Diaspora promised itself to be the ultimate free software Facebook-killer, and in the process became a blockbuster – the second biggest Kickstarter project ever, at the time. Four university students were inspired to spend their summer building privacy-focused social networking software that gave the user control, after listening to a speech by Eben Moglen.
While software has been produced, after the runaway success of the initial campaign and subsequent pressure to produce a result, the project has struggled to gain traction with a critical mass of users.
- Campaign: Kickstarter
- Campaign date: 2010-06
- Campaign status: successful
- Campaign backers: 6479
- Campaign raised: US$200641 of 10000
- Project type: new
- Project license: AGPL
The campaign was in June 2010. The first “pre-alpha” release of the software was September 2010, although that was marred by security problems. In June 2011, Google launched Google Plus, with many commentators noting the similarity of Google Plus concepts to those in Diaspora. In November 2011 one of the original founders, Ilya Zhitomirskiy, committed suicide. In August 2012, the founders announced that they were handing Diaspora over to the community.
Much has been written about Diaspora! Here is a selection. For more check out the Diaspora wiki.
- Four Nerds and a Cry to Arms Against Facebook – a New York Times profile during the campaign period that helped bring the project attention
- On Diaspora’s Social Network, You Own Your Own Data
- What happened to the Facebook killer? It’s complicated
- Profit and loss statement from the campaign funds