The privacy concerns everybody has been having regarding facebook is undoubtedly what caused 3033 people to pledge 116,902 dollars on Kickstarter to the open source project Diaspora. It took them only twelve days to reach 10,000 dollars. Diaspora, as far as I can tell is not much more than an idea at this point. This did not stop the New York Times from covering them already, an article which quickly people discovered includes a very geeky unix joke :), which was then promptly removed. See the guys behind Diaspora on youtube... oh so that is how you pronounce it.
It is worth sidetracking for a second to talk about Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a new type of funding site that is not actually focused on startups
and software but on "art, music, design (fashion, product, game, app,
etc), film/video, food, journalism, and other" which is an interesting
spin. It is not a crowd sourcing investment site since the creators keep
100% ownership. Crunchbase does not have much to say but you can check their FAQs. With all this attention, more people are going to take notice of
Kickstarter but both sides are going to be slightly surprised.
Back to facebook. Is facebook going away? No not really. They still have over 400 million users which means at least some of your friends are likely there and it is a
great way to stay in touch and to create new connections. The pivot they are currently doing might actually make them more successful.
However, Diaspora represents an opportunity to try and create new open
protocols that in the long run will level the playing field and give
more power to the users. The idea, I believe is to ultimately reclaim
ownership over your personal data. Let us watch what happens next.