Enter the challenger. Diaspora.

http://www.allamapress.com/category/hacking_tutorialsThis post is inspired by a news.com.au article

There’s a new kid on the blocks and it may just rock Facebook’s world. Say hello to what could be the next evolutionary step for Social Media. Diaspora.

What is Diaspora?

Well in short we don’t really know as confirmed functions are minimal. What we do know is that Diaspora aims to provide a social media platform that is secure, differentiating itself from Facebook on privacy whilst acting as an accumulator, allowing for multiple social media updates from one central point.

What does it need to do?

There’s a number of factors that could lead to its success:

1. It needs to be simple to set up

Anybody regardless of their IT skills (or lack thereof) should be able to set up the site. I like to think of it as the ‘mum test’ if my mother wanted to set up a profile would she be able to? This is a massive advantage that Facebook has the moment, it’s easy to set up.

The proposal at the moment sees the source code being released for developers in September with a public ‘alpha’ version released in October.

The problem is, we don’t know much. Yet. September 15 is close but until then I don’t think Diaspora will be an immediate success. Coding skills are likely to be a necessity, which counts me out, however the Alpha will likely solve this.

2. It needs to aggregate social media

What do I mean? Imagine you represent a business, you have Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and a blog. Each of these needs to be monitored separately and updated accordingly. This is an inefficient use of resources. It takes time. Accordingly any tool that can update multiple forms of social media from the one point will develop a desirable point of differentiation.

3. It needs a Facebook privacy issue to break

The project commenced amongst a media firestorm over privacy concerns with Facebook. It was these concerns that inspired the developers and attracted investment. These concerns remain but the story has gone cold over time. If an issue breaks then an alternative site (Diaspora) may be able to encourage users to change. There is a chance that the privacy issues will spark again with the release of the movie Catfish. This movie focus on a relationship formed between an artist and a child in America that develops into a relationship with the family as a whole. The full plot is a closely guarded secret but is reported as being focused on the ‘seamier side of Facebook’

So will it succeed?

I don’t know. If the three factors above occur and Diaspora is well marketed I believe it has a chance. However any change will take time.

Three questions for you.

  1. What do you think about the brand name? Does it turn you on? Or turn you off?
  2. Is this the Facebook killer? The next evolutionary step? A failure? Or something in-between?
  3. What other factors could lead Diaspora to succeed?

6 Responses to Enter the challenger. Diaspora.

  1. mraheelbaig says:

    Nice sharing Tim, i am not sure it can be the next big thing or not.
    But the thing that i like the most is that you can update all your social media through one point.
    And i saw the trailer of CAT FISH and can’t wait to see it should be interesting.


    • iamsosmrt says:

      I agree Raheel,
      I think the aggegation of multiple social medias will be Diaspora’s biggest strength (assuming that it actually comes about and is not a scurrilous rumour).

  2. Mikey's blog says:

    I personally think the name is quite clever but has no commercial appeal. Hmmm, maybe to clever for its own good?
    Facebook looks quite solid sitting there on the top, but history has taught us that even the biggest empires can be ripped apart. In saying that, I still believe that facebook has a lot of untapped potential which we are yet to see and in addition they have over 350 million members. I think Diaspora represents a great product, one that I’m sure will get a lot of followers who have an issue with the non privacy aspect of facebook, but maybe not enough to migrate the loyal facebook advocates over to a new world.

    • iamsosmrt says:

      It’s a tough one, if you look at Facebook it was launched as ‘The Facebook’ which sounds a bit weird. Also I can’t imagine google was a commonly used word when it was released. I think any migration will be slow. Diaspora will not get instant mass migration, but I think it will achieve steady growth over the coming 6 months.

  3. Marion Ware says:

    Hi Tim,

    Great post! There will always be better and more advanced applications in the making. Having said that Diaspora is a very strange name for a social networking tool? From what I know it originally relates to the migration of a group of people into exile. I wonder what sort of message that sends to those how are familiar with the term. Maybe I am a little cynical though as well.

    I don’t think that it will kill Facebook, one may find that it will appeal to a different market segment or group and it really depends on how well it will be developed and marketed. Facebook may even consider buying into it for its own use? Let me know your thoughts.


  4. rubiscoob says:

    I must say that I have never heard of the term Diaspora before, thanks to you and Google for enlightening me! I do have a feeling that some cultures will understand the term better than others, and you’re right in saying that none of us knew whether ‘Google’ would make any sense either. If you have the right kind of concept then you will always gain your eager followers, how many make a jump from Facebook or embrace the new site will be left to the speculators. I know personally there are not enough hours in the day to be active enough in all the social media sites, and who wants to be so active that you aren’t living your real world life? I think it will come down to personal choice, kind of like the Mac and PC teams that you find out there now, you’ll be a one or the other. For my lazy self I’ll stick to facebook, that is unless the peer pressure gets too much and all my ‘friends’ move to the far trendier Diaspora.

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