Leaving Facebook

Nice Technology Review piece by Erika Jonietz.

Facebook is like a casino: garish, crowded, distracting, designed to lure you in and keep you there far longer than you ever intended. (The same is true of its predecessor, MySpace.) Status updates—not only by actual friends and acquaintances but also from companies, news outlets, celebrities, sports teams—jockey for space with videos, ads, games, chat windows, event calendars, and come-ons to find more people, make more connections, share more data.

Diaspora is more like the calm, minimal workspace of a Zen devotee. Unlike Facebook and its competitors, Diaspora makes it easy to separate your social spheres. Your home page displays your status updates and those of your online friends, along with lists of your contacts and the categories, called “aspects,” into which you’ve sorted them. The default aspects are work and family, but adding new aspects is as easy as opening a new tab in a Web browser. You can craft a status update to share across all aspects, with only one, or with a few, and it’s very clear on every page which information has gone out to which groups…