|Developer(s)||The Diaspora Development Team|
|Stable release||0.0.3.4 / March 18, 2013|
|Preview release||Unstable branch / April 26, 2013|
|Platform||Ruby on Rails|
|Type||Social network service|
|License||AGPLv3, some parts dual-licensed under MIT License as well|
Diaspora (stylized DIASPORA*) is a free personal web server that implements a distributed social networking service. Installations of the software form nodes (termed "pods") which make up the distributed Diaspora social network.
The project was founded by Dan Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg, Raphael Sofaer and Ilya Zhitomirskiy, students at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. The group received donations in excess of $200,000 via Kickstarter. A consumer alpha version was released on November 23, 2010.
Diaspora is intended to address privacy concerns related to centralized social networks by allowing users set up their own server (or "pod") to host content; pods can then interact to share status updates, photographs, and other social data. It allows its users to host their data with a traditional web host, a cloud-based host, an ISP, or a friend. The framework, which is being built on Ruby on Rails, is free software and can be experimented with by external developers.
A key part of the Diaspora software design concept is that it should act as a "social aggregator", allowing posts to be easily imported from Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. As Village Voice writer Nick Pinto explained, "the idea is that this lowers the barriers to joining the network, and as more of your friends join, you no longer need to bounce communications through Facebook. Instead, you can communicate directly, securely, and without running exchanges past the prying eyes of Zuckerberg and his business associates."
After the project raised over $200,000 in funding via the Kickstarter website by June 1, 2010, the group began working on the software. A developer preview with a number of security holes was released on September 15, 2010. On November 23, a redesigned website was published in preparation for the alpha release, with the old site still available as a blog section. The early security holes were fixed with the alpha release.
After its foundation is completed, Diaspora's developers intend to concentrate on creating a "battery of add-on modules" in order to "facilitate any type of communication," and plan to offer a paid hosting service for Diaspora seeds.
Development was shifted to free office space provided by Pivotal Labs in San Francisco, California. The software’s alpha version was released in September 2010. The early alpha version contained many bugs and security flaws, but feedback on the free software led to quick improvements.
The software's beta release was originally scheduled for November 2011, but was postponed due to the need to add new design features and also Zhitomirskiy’s death.
In February 2012, the developers indicated that they had completed work on the software back-end to improve both pod up-time and website response time. The next phase of work involved changes to the user interface and its associated terminology to reflect the way users are actually interacting, as the software moves towards beta status, anticipated for later on in 2012.
By May 2012, development was underway to allow a high degree of customization of user posts, permitting users to post different media, such as text, photos and video with a high degree of personalization and individual expression. The developers felt that allowing individual creativity in posts will differentiate the Diaspora platform from competitors.
In October 2012, the project made its first community release at 0.0.1.0, in accordance with the semantic versioning scheme, dropping all references to the Alpha/Beta branding it had previously used. Additionally, efforts are underway to package Diaspora for Linux distributions and other systems.
See also 
- Freedom Box
- Free Software licensing
- List of AGPL web applications
- List of social networking websites
- Social media
- Diaspora Project (18 March 2013). "Diaspora Master Branch". Retrieved 26 April 2013.
- "diaspora/diaspora · GitHub". Github.com. Retrieved 2012-10-30.
- Vernon, Amy (2010-05-12). "Striking back at Facebook, the open-source way". Network World (International Data Group). Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Salzberg, Maxwell; Daniel Grippi, Raphael Sofaer, and Ilya Zhitomirskiy. "Decentralize the web with Diaspora — Kickstarter". Kickstarter. Retrieved May 13, 2010.
- "Diaspora, Inc. Contributor Agreement". Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- "Diaspora Contributor Agreement".
- "Diaspora: A first peek at Facebook's challenger". Computerworld. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
- Pinto, Nick (15 February 2012). "Rise of the Facebook-Killers page 3". The Village Voice. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Dwyer, Jim (2010-05-11). "Four Nerds and a Cry to Arms Against Facebook". New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Goodin, Dan. "Code for open-source Facebook littered with landmines". The Register. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
- "Private Alpha Invites Going Out Today". joindiaspora. December 10, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2010.
- "join diaspora — the project". Retrieved 2010-05-12.
- Weise, Karen (15 May 2012). "On Diaspora's Social Network, You Own Your Data". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
- Grippi, Dan, et al (3 February 2012). "DIASPORA* grows up". Diaspora Foundation Blog. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
- "Les créateurs de Diaspora confient les rênes à la communauté". Numerama. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- Grippi, Daniel and Maxwell Salzberg (27 August 2012). "Announcement: Diaspora* Will Now Be A Community Project". Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- "Diaspora 0.0.1.0 Released!". The Diaspora Project. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- Diaspora Developer Blog http://devblog.joindiaspora.com/2012/10/18/open-call-for-packagers/
|url=missing title (help). Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Lawson, Konrad. "Remembering Diaspora: The Open Source Social Network". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 15 July 2011. "Even if they never dominate the field, their decentralized approach and rallying cry to “take back your network” may help maintain a sustained pressure on the Googles and Facebooks of the world."
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Diaspora (social software)|