Diaspora – social networking that puts the user back in control.
A few months ago I started using a social network called Diaspora, this has been around for a few users and is gaining popularity world wide. What is different about Diaspora is that unlike other social networks all user data is not stored in a central location. With diaspora there are many servers (called pods) spread around the world. As Diaspora uses free software then people are free to set up their own servers and maintain fully control over how their particular pod works, from services offered to which other social networks to integrate with.
Diaspora respects user privacy if you don’t want to disclose where you live, age or other irrelevant information you don’t need to, As community details such as how old you are, are not needed when we have common interests such as the environment, computing, photography to name a few.
You can create posts in a similar way as you would with other networks, however you can share these posts either publicly, or with specific people, so if your post something about Rugby, you can post that information just to people who are interested in Rugby, this works through the use of aspects, denoted with, a # so in this case #rugby posts would be picked up by anyone following that aspect. Similarly you can share family updates just with family members. You can of course share your posts with social networks too but you do this on a post by post basis. You can also reshape posts and mention other users so you can include others in your posts too.
Diaspora growing and developing, there is an active developer community so if you have web skills and especially Ruby / Ruby on Rails then you can develop your own features, fix others or help in other ways. This could be good if you are learning new programming languages as it gives you real world experience. This is then recognised by peers and the benefits of being part of the Free and Open Source developer communities are well known and documented.
The nice thing too about diaspora is NO advertising, partly as the are not endless algorithms to scan posts for information. I can also upload pictures without having to go through another page to tag things.
For further information and to find a pod to sign up to you can go to https://diasporafoundation.org/ and follow the links there.
You can find tutorials at http://diasporial.com/
Note: The joindiaspora pod has over 120k users, and is closed to new users. You can go here to find a list of servers that are currently accepting registration and or are close to your location. If possible you should sign up to a pod in your own country, so you are not storing data on servers in a different jurisdiction.