Decentralize: Facebook alternatives

Now that Facebook is seeing some backlash from it's privacy policies, a number of folks are racing to create a sort 'anti-facebook' platform that will supposedly protect your private information while giving users within their social groups or 'cells' ultimate control. Diaspora is one such platform to arise and has gotten attention because of the over $200,000 the four developers have raised on Kickstarter.

It will be interesting to see if these smaller platforms will be able to carve out a niche of users or if they we will simply become in engulfed in the media machine they are trying to combat. It seems though, that no matter how much folks complain about Facebook, we still use it. Because if you're willing to give a little something up to the interweb, it still can be a useful tool if you're intentional about it.

Better Than Facebook? Fed up with Facebook's commercialism, four NYU students have created an open source, peer-to-peer alternative: Diaspora.

(SOURCE: Yes! Magazine)

We’ve known all along that Facebook was more of a commercial machine committed to corporate advertisers than a benign platform that respects individual users. The problem was, most of our friends and acquaintances were already on Facebook. The site has lots of cool features, and there was no serious alternative to migrate to.

But, as Facebook's appetite for maximum profits kicked in, we knew there would eventually be a reckoning. The uprising began when Facebook instituted a new set of changes that make it harder and more confusing to protect your personal information on the site. Users had to opt-out of the default policy—which granted Facebook generous access to your data—rather than a more reasonable opt-in policy.

Then there were the site’s privacy policy statement. At 5,830 words, the Facebook policy is thousands of words longer than those of Flickr, Twitter and MySpace. And if you really want to protect your personal information, it’s been pointed out, you have to wade through 50 settings with more than 170 options. It didn’t help that founder Mark Zuckerman was openly disdainful of the very idea of personal privacy. [ARTICLE CONTINUES...]