- Conflict & Crisis
By JG Vibes
January 15, 2013
This week the death of Aaron Swartz has been a primary focus in my research, and one of the interesting things that I have learned along the way is that he isn’t the first revolutionary tech genius to die in an alleged suicide over the past few years.
In my research I was brought to the story of Ilya Zhitomirskiy a Russian-American software developer and entrepreneur.
Zhitomirskiy was a co-founder and developer of Diaspora, an open source, decentralized social network that is a direct competitor of Facebook.
When I stumbled across this information, signing up for Diaspora was already on my list of things to do, but then I felt compelled to sign up at that very minute, just to get the ball rolling and get familiar with the site to see if it was something that I would be interested in.
Someone who wanted to make the world a better place literally poured blood, sweat, tears and soul into this project, so it seems to me that it would be at least worth my time to check it out.
Especially since so few people in the world today do things for the right reasons.
Looking deeper into this situation I found that after this tragic event passed, the entire social network was handed over to be managed by the whole community of individuals who use the site and want to contribute.
There is also large emphasis of privacy, free speech and information freedom on the network, making it a very appealing set up for activists and freedom minded people.
It seems every week there is some new problem with Facebook. They start charging for this, or they start charging for that, or they cut off 90% of your news feed, or perhaps they ban your account because you were tagged in a photo that was deemed inappropriate.
Facebook has become a total monster, they are in bed with the NSA and the CIA, heavily influenced by corporate backers like Goldman Sachs and constantly disappointing users with poor service and networking.
With all that being said, the solution is not to save Facebook and make Facebook good, that would be a futile goal. What is a worthwhile goal, is to create, support or promote something better.
As I explained in an article a few months back titled “Calling All Hackers: The World Needs a New Social Network”:
If we wanted to fight a losing battle we could protest Facebook, and try to get them to change their polices. However, that doesn’t really seem like it would be effective, and it hasn’t been effective in the past.
What actually needs to take place is the same sort of exodus that we saw from MySpace to Facebook, and in order for that exodus to take place we are going to need a more appealing social network for people to migrate to.
There are already some newer social networks popping up, but it doesn’t seem like any of them can compete with Facebook, at least not yet anyway.
I know that there are masses of hackers out there that are way more intelligent than Mark Zuckerberg, and they can work together to create a decentralized, open source social network that blows Facebook completely out of the water.
so what do you say guys? is the challenge accepted?
At the time I was writing this I had no clue that Diaspora was already out there, gathering more and more users by the day.
So far i am finding the website to be a great way of connecting with like minded people, offering better features than Facebook, and a very easy signup. I have also found that the members there are much more freedom minded than you would find on Facebook.
There is obviously only a fraction of the number of people here as compared to Facebook, so activists and others who are trying to get the word out should still keep and use their Facebook accounts.
However, our traffic is important to peoples Facebook feeds, and if we make profiles on Diaspora, talk about how great it is and maybe even offer some exclusive content there, we may be able to kickstart the kind of exodus that we saw take place from Myspace to Facebook.
Once you sign up, add me on Diaspora HERE.
Read more articles by this author HERE.
J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer and reporter for The Intellihub and host of a show called Voluntary Hippie Radio.
You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com