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What Happened to Diaspora, the Facebook Killer? It's Complicated

pigrabbitbear (2519384) writes | about a year and a half ago

Facebook 0

pigrabbitbear writes "Created by four New York University students, Diaspora tried to destroy the notion that one network could completely dominate the web. Diaspora – "the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network,” as described on their Kickstarter page – offered what seemed like the perfect antidote to Zuckerbergian tyranny. The New York Times quickly got wind. Tired of being bullied, technologists rallied behind the burgeoning startup spectacle, transforming what began as a fun project into a political movement. Before a single line of code had been written, Diaspora was a sensation. Its anti establishment rallying cry and garage hacker ethos earned it kudos from across an Internet eager for signs of life among a generation grown addicted to status updates.

And yet, the battle may have been lost before it even began. Beyond the difficulty of actually executing a project of this scope and magnitude, the team of four young kids with little real-world programming experience found themselves crushed under the weight of expectation. Even before they had tried to produce an actual product, bloggers, technologists and open-source geeks everywhere were already looking to them to save the world from tyranny and oppression. Not surprisingly, the first release, on September 15, 2010 was a public disaster, mainly for its bugs and security holes. Former fans mockingly dismissed it as “swiss cheese.”"

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