Friday, May 14, 2010

Decentralizing the web with Diaspora

Many people are becoming concerned about a lack of privacy as they use the internet to communicate directly with others or pass information to the general public.  The model that has emerged to provide these services consists of a central distribution "hub" or disseminating station that processes information before it reaches its selected receiver.  That way the company providing the service is able to use or skim off that information to resell to their advertisers.  As users, we agree to these conditions because we want or need the service to interact with others.  The only alternative for many is to not engage in social interaction on the net and return or limit ourselves to more traditional ways of communicating.

Now, a group of students in New York are developing a way to decentralize the way knowledge and information is passed between us.  This summer they will be writing the code and building up a launch for Diaspora. They are developing a way where we all can have our own servers and control how the information we wish to provide to others is distributed and seen, without a centralized hub.  I am not a techie but what they explain about their work is really cool and interesting stuff!  Read the April 21st bog entry here.  Another site that helps fund projects such as these and explains more about Diaspora is at Kickstarter.  And, by the way, if you are wondering if these guys are on to something good, consider this.  They have asked for donations of $10,000 by June 1st—so far they have $134,000!

To me, this seems to bring the internet back to where many of it's initial developers intended— a free and unencumbered flow of information between all the peoples of the world.  Congratulations and thank you Maxwell, Daniel, Raphael and Ilya!

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