Friendica

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Friendica
Friendica Logo.png
Screenshot of Friendica.jpg
Original author(s) Mike Macgirvin
Developer(s) Friendica community
Stable release 3.3 / October 6, 2014 (2014-10-06)
Written in PHP
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Social network service
License AGPL
Website Friendica

Friendica (formerly known as Friendika) is open source software that implements a distributed social network. Before it became Friendika, the project started initially as Mistpark, developed by Mike Macgirvin,[1][2] a software developer formerly employed by Symantec Corporation, America Online (AOL), Sun Microsystems, Netscape Communications, and Stanford University who had worked on the original Netscape Navigator project, among others. Friendica has an emphasis on extensive privacy settings and easy server installation. It aims to federate with as many other social networks as possible. In November 2014, the global directory of Friendica users has about 10,000 entries.[3] This is just the number of users who decided to publish their profiles in the public global directory.

Features[edit]

Currently, Friendica users can integrate contacts from Facebook, Twitter, Diaspora, GNU social, App.net, Pump.io and other services in their social streams. Communication is bi-directional wherever possible. There is also a bridge to include email contacts and RSS feeds. Additionally, connectors allow cross-posting to blog platforms like WordPress, Livejournal, Tumblr and Posterous. As the user account are spread over many servers, the addresses are composed of three parts, similar to email addresses, the user name, at "@" and the domain name of the Friendica instance.[4]

Friendica provides many of the features known from other microblogging or social networking service platforms, e.g. addressing interlocutors by mentioning them, private messaging, hashtags, picture galleries, "Likes" and "Dislikes", comments and the sharing of public posts. Furthermore, it is possible to edit sent posts later. Detailed privacy settings allow to control the visibility of every post. Users can create different profiles and choose which profile information which group of interlocutors can see. User profiles can be deleted, downloaded and imported to a different Friendica server.[4] It is possible to register different accounts with the same email address and easily switch between them. This feature allows users to open several groups, each of which has its group forum.[5]

There are different themes and many addons for Friendica, e.g. the connectors that establish communication with the platforms mentioned above.

The developers try to make installation of the server software easy for users with little technical expertise, arguing that decentralization on small servers is a key safeguard of online freedom and privacy. Friendica can even be installed on shared hosts, with a degree of simplicity similar to WordPress installation. Users can also elect to join public sites run by volunteers, thus avoiding installation entirely.[6]

Friendica, like GNU social, also supports the OStatus protocol suite, which allows servers to route status updates and notifications between each other in real time.[4]

Development[edit]

There is no corporation behind Friendica. Friendica sites are run by private individuals, and the developers are volunteers. The project is run informally, using the platform itself to communicate and share information.[7] There are different developer forums inside the network, such as "Friendica developers",[8] "Friendica Theme Developers"[9] and "Friendica Addons".[10] Friendica's source code is hosted on GitHub.[11][12]

List of clients[edit]

Friendica's API is compatible with the API StatusNet/GNU social has. This is why most GNU social clients can be used for Friendica. There are differences in the way each software works though so that clients lack parts of the features the web interface provides. Clients that basically work (as of autumn 2014) are:

  • Hotot (Linux)
  • Pidgin (Windows, Linux)
  • Twidere (Android)
  • Mustard (Android)

Reception[edit]

Friendica was cited in January 2012 by Infoshop News as an "alternative to Google+ and Facebook" to be used on the Occupy Nigeria movement.[13] In January 2012 Free Software Foundation Europe's blog cited Friendica as a reasonable alternative to centralized and controlled social networks such as Facebook or Google+.[14] Biblical Notes writer J. Randal Matheny described Friendica in January 2012 as "One social networking option flying under the radar until recently deserves consideration as an already stable platform with a wide range of options, applications, plug-ins, and possibilities for opening up the Internet."[15] In February 2012, the German computer magazine c't wrote: "Friendica demonstrates how decentralized social networks can become widely accepted."[16] Another German publication, the professional magazine t3n listed Friendica as a Facebook rival in an online article in March 2012 about Facebook alternatives. It compared Friendica with similar social networks like Diaspora and identi.ca.[17] MSN Tech & Gadgets contributor Emma Boyes wrote about Friendica in May 2012: "why you'll love it: you can use it to access all the other social networks and get recommendations of new friends and groups to join. Friendica is open source and decentralised. There's no corporation behind it and there are extensive privacy settings. You can choose from a variety of user interfaces and it boasts some cool features - for instance, being able to key in a list of your interests and use the 'profile match' feature to recommend other users who share them with you. A word of warning, though, the site is not as user-friendly as the others on this list, so it may be this one is one for the geeks."[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Mistpark's license on github". GitHub. 
  2. ^ "Mistpark's last README file on github pointing the new project Friendika". GitHub. 
  3. ^ "Friendica' global directory". 
  4. ^ a b c "Features". Friendica. 
  5. ^ "friendica/Forums.md at master · friendica/friendica · GitHub". GitHub. 
  6. ^ "Friendica Public Portals". Friendica. 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  7. ^ Macgirvin, Mike (n.d.). "Somebody asked me...". Friendica. Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  8. ^ "Friendica Developers' Forum". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  9. ^ "Friendica Theme Developers' Forum". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  10. ^ "Friendica Addon Developers' Forum". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  11. ^ "Friendica's GitHub repository". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  12. ^ "GitHub repository for Friendica's addons". Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  13. ^ "A Social Network Alternative for Occupy Nigeria". Infoshop News. 2012-01-16. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  14. ^ Grote, Torsten (2012-01-23). "Dradio Wissen: Dezentrale Soziale Netzwerke". FSFE blog. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  15. ^ Matheny, J. Randal (2012-01-29). "A smarter way to social networking". Biblical Notes. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  16. ^ "Diaspora und andere Facebook-Alternativen - c't-Archiv, 5/2012, Seite 136". Heise.de. Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  17. ^ "Facebook-Alternativen: Große und kleine Rivalen des sozialen Netzwerks". t3n Magazin. 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  18. ^ Boyes, Emma (2012-05-18). "Nine social networks more interesting than Facebook". MSN Tech & Gadgets. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 

External links[edit]