The Birth of a Possible Facebook Alternative

by Ron on May 14, 2010

FACEBOOK Illustrations

Image by escapedtowisconsin via Flickr

Remember that poll I published a couple of weeks ago where I asked you if a credible Facebook alternative came along would you be inclined to leave Facebook? When I last reported  on May 3rd, I had 272 responses. Today, when I checked, I was astounded to find that I now had 466 responses with 310 respondents choosing the answer “Hell ya, in heartbeat.” When I checked my statistics in StatPress, I found another surprise. There was full page of link backs to one site: the Join Disaspora page on Twitter.

What, you may be wondering, is Diaspora. Well, according to the brief Twitter bio, it is a group started by some NYU students, self-proclaimed hackers, who hope to create a distributed, open source social network, one that they hope will eventually displace Facebook itself, a lofty goal for sure,  but one that captures and exemplifies the growing discontent among Facebook users.

You want to know how intense the undercurrent of anger is against Facebook? These young upstarts, according to a post in the New York Times, had to only whisper their plan and they came up with $10,000 in seed money almost instantly. They started the project on April 24th and they raised the 10 grand within 12 days. What’s more, their Twitter feed has more than 15,000 followers after less than a few weeks.

They announced on May 5th on their Twitter feed that they had reached their $10,000 goal. Today, they announced they took a break because two of their team members were going to college graduation.

That a small group of students can do this in such a short amount of time speaks volumes about the power of social networking overall, but it also says a great deal about how much people are hungering for an open alternative to Facebook that respects privacy. Whether these young programmers can really pull this off remains to be seen, but they have clearly tapped into something fundamental and I for one say, more power to them.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Leave a Comment