Either businessweek.com needs a new proof-reader, or I'd like to order a pair of "increasingly large security breeches", they sound hilariously comfortable. Although I might not be allowed on an airplane wearing them.
I was having a related conversation with a friend yesterday.
You can classify readers in two groups: those who get severely annoyed by (supposedly) "small" mistakes like this, and those who don't notice that a mistake exists.
If this is true, then as a professional, you should always make sure to fix those mistakes. By any stretch of the imagination, Businessweek probably considers itself to be a professional publication; it'd do them well to have a more thorough editing process.
(this reminds me of when I wrote a paper on the Hindenburg disaster in college, and instead of air ship, I wrote air shit. The instructor was merciful.)
Also, I don't consider your observation to be a nitpick at all. A nitpick would be to urge someone to avoid using "lorry" in a sentence because the publication is aimed towards a non-British audience.
The AGPL licence and requirement for contributor licensing agreements means they can prevent people from making closed-source extensions (like for example if you wanted to tie it into your own internal authentication system), UNLESS you are willing to pay them to license it to you under a dual license.
Can they do that? The "Limitations on Diaspora, Inc." section of the contributor agreement says:
> Diaspora, Inc. will not distribute your Contribution to any third party under any license without also requiring that third party to also make your Contribution available to the public under the same license.
I'm not sure but it sounds like that might prevent them from closed-source dual-licensing arrangements. I suppose that doesn't preclude them from building their own proprietary extensions to the Diaspora software for their own hosted services, although the agreement also states:
> Diaspora, Inc. will distribute the Diaspora™ Software, as a whole, under version 3 or later of the AGPL.
If extensions are considered part of the software "as a whole" then they might not even be able to do that.
Does anyone else think that the name "Diaspora" is downright terrible for mass-marketing a new social network? It has a dark connotation for those who know what it means, it's a bizarre word for those who don't, and neither case is particularly "cool", at least to your average joe. And if Diaspora isn't trying to go Facebook-big, what's the point?
All that said, I'm still rooting for their core mission. Social networking deserves to be an open protocol, not a closed service.
I don't sense any dark connotation for the word. I've seen it used most often in a pretty value-neutral way to describe any group of people living outside their country of origin. These days most diaspora are composed of economic emigrants who have left their homelands voluntarily in search of opportunity.
It's also the title of a very good science fiction novel that I would say treats the word without negative connotations.
It has pretty common connections to the Jewish Diaspora during and after World War II. While it's not as common a usage as "the Holocaust", among many folks (especially those with a little knowledge of 20th century history), "the Diaspora" refers first to the Jewish one.
The definition I'm familiar with for Jewish Diaspora (which is corroborated by all the Google hits on the first page) is the dispersal of the Jewish people starting in the 6th century BCE. Where do you get the connection to World War II?
I wonder to what extent this is actually true, and to what extent it's a meme that's grown around (the social network called) Diaspora. I've spent a fair amount of time with people who are part of the Jewish and Zimbabwean diasporas, and I've never picked up on a "dark" vibe to the word. And, as decode points out, the Jewish diaspora refers primarily to the ancient Jewish exile and dispersal from Palestine, not to 20th century history. I see the word more as a part of Jewish culture and tradition that's if anything celebrated, but Jewish readers are welcome to tell me I'm being crass and culturally insensitive.
I have a bond with naturally occurring English words as product names. I don't think they should apologize, or feel bad for having a name that people don't know.
I would HOPE that people would learn from it, and end up with a slightly better vocabulary, and be thankful for it.
On the flipside, it's NOT a commonly used word, so SEO for it (at least for the name) should be drop dead easy. A search for Diaspora should contain either a wiki link to a disambiguation page, or an article about them. That's about as good as you can hope for, SEO wise, though I obviously have to concede that the name fails the obvious pronounceability test, but as more and more of our interactions are relegated to clicks, that's becoming less of an issue than it used to be.
I don't get the fascination with Diaspora. StatusNet is distributed, open, easy to set up, established, and extensible, and already has a large number of users (e.g. on identi.ca). What does this bring to the table? Newness?
On the one hand, I get that. On the other hand, many of the people who frequent the site where this is getting prominence use Vim, which is (admittedly indirectly, via vi) a 30-year-old product at this point. I'd hope that we could rise above newness when appropriate.
Not really. StatusNet has (private, if desired) groups, photo uploads, events, URL sharing, and (on a local install, not on identi.ca) arbitrary-length status updates. I guess it's closer to the defunct Pownce than either Twitter or Facebook, but that puts them closer to Facebook than Twitter at this point in the game.
I'm actually glad they are continuing on and fighting the stigma of the "best social network that never was".
I have used Diaspora's site for a while and prefer it to Facebook and Google+. The problem is trying to maintain three separate social networks. Since most of the people I like to keep up with are on FB and G+, my use of Diaspora has slowed down over the past year or so.
We have 50 employees in 3 offices - and have found it to be a really useful internal communication tool.
Each person has a 'private' G+ (apps) account; we share stuff, have threaded conversations, etc - it's WAY better than email for a variety of things, and all the conversations remain limited to people from our organization.
It's totally not what G+ was intended for, but it works well.
G+ is ideal for me. I live far away from my family and using Google Picasa I upload photos that I only share with my family.
I don't trust Facebook with my photos. At any moment they could make a deliberate privacy change and expose private family photos to the Internet.
I value that privacy, and although Google might one day make a mistake and accidentally open a security hole, they don't have a history of deliberately reducing users privacy without their express consent.
All my family are signed up, so G+ is no longer an empty ghost town for me. My 'friends' on the other hand are still all on Facebook. I'm just a lurker now on FB.
Still AGPLed and requires a contributor license agreement before submitting patches? Yeah sorry, but I'm not interested in doing your work for you so you can dual-license it and sell it to companies while I can't make my own proprietary extensions for it.
I have been on Diaspora for a while. At first it was interesting. A mixture of tumblr facebook and twitter. I really enjoyed having a facebook style community with GIFs.
Then nothing happened. The user base stagnated. I am unsure if it was because the site was glitch ridden. Or people just do not care about privacy. Words are one thing, but actions speak. Many of my facebook friends will post anti-facebook privacy news links. Yet, they have not joined Diaspora or have left facebook.
> Many of my facebook friends will post anti-facebook privacy news links. Yet, they have not joined Diaspora
I've noticed quite a lot of people tried to join Diaspora, but were stuck on waiting lists. Not sure if that's still happening, but I think it constituted some serious self-foot-shooting. If anyone's still having this problem, I think diasp.org will let you sign up.
Most people don't get the idea that Diaspora has lot's of available servers, and some of them can be filled up (thus you'll have to wait if you want to join those). But no one stops you from joining others which have spare capacity. That's the point of Diaspora - it's decentralized. See:
On the contrary, I see a constant influx of new users joining, and lot's of active very interesting topics. Diaspora can be an interesting place, or look like a stagnated wasteland depending on how you use it, and your skill in applying hashtags.
I think they are. Just not to such a degree that they're willing to walk away from what's currently working for them or put in the extra effort to manually manage privacy settings of every update.
Frankly, when you 'fix' Facebook's privacy issues, much of what people like about it doesn't work anymore.
e.g. People love to look up and keep tabs on old friends and flames on facebook. But you can't really do that with privacy settings that hide location, history and profile pictures by default, nor with 'groups' that allow those old friends/flames to share their updates/pictures only with their current friends/flames.
Higher-privacy is almost self-defeating for a social network with Facebook-style use.
Though it can be pretty key for things like Linked-In, where updates are less frequent, you don't have overlapping levels of formality between 'contacts', privacy is more-valued in that context, etc.
How is the security now? I basically gave up on Diaspora after their first code release proved to be pathetically insecure and showed that security was not even vaguely considered from the start (Outside of encryption between pods).
I thought this was an open source project run by volunteers, I was aware of the kickstarter donations, but did not think there was a business structure that had been set up? Is that the case? Otherwise what does this have to do with yc? (why investors if there's nothing to invest in?) And if there is an investable business there, what exactly is the revenue stream? Honestly curious, can someone explain?
The project is run and was started by the team asking for backing on Kickstarter. The article hinted at various ways they could make money. I think the most promising would be to allow advertisers on the servers they run, and let them have whatever data their users choose to share. Just because users own their data doesn't mean they will always choose to hide it from advertisers.
I'm sure it has been discussed elsewhere, but does FB actually earn $5.11 per user? That's amazing to me - I rarely use the site, but even when I am on I don't recall ever clicking an ad. In fact, I don't know many people that have either.
The NY Times has a habit of running themes of headlines for a while; I've noticed this one too. The other big one from about a year ago was the, "X is the Y, except when it's not" - they had (what seemed to me like) one article a month like that.
It shouldn't be a business. It should be a sustainable project. The moment you make it a business, it looses its core value - "by users, for users". That said, the project needs to sustain development and growth of course. The difference is in the goal. Business' goal is to make money, and it's driven by for profit reasons. Such kind of project's goal should be to make a good (user oriented, privacy protecting and so on) social network, and it should be driven by that reason.
And yet almost all businesses/organizations that facilitate human social activity extract some sort of profit: the postal service, telephone companies, ISPs, bars/pubs, and churches (for the cynic), to name a few.
The Diaspora model is what something like Microsoft Health Vault or any other electronic personal medical records should be like. Same with Fitbit and all the other self-quantify products. I should own my own data. Its personal!
Diaspora is actually looking pretty good, I'm pleasantly surprised but am I the only one a little disappointed that they made it with Ruby? Probably. But looking through that jungle of code I wonder how far along they'd be if they had used Drupal and let that army of developers contribute with separate modules.
I'd love to tinker with it but I know whatever I do will probably break it when they update their code.
Eliminating the middle man is important to the future of the web. Having a small group control super large groups is usually a disaster. Diaspora reflects the real world, where you do not need permission from someone to talk to your friends.