Diaspora* Would Like You To Know It Still Exists, Notice Its Pierced Ear

Do you guys remember Diaspora? The kickstarter project of a few NYU students that wanted to do something about Facebook’s overreaching use of your data? Well, they’re still around, still working on that whole social networking thing. Also, don’t call them Diaspora. They’re Diaspora* now. With a *. It’s silent, you see?

Diaspora* sent out emails this week to some folks who signed up to try it out once the service is ready. Along with it came a nice status update on the progress of the project the internet so kindly subsidized back in May of 2010. The email brings us up to speed on some of the contributions the team has made which, apparently, includes Google+:

There’s been big news in the social networking world recently, and we can’t help but be pleased with the impact our work has had on two of the biggest developments. We’re proud that Google+ imitated one of our core features, aspects, with their circles. And now Facebook is at last moving in the right direction with user control over privacy, a move spurred not just by Google+, but more fundamentally by you and thousands of other donors, as well as hundreds of thousands of people who’ve lined up to try Diaspora* — that is, by all of us who’ve stood up to say “there has to be a better way.” We’re making a difference already.

Emphasis original.

Thanks, you guys! I for one wish that I had been an early donor to Diaspora* when they were still calling it Diaspora, so I could also be part of the creation of Google+. Or something.

Yes, the Diaspora* folks are not-so-subtly implying that the Circles in Google+ were their idea. Which, you know, might be true! While I didn’t understand what the heck “aspects” were when I first read the teaser for their service back in September of last year, looking back I can see how the phrasing of the teaser might describe something like Circles. Of course, another thing that also sounds like it describes Google+’s Circles is….well…the idea of social circles.

To be honest, I was excited about Diaspora* when it was first announced, and I still kind of am! As an internet citizen, I’m always excited about new services to try out. It’s pretty fun! However, if I may address Diaspora* directly, three things: one, kindly finish a product before you talk about your contributions to the internet. Two, once you have done so, don’t claim that other people imitated you by utilizing very basic concepts that we’re all familiar with, and implementing them before you did. And lastly, please take that silly asterisk out of your name. It’s silly. It makes you look silly. Silly. And you already have an interesting enough name. It’s like you’re bedazzling an iPhone.

I really want to root for you guys. I do. So, how’s about you give me a reason to do that?

Thanks Xeratun for the tip!

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