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As Facebook users continue to grumble over privacy violations and leave the site piecemeal, Diaspora may be proving that when you launch is just as important as what you launch.
Diaspora aims to produce an open source application that will allow people to not only share data with friends, but to control what information is shared. There are two planned methods, the first being self-hosted, the second is a hosted service by Diaspora.
Matt Asay of CNET was quick to point out that Diaspora’s, “approach has the potential to limit the service’s appeal by introducing complexity,” but it also has the real possibility of making the project incredibly popular. As pointed out on ReadWriteWeb, Diaspora’s approach is very similar to WordPress’, one of the most dominant blogging platforms. If Diaspora is able to succeed in emulating the success of WordPress, its four founders could find Diaspora both popular and profitable.
While other open source offerings like Identi.ca have failed to usurp their mainstream competitors, Diaspora’s inception has the advantage of coming as Facebook continues to draw flak from its users over privacy issues.
The idea behind Diaspora isn’t a new one, in fact OneSocialWeb has been working on a Facebook alternative since January, but what they’ve lacked is the kind of public support Diaspora is generating, not just in terms of eyeballs, but in dollars.