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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Facebook, Google Plus or Diaspora?

Yesterday I opened my Facebook account and I saw an add for the London Emirates Airline (a cable car over the Thames) and an add for SKY television. Apparently the advertisers on Facebook knew I might be interested in opening a contract from the satellite TV service and that I live only a few miles away from the Emerites Airline. I’m not sure if my personal details are safe with Facebook so I did some research into a different social network that is advertisement free: Diaspora.

Diaspora is a social network that looks like Google plus and Facebook. You can post photo’s, post comments and re-share posts, just like any other popular social network. The difference between Diaspora and his two big brothers is the fact that your privacy is taken into account. Diaspora is not in the game to make money out of its users. Obviously it costs a lot of money to build a neat, centralised, and good-working service like Google+ or Facebook. The developers need to earn their investments back by selling to their customers. These customers send us advertisements on our social network sites especially targeted at us. Diaspora earns money in a different way. They only make money out of donations from users.

The Founders
Another big difference between Diaspora and the bigger social network sites, is the fact that there is no centralised power behind it. It is a federated service with a bunch of different ‘pods’. These pods are hobbyists or small companies who own and host a Diaspora site. In other words: there is no single site. The reason for this is that your personal information is not shared with the whole network of pods. This means that there is no big corporation to worry about and that your personal information is safer.

A feature that is quite convenient about Diaspora is that you can post a comment on different social platforms. Under the ‘publish box’ there are a number of different icons. With the ‘Globe’ icon you make your post visible for all people that use Diaspora. By using the ‘Tool’ icon you can choose on which different social networks you want to post your message. Twitter and Facebook alike.

Seeing that there are only 400,000 accounts and considering that I want to stay in touch with my friends, I will not give up my Facebook just yet. I also don’t expect them to migrate to Diaspora any time soon. But on the other hand I do ‘LIKE’ the concept of Diaspora a lot.

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