Replacing Facebook With Diaspora
Facebook has left a bad taste in my mouth for a couple years now. On one hand, I've really only been keeping my account active in hopes of finding a kid I used to work with in a group home, and I found him this summer. On the other hand, I'm in the midst of making this blog you're reading a viable site that I can make a living with, and Facebook might be a part of that process — meaning that I can't just up and quit.
However, I got to yacking with some folks in a group I'm in lately, and started wondering again if there's an alternative. And not just any alternative, but an open source one (meaning any Google products are out) that I can actually use and be happy with.
I think I found one…
Essentially, Diaspora is a decentralized social media application. You can sign up with an account on one of several servers around the world (in case you're worried about Uncle Sam peeking in on you, you can pick one sitting in a country that won't cooperate with any "Show us your stuff" requests our beloved federal government makes — I don't much care at the moment and just picked a U.S. server) and talk to anyone on other servers.
The equivalent isn't really a Groups app, but more a bunch of people following the same hashtag. So, where in Facebook you might have a group called All We Do Is Gripe About Life, in Diaspora the equivalent would be a group of people following the hashtag #whineypeople.
Like Twitter, I can become friends with and "follow" certain people whose "posts" will show up in my feed. There are settings they can change so that their content will only show up in feeds of people in certain categories, so I may not see EVERYTHING someone says. If I'm close friends with someone, I'm apt to see it all. If I'm an acquaintence and they're only showing close friends I won't.
I've barely scratched the surface of how this all works, but I am really liking it. The fact that things are, so far, in chronological order is great. I'm so tired of seeing the same Facebook things over and over. But this feels like it can be more of a community than Twitter.