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?