Diaspora is a decentralized social networking service, designed to be a more privacy-aware alternative to Facebook. Share what you want, with whom you want. Diaspora lets you sort your connections into groups called aspects. Unique to Diaspora, aspects ensure that your photos, stories and jokes are shared only with the people you intend. Diaspora makes sharing clean and easy – and this goes for privacy too. Inherently private, Diaspora doesn’t make you wade through pages of settings and options just to keep your profile secure.
In more words, Diaspora can be characterized by 5 main features:
Instead of everyone’s data being contained on huge central servers owned by a large organization, local servers (“pods”) can be set up anywhere in the world. You choose which pod to register with - perhaps your local pod - and seamlessly connect with the diaspora* community worldwide.
You can be whoever you want to be in diaspora. Unlike some networks, you don’t have to use your real identity. You can interact with whomever you choose in whatever way you want. The only limit is your imagination. diaspora is also Free Software, giving you liberty to use it as you wish.
In diaspora you own your data. You do not sign over any rights to a corporation or other interest who could use it. With diaspora, your friends, your habits, and your content is your business ... not ours! In addition, you choose who sees what you share, using Aspects. Actually, diaspora pioneered the concept of aspects, which means you can organize your contacts according to their role in your life. This means you can share something just with family members or work colleagues, knowing that no one you don’t want to will be able to see what you post.
Hashtags give you the freedom to label and follow your interests with ease. You can catch people’s attention by @mentioning them. Re-share posts you love so others can enjoy and comment on them too. And show your love for other people’s work by loving it.
* Integration with other Social Networks
You may use diaspora as your home base to post to your profiles on other major social services. This way your friends will still be able to keep in touch with what you’re up to, even if they’re not yet on diaspora. Diaspora currently supports cross-posting to your Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts, with more to come.
The Diaspora social network is constructed of a network of nodes, or pods, hosted by many different individuals and institutions. Each node operates a copy of the Diaspora software acting as a personal web server. Users of the network can host a pod on their own server or create an account on any existing pod of their choice, and from that pod can interact with other users on all other pods.
Diaspora was nominated for "Best Social Network" in the 2011 Mashable.com Awards.