The Diaspora social network

Diaspora is a social network. But it’s a very different sort of social network from the ones you may know (Facebook, Twitter, etc), and has some really nice attributes. Some of the things I like about Diaspora:

Diaspora is not a commercial network, so nobody is trying to make money from you.

Disaspora is owned by its users.

Diaspora respects your privacy, and doesn’t require that you use your real name. Call yourself whatever you please!

Diaspora respects your data. Nothing is shared without your permission.

Diaspora is de-centralized. Instead of having one data centre storing everybody’s data, Diaspora has a bunch of de-centralized “pods” that talk to one another and share content. You can join whatever pod you like, and still communicate with the wider Diaspora community.

If you wish, you can link your Diaspora account to your account on another service, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and WordPress. That gives you the option of posting your content on Diaspora, AND having it echoed at one of those other places. If your friends aren’t on Diaspora yet, this may be an approach you’ll like – it allows you to use Diaspora as your home base, while still sharing what you wish on those other networks.

More info about Diaspora

Want to try Diaspora?

Join a pod

Your first step is to select a Diaspora pod to join. I’m on the Despora.de pod, but I could have joined any other one.

If you want to share information that you post on Diaspora with a Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, or Tumblr account, make sure you select a pod that supports that particular feature. See the image here? It’s part of a screenshot of the pod list at podupti.me. Note the little symbols. Some services offer to connect to Twitter, for example, while others don’t offer that service.

I think you’re probably best to select a pod that has a lot of users – a thousand or more, say. But you could go with a smaller pod, if you like. You can even run your own pod if you have the tech skills to do that.

If the idea of selecting a pod seems overwhelming, let podupti.me select a pod for you. Then you can move on in your Diaspora adventure.

Learn your way around

Once you have a Diaspora account, you’ll want to find your way around, and learn how to use Diaspora. The Diaspora Foundation offers Diaspora tutorials to help you get started.

Things you’ll want to learn as a new Diaspora user:

  • How to make a #newhere post, being sure to share that post with your public aspect
  • How to make other posts, sharing them to public, friends, or whatever other aspects you create. Remember to tag them appropriately. If you add a #radishes tag, all the radish lovers who are following that tag are likely to see your post.
  • How to follow tags that represent your interests, like maybe #coffee #history and #archaeology.
  • How to ignore people who post annoying things, so that you never see content from them. The anti-vaccination guy who never shuts up? Yeah, I’ll never see another post from him.
  • How to control what notifications you receive
  • How to follow (“share with”) interesting people so that content they post shows up on your Diaspora stream.

It’s all pretty easy, and there are lots of helpful people around who can help you if you get stuck on any of this. I’m one of those people, so ask me if you need help figuring out anything on Diaspora.

Come find me on Diaspora!

On Diaspora, I’m mirabilis@despora.de. That looks like an email address, but don’t send mail there as it doesn’t accept email. (If you want to send me email, use the Mirabilis.ca contact page.) mirabilis@despora.de identifies me on the Diaspora network. If you do decide to join Diaspora, share with (follow) me and I’ll share with you. 🙂

Be the change you want to see in the world

Don’t want to give a commercial organization, like Facebook, control over your social interactions? Be part of the change, then – join a social network that respects users and doesn’t screw you over. Help your friends move to that better social network, too.

Diaspora is one of the few social networks that puts users in control, and does not try to profit from, use, or control its users. Isn’t that the kind of thing you want to support? It’s certainly what I want to support, and that is why I’m on Diaspora.

I hope I’ll see you there.