This Article was written for B2B Marketing Mag in August

I’ve just received an email saying the I will be given a Alpha invite to Diaspora shortly, but has it all come too late? Is yet another social network just over kill? Am I asking all the same things I asked when Google+ got launched?


Well whenever the developers decide to roll out of bed and make Diaspora at least a beta release, it will be interesting to see it’s impact on the social world. Reading Diaspora latest post they seem to feel they are already making an impact on some of the bigger players, suggesting that Google+ imitated one of their core features, aspects, by restricting what you share with people, in the form of circles. Interestingly, I seem to make 98% of all my posts public or to all my circles, I think maybe this is because the main audience on google+ for me is of the professional kind and I tend to tailor my posts to my core audience, perhaps over time as there is more and more take up with Google+ that will change.

They have also claimed to have affected Facebook’s privacy policy … which brings me onto my next point (in a round about way)… Facebook saw the power for brands to create pages and I feel this has been a major part of it’s success (people consume and share trusted/official content more than they do any other form of content) which created a new method for brands to talk to (should be with) it’s consumers, Google+ is also on the way to providing a solution for brands. I’m not seeing anything for Diaspora so far, this actually could be one to miss for companies at the brand level, they may have to rely on individuals within the business connecting with people to start conversations.

Diaspora talk a lot about pioneering the social web they have a few bullets in their lastest post here’s my cynical take on them:

We’ll make the social web more fun it is today.

Honestly I wonder how they can make posting status updates and sharing content any more “fun” than it already is. Will they be adding one of marketing latest favourite buzz words ‘gamification’ into the mix when posting and sharing.

Our distributed design gives you the security of owning your own identity and data.

This is an interesting concept, diaspora talk about owning ‘nodes’ quite a lot, apart from the fact most users wont know what a node is. From what I understand a lot of the security issues are going to be based around shared, localised servers, now for me personally if this is the case, I think I trust the likes of Facebook and Google to hold data on me rather than some random person with an encrypted server that sits their house. Also I think Diaspora all need to start thinking about their naming conventions ‘Diaspora’ is already a bit of a mouth full and now nodes …. it’s all sounding a little un-user friendly.

This also gives you the freedom to do what you want online.

I’m pretty much free to do what I want online anyway, within the remit of the law of course, how much freer could I be.

Our ecosystem provides the commons, the connective tissue for an evolving social web.

Connective tissue, this term I believe focuses on the fact that when you post on diaspora you’ll be able to post on other networks too, you may even be able to fully integrate the networks, so you can see peoples responses and such like, this is a great concept, but hardly pioneering.

We’re not gatekeepers, so our ecosystem will always support the latest apps.

A good policy, but does this mean there will be many coders allowed to dive into the route of Diaspora’s code and start hacking away?

Well I’m sure that as soon as I get my Alpha invite I’ll be re-writing this article and apologising for my cynical remarks, until that point I’m actually quite wary of this new network, but I am looking forward to seeing it in the flesh (so to speak).

Image credit