Privacy Settings Red Herring
3: List Helpful Posts And Videos About Facebook Privacy Settings
4: 10 Reasons Why Privacy Issues Won't Drive People Away from Facebook