Today Max, Dan, Ilya and Raphi – aka the team behind the much-hyped Diaspora project – release their first chunk of source code. They have been working *very* hard on getting to this point, in spite of massive hype and media attention.
In the geek world, there’s a lot of people waiting to inspect and poke around with this mythical code, many hoping to finally call out the emperors new clothes. Probably, the criticism will be shattering but at least constructive. What surprises me, is the negative energy and nerd envy, for lack of a better word, around Diaspora and the fact that they broke the bank – and got way more attention and money that they’d ever asked for. We should happy for them!
This, however, does not change the one fact that sets Diaspora apart from other great projects, such as Appleseed: they have a story, a mission, and they have our attention. They have managed to bridge the gap between the geek world – where privacy and control over one’s data is important – and the rest of us, where privacy is something I should probably care about.
But Diapora’s success is not a given. I you look at the story as a classic fairytale, you have a choice: you can choose to be a distributed helper or donor. Or you can be a troll, or straight-up villain (no, not you, Jon ). None of which helps bring about the change we all want.
I have made my choice, and am aware this is a leap of faith – I believe in these guys, and I want them to succeed. Many friends and colleagues share that sentiment, even among the more technical people who know what they’re talking about. So, please, be constructive, and help Diaspora. The real challenge begins now, and only a community effort will make Diaspora successful. Please don’t troll. We have a lot to win.