Anti-Social Networking

I’m not sure how sticky a wicket I’m on here, but here goes:

Firstly, I’m amused but not affected by the recent takeover of Instagram by Facebook. I discontinued my relationship with Facebook quite recently, and I have never used Instagram.

It does, however, bother me that organisations such as Facebook take our data and share the bits we allow them to with others, while keeping all of it for themselves.

Not only themselves, of course, but potentially anybody they judge fit to find a responsible use (and give them huge bags of cash) for the data. I’m not trying to allege something specific about Facebook, just extrapolating what I know of human nature and sharp business behaviours.

@solobasssteve has turned me towards Diaspora, a social networking software project which I’m just beginning to explore. It looks like a smart move given their stated position on the ownership of data and the apparent privacy with which one can conduct one’s social media presence.

Of course, that’s almost a contradiction. On the one hand you have the deliberately open (too much information? – you were how drunk?) model on which the current social media platforms du jour operate, and the anti-sharing social network thing going on with Diaspora which seems quite closed at first glance but yet has already allowed me to connect with people I didn’t know from other networks, linked together by interest or tag but still in a position to choose whether to connect at all rather than waiting for the block function to be activated.

I’m on with some of my friends, one or two personal heroes and at least one homebrewer. Naturally, my identity on there is a closely guarded secret, but anybody who knows me well will be able to find me without too much trouble.

I have no idea where this goes. One member already commented that although imperfect, at least Diaspora isn’t overtly evil. Is that the best we get?


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