Instead of just kvetching about Facebook, these four self-described “talented young nerds” are doing something. They’re constructing a new kind of open-source distributed social network called Diaspora, and protecting all your information is at its core. Instead of handing over your bits to a central hub, it goes into your personalized server or “seed.” You own the server, you own your data. Everything is private and encrypted by default. It’s up to you to decide how much or how little you want to reveal. Sound crazy? There’s plenty of people who don’t think so. In just 20 days, the NYU students have raised $93,068 on Kickstarter. [More]
If John Williams, the CEO of Domtar Corp., has his way, kids all across North America will be asking for printers this holiday season. Somehow I doubt he’ll have his way, but here’s his plan: his company is about to launch a “Put It On Paper” campaign via print, Facebook and YouTube that will encourage people to print out things like emails and web pages. [More]
Yesterday, Facebook announced an awesome new feature that lets anyone see your current city, hometown, education, work, likes, and interests, even if you’ve set your profile to private. Will this benefit individual users and their friends? Not unless the only thing you remember about your dear friend is that they enjoy leather-play and you’re willing to scroll through reams of headshots to find them. No, this new privacy erosion is for the real clients of Facebook: advertisers, and the data-mining minions that toil on their behalf. However, there are two ways to be totally private. [More]
Bebo is a social network a few rungs down from Facebook, which for all practical purposes means it may as well be someone’s WordPress blog. That’s why AOL is finally admitting it missed the window for social network dominance and will sell it or close it “soon,” according to an internal memo. If you’ve been hanging on to a Bebo account and hoping the tide would turn, you might want to start checking out the other more popular social networks out there. [More]
A new book out by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler—Connected: The Surprising Power of Social Networks…— looks at the way personal relationships affect your life, including everything from your weight to whether or not you smoke or drink bad beer.
Kelly has found that Classmates.com not only makes it extremely tough to cancel your membership, but damn near impossible to get a refund if you sign up for its gold status automatic renewal program.