Tag Archives: diaspora

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Still In Development, Social Network Diaspora Pleads For Additional Funding

Diaspora, the social network that garnered worldwide attention thanks to an epic $200,000+ Kickstarter donation, needs more money. At least that’s according to an e-mail I just received from the Diaspora developers. It’s embedded below with click-able links if you’d like to donate.

What Is Diaspora?

Edudemic featured the social network start-up back in May and not too much has changed since them. Here’s some of the basic details:

It doesn’t want to be the new Facebook. Heck, the new social networking platform currently under development at NYU has one goal: security. Four students at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences are building a networking system designed to let students (and others) share information in a secure manner.

The Email From Diaspora:

Dear Friend of Diaspora* -

We love you. Yes. Really, we do.

We’re building Diaspora*, in a spirit of community, because we believe in you. You’re one of the innovators, the creative ones, the people who make the world awesome.

We’re building tools that we hope will help you bring your true voice to the world. For no other reason than we want to see what you’ll say and do here, where you’ll have total control over your privacy, identity, and data. We’re doing this for the pure joy of it.

You’ve been incredibly patient in waiting for an invitation. We’re still working as fast as we can to get yours to you, and we’re sorry it’s taking so long.

In the meantime, though, we’re reaching out to ask if you’d be willing to help us go faster. Every dollar we’ve spent building Diaspora* has come from the generosity of our community, from people like you who believe in what we’re building, and have given some of their hard-earned money to support our work.

Every one of these gifts has been incredibly humbling. Each one says that someone shares our belief in what’s possible, and is willing to go the extra distance to help make it happen. Every time someone contributes, it feels like a huge, warm hug.

With love, humility and respect, we‘re writing to ask if you’d be willing to make a gift as well.

We’re not in this for the money. But any amount you can give will really make a difference. It will help us bring Diaspora* to you faster, and it will help us keep building the best service we possibly can, for everyone.

Also, if you can give any amount at all, we’ll be sure to get you an invitation to join us at joindiaspora.com right away. (Just to be clear, you’ll still get your invitation regardless. But if you make a gift, we’ll get it to you now, so you won’t have to wait any longer.)

We recently asked people who are already using Diaspora* what they love about our service. There were tons of beautiful responses. Here are a few of our favorites:

What people love about Diaspora*

Diaspora is:

  • For benefit rather than profit.
  • A community rather than a corporation.
  • A place where who you are and what you say and to whom is all in your control, not in the control of the people who run it.
  • Run by people who listen to their users and respond.
- Goober Fox

It’s interesting how much people seem to be sharing on an intellectual level, there are conversations here. Not just short comments and banter.

- Satu Jokinen

…all the… wonderful friends I’ve made here who are too numerous to list…

- Garidin Winslow

I like that i can control who to share what with. I like that I’m not bombarded with alcohol, sex, dating and violence ads all the time… and I love the whole concept its buil[t] up upon. Its like the internet I got to know when I first got online many… years ago

- Bohs Hansen

Freedom.

- Paks

No clutter. ;)

- Carlex Crespo

This is a simple and effective place for adults, or; just for all the people who appreciate ‘simple’ and effective things; ha!

- May M

Geez, where to begin? :-)

  • The decentralized approach.
  • The absolute freedom of name, gender and expression.
  • Ownership of your data…
  • Knowing you do it for the sake of advancement and not for profit – makes me want to donate to it!
  • The lovely, intelligent, creative, funny and übergeeky people I am sharing with.
  • The hearts. I ♥ the hearts. And the ☮ signs.
  • It’s open source, so no vendor lock-ins or sneaky partnerships
  • The way it could set information free, since a regime can block out one site, but never win a pod info war.

And it’s just in alpha, right? Whoa….

- Lars Christensen, a.k.a. Organic Unit 070678

I love the heart of the idea of becoming a Diasporian. Diaspora started off with a good heart. That’s what will keep it alive.

- Dao

It’s just so heart-warming to read comments like these. What we’re building here is so much more than just another social network. At its core, Diaspora* is a new community, a uniquely free one, based on a positive vision of how we can all experience community online.

It’s a community effort too. Which is why so many people are contributing whatever they can. And why we hope you’ll take a moment to give $25.-, or whatever you can, to support this vision today.

Your support will make a real difference, and it will mean the world to us.

Thank you.

- Ilya, Dan, Max, Sarah, Yosem, and Peter

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

NYU Students Building New Secure Social Network, Focusing On Privacy

NYU Students Building New Secure Social Network, Focusing On Privacy

It doesn’t want to be the new facebook. Heck, the new social networking platform currently under development at NYU has one goal: security. Four students at New York University’s Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences are building a networking system designed to let students (and others) share information in a secure manner. It looks like this is not only going to happen, it’s already being embraced by investors.

A Response To Facebook’s Privacy Boondoggle?

We at EduDemic are curious if this project is a response to the recent Facebook privacy concerns. We’re also wondering if the project, named Diaspora, will ever see the light of day. Currently the four NYU students are trying to get some help with the daunting project. Have a listen to what they have to say about why you should join Diaspora:

Diaspora is currently wrapping up its initial round of funding. In fact, they’ve gotten more than $22,000 despite their original goal of needing just $10,000. This is a big achievement for such a small group of students. Perhaps it’s a sign of the web community’s overall rancor involving Facebook and its ever-changing privacy decisions.

Tell Me More!

Here’s a look at what Diaspora hopes to accomplish, according to the Kickstarter website:

We have a plan, a bunch of ideas and the programming chops to build Diaspora. What we need is the time it takes to iron out a powerful, secure, and elegant piece of software. Daniel, Ilya, Raphael, and Maxwell are all ready to trade our internships and summer jobs for three months totally focused on building Diaspora. We want to write code all the time, everyday. Once we have made our first solid iteration, we are going to release our code as free software so everyone can make Diaspora even better. $10,000 buys the software for everyone who wants to use it, forever. We think it can change the way people communicate and empower individuals to permanently take control of their online identities.

After we open source our source code, we hope to also provide a paid turnkey hosted service in the vein of WordPress.com to make it easy for people who want to use Diaspora, but don’t want to deal with the fuss of setting it up.* We will make it easy to export your data and configuration, so if you decide you want to graduate and host your seed yourself, you are free to do so at anytime.

Our goal is for everyone to have full control over their data and to empower people in to become responsible, secure, and social Internet dwellers. We believe offering this service will be helpful to non-technical users who are also worried about their data and privacy online.

The Geeky Info About Diaspora:

We are 140-character ideas. We are the pictures of your cat. We are blog posts about the economy. We are the collective knowledge that is Wikipedia. The internet is a canvas – of which, we paint broad and fine strokes of our lives with. It is a forward extension of our physical lives; a meta-self comprised of ones and zeros. We are all that is digital: If we weren’t, the internet wouldn’t either.

current state.

We already have a rudimentary prototype of Diaspora running on our machines, and are working like mad to make it all we can be. Our current implementations include GPG encryption, scraping Twitter and Flickr, awesome design aesthetics, and the initial stages of connection infrastructure (“friending” other Diaspora instances).

first sprint.

It is our one and only goal to get Diaspora in the hands of every man, woman, and child at summer’s end. September 2010 will signify the release of the project in its first iteration, fully open-sourced under the GPL. This release will be comprised of several key features for Diaspora, mainly:

  • Full-fledged communications between Seeds (Diaspora instances)
  • Complete PGP encryption
  • External Service Scraping of most major services (reclaim your data)
  • Version 1 of Diaspora’s API with documentation
  • Public GitHub repository of all Diaspora code

second sprint.

Once the core application is finished, we will focus on extending Diaspora, unleashing a battery of add-on modules and updates to the core system with the open-source community. We will migrate back to New York City to set up house, and will devise plans to make it even easier for the general public to utilize Diaspora, a la a dead-simple, five-minute setup. Like the first sprint, the second sprint will also be all about reclaiming all that is us.

flooring it to 88mph.

The future will offer a multitude of amazing new capabilities for Diaspora. A taste of what’s floating around in our heads right now:

  • OpenID
  • Voice-over IP
  • Distributed Encrypted Backups
  • Instant Messaging protocol
  • UDP integration