Thinking Outside the Social Networking Box

Some observations – this is NOT supposed to be a Diaspora against Friendica post… just some thoughts about both.

Diaspora:

-Clean, standard interface.

-Not immediately noticeable is the ability to use MArkdown to add links, images etc to your profile page.

-When logged in, if someone adds me into an aspect, I am able to click on them and see whatever public information about themselves they have made available, even if in a different ‘pod’.

-I can toggle quickly between ‘Aspects’-same as Groups-Friendica/Lists-Facebook/Circles-Google+ (important to make use of aspects if you have quite a few friends)

-I can chose between seeing what is recently commented on, or what is recently posted.

-Their is a ‘Notifications’ icon on your page that shows you when you have been added to an Aspect, or when you have been mentioned, or when a thread you are posting on has been added to.

-I can click on @mentions or Commented Posts in the sidebar to see posts that have mentioned me or posts I have commented on.

-We can use Hashtags, and comment directly on Hashtag pages.

-We can upload photos, but are not able to organize the photos into albums. When you click on someone’s profile picture, you can see ALL the photos they have uploaded, not organized, but just all on one screen. (a bit cumbersome, plus it isn’t easily known that clicking on someone’s profile picture will show pictures)

-there are no ‘groups’ . There are hashtag pages: enter  #nature in the search bar and go to a page with any pics tagged ‘nature’- this is rather indiscriminate however. There is no ‘join’, all posts are publicly visible, and anyone can enter numerous tags to an image or post even if the post/pic has little to do with the tag- it is a good way to find people interested in the same things as yourself however.

-Use @ in front of a name in your status post and the other person will be notified that you have referred to them.

-You can use Private Messaging Also

-You can cross post to Tumblr, FB and Twitter, but only between Friendica can you have two way communication outside of Diaspora.

Friendica:

-not a standard interface, but the default is quite clean. A bit confusing is the multiple themes one can chose from – not all themes operate the same, nor do they all operate as effectively. The ‘zero’ themes seem to work best.

-there is a whole plerotha of types of information you can share. Very detailed. Not able to use Markdown for profile page. (not a big deal for most people)

-you can create different profiles of yourself on the same account, and can choose which groups can see what profile. Useful if you have a private S&M side that you don’t want your Work friends to see. 😀

-On a friend’s profile page, you can click on their Profile tab for full profile info, as well as a Photo tab for their photo albums. You can also click on their Status tab to post on their wall.

-when someone decides to share with you, clicking on their name for more info seems to bring me outside my node and I don’t seem to be able to see much information about them, making it sort of a ‘blind add’. *This might not be the case all the time and might just be that each person who adds me has a restricted profile.*

-I can toggle quickly between ‘Groups’-same as Aspects-Diaspora/Lists-Facebook/Circles-Google+ (important to make use of Groups if you have quite a few friends)

-It is not easy to keep up with things you have posted on. The best way to do this is by ‘Starring’ a conversation you plan on following so that you can click on your ‘Starred’ conversations in the Network stream and find these conversations.

-Not only can you @mention someone in your status post, but you can do this in follow up comments anywhere also.

-entering a word into your search bar on your stream/network page, will bring you to all posts about this term that have been hashtagged.

-We can upload photos into albums.

-Group pages are under construction. Currently you can make a ‘community’ page and can toggle between that page you have created and your reg. profile.

-You can private message

-You can include MANY and almost ANY sources into your stream.Twitter, RSS FEeds, Tumblr etc. Only Diaspora is allowing two way conversations right now it seems.(please correct me if I am wrong)

you can post to tumblr, as well as to any people who are following you at Friendica, even if they are on Diaspora or status.net

So, what does this mean?

Well, first off, I stand to be corrected among many of the Friendica things – the thing is, it just isn’t as obvious how to do a lot of things at Friendica, so even though there are ultimately more options to work with in Friendica, but some of the basic functions are not as fluid or as pretty as Diaspora.

Being able to make multiple profiles on Friendica, aimed toward different social groups is fantastic, but if you don’t actually have different groups of people, you know.. if Grandma and Grandpa across the country, or your co-workers, aren’t using Friendica, then it isn’t going to get much use.

Diaspora doesn’t allow multiple profiles for one account, however your profile is private until you chose to share with someone. If you set a post to public, then anyone who comes to your page can see your public posts, but your actual profile info is still intact.

Friendica has more privacy settings and greater emphasis on federation (interaction between multiple sites/feeds etc). Lots of functions, though many of them are not going to be ‘easy’ for the average person looking to make a full break from the current social networking platforms of FB and Google+.

Diaspora is simpler, and has a smoother flow to it, it is easier to see who is saying what, easier to stay on top of conversations you are involved in. Easier for those wanting to make the FB/Google+ transition.

Both are in Beta. Diaspora seems to load a bit faster, Friendica gets laggy for me.

For me, I love the look of Diaspora. The UI is good and solid. It has less options, but the options that ARE there, work very well. I like that I can go away for a few days, come back and still easily see updates on what conversations I have been a part of. I like the notification icon on the screen that lets me know, all in one place, of my adds, convo updates etc. No clutter.

Friendica has the options for all sorts of communication abilities, and to receive feeds of all sorts, but sacrificed seems to be smoothness, simple UI (can you have a simple UI when you have multiple layers of options? Not really) and easy to find notifications.

Keeping in mind that Diaspora is a well publicised team of individuals that have received much more press and money than Mike Mac Girvin at Friendica. Friendica, although it has many people testing and working on things is pretty much a one-man show with Mike. So to give Friendica a final rating right now is not fair, because there are quite a few things in Friendica that are guaranteed to smooth out over time. Even now, as I type, I am sure that Mike is busy trying to sort out, improve, de-bug something.

What BOTH these platforms have in common is an amazing option to current Social Networking:

What’s your sex? WHO CARES! What’s your real name? WHO CARES!

Own your own content.

Do you have a server? Run your own pod or node! Or join one of the many already in existence… diasp.org, poddery.com are both just two of many open pods for Diaspora, and the base JoinDiaspora.com is now sending out their invites like mad. Friendica has frndk.de , friendika.openmindspace.org and hipatia.net are three open nodes for Friendica.

Both these platforms are run by people that are actually doing this because they want to make a difference. The creative minds behind it actually interact with the people on the platforms and try their best to address complaints, issues and suggestions.

Currently I use both, but DO slightly prefer Diaspora, simply because of ease of use, and I have had an easier time getting friends to sign up.

I enjoy Friendica also though and will stick with it because I truly think it will become something great as time passes. Also, from Friendica I can interact with my Diaspora friends, so I don’t really HAVE to make a choice.

Bottom line? Think outside the box. There is a new era of Social Networking on the horizon. Free.. TRULY free. You are NOT an Ad Target. You are not having your info sold to companies. Your social interaction is not making others rich.

Try them out.

(i apologize in advance for this mish-mash of thoughts. I currently have two children under five climbing all about and fighting, yelling, leaping etc… but I wanted to share this before I forgot some of my key points)

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