NYU Students Raise More than $100,000 to Build Facebook Alternative

NYU Students Raise More than $100,000 to Build Facebook Alternative

Four New York University students have a vision to build Diaspora, “an open source personal web service that will put individuals in control of their data,” or essentially the anti-Facebook.

They started with just a dream and a prayer — that prayer was to raise $10,000 by June 1 so that they could spend the summer making their vision a reality. They reached that goal in just 12 days.

Now, still more than two weeks away from their deadline, the team of programmers has already broke $100,000, collected via the fundraising platform Kickstarter.

Team Diaspora — college kids Daniel Grippi, Maxwell Salzberg, Ilya Zhitomirskiy and Raphael Sofaer — believe that sharing information online and maintaining one’s privacy should not have to be mutually exclusive. What they set out to build is a network that allows everyone to install their own “seed” — i.e. a personal web server with a user’s photos, videos and everything else — within the larger network. That seed would be fully owned and controlled by the user, so the user could share anything and still maintain ownership over it.

What it looks like remains to be seen, but this answer to current FacebookFacebookFacebook culture has a hit nerve with the more than 2,300 individuals who have agreed to back the company with as little as five bucks.

Now that the guys have reached their goal, we expect them to fulfill their promise and forgo all fun this summer to build their pet project. In a few months time we should see what $100,000 and a powerful vision can produce.

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