|Developer(s)||The Diaspora Foundation|
0.6.0.1 / 20 September 2016
|Platform||Ruby on Rails|
|Type||Social network service|
|License||AGPLv3, some parts dual-licensed under MIT License as well|
Diaspora (currently styled diaspora* and formerly styled 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 crowdfunding in excess of $200,000 via Kickstarter. A consumer alpha version was released on 23 November 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 crowdfunding via the Kickstarter website by 1 June 2010, the group began working on the software. A developer preview with a number of security holes was released on 15 September 2010. On 23 November, 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 June 2012, the development team was scheduled to move to Mountain View, California as part of work with startup accelerator Y Combinator. In August 2012 the developers focus changed to working on creating makr.io, as part of their yCombinator class.
In August 2012, the founders of Diaspora announced that they would let the community take over governance of the project, while they would stay involved, but take a lesser role. The project was adopted by, and became part of, the Free Software Support Network (FSSN), which is in turn run by Eben Moglen and the Software Freedom Law Center. The FSSN acts as an umbrella organization to Diaspora development and manages Diaspora's branding, finances and legal assets.
In October 2012, the project made its first community release at 0.0.1.0, dropping all references to the Alpha/Beta branding it had previously used. At the same time development was moved to a development branch, leaving the master branch for stable releases. Additionally, efforts are underway to package Diaspora for Linux distributions and other systems.
|Version||Release date||Significant changes|
|0.0.0||October 2012||First stable version to be released|
|0.0.1||October 2012||New configuration system|
|0.0.2||November 2012||reduced start-up times and interface updates|
|0.0.3||February 2013||Many user interface changes and upgrades|
|0.1.0||May 2013||Replaced Resque with Sidekiq, removal of Capistrano deployment scripts, many new features, including "deleting a post that was shared to Facebook now deletes it from Facebook too"|
|0.1.1||July 2013||Deleting a post that was shared to Twitter now deletes it from Twitter as well and improvements on how participants are displayed on each conversation without opening them, plus new features and bug fixes|
|0.2.0||27 August 2013||Many new admin features added, some new user features including Wordpress service ability for posts|
|0.3.0||19 January 2014||Feature added, bug fixes|
|0.4.0||22 June 2014||New features like polls and post reporting, refactoring and bug fixes|
|0.4.1||14 September 2014||Emphasis on porting most of the remaining pages to Bootstrap. Lots of bug fixes and minor improvements. Terms of Service feature.|
|0.5.0||3 May 2015||Major release focusing on user interface, usability and bug fixes. Major underlying component upgrades.|
|0.6.0||26 August 2016||
- Comparison of software and protocols for distributed social networking
- Free Software licensing
- List of AGPL web applications
- List of social networking websites
- Social media
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- "Release diaspora* 0.5.0.0 · diaspora/diaspora · GitHub". GitHub. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- "diaspora* version 0.5.0.0 released!". diasporafoundation.org. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
- 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).|