gothfvck: (Gnu)

Copied from Diaspora
"Diaspora is an open-source and distributed community of social networks run by users that enables you to own your own personal data, control with whom you share, and discover cool stuff throughout the Web."

This is a non-profit, distributed and decentralized open source social networking site. They (all the developers) put privacy and security first. There will never be any big corporate buy out, no advertisements and nobody to buy your data and personal information. They allow pseudonyms so you don't have to give out your real name. You don't even have to upload a real picture of yourself and there's no tagging facial recognition to be paranoid about.

I should mention that the source code is available and anybody can and is encouraged to start their own "Pod" to host a Diaspora* network. This means you can contribute code and help with the community effort.

The pods are supported by donations from it's users and according to this blog post of theirs they are incorporated as a for-profit C corporation.

Another interesting feature is the "Stream" where you update your "Status" and can share other information even including pictures and even videos. When posting links if you add an extra slash ( / ) in the address. For example https:///* would automatically get shortened using their in-house URL shortener. If your curious that turned out to be In light grey text next to the URL it'll say what it is when it's expanded. This feature is great when posting really long links such as directions from Google Maps or something.**

Also in the Stream are #hashtags which you can follow. I actually find this way more useful and interesting than I originally thought. It's like micro-blogging but there's no limit that I can see as far as length goes.

Of course this all applies with public posts. There's these things called "Aspects" which I've actually been trying to convince :vfVampireFreaks to steal the idea of and modify the lists on VF. You can post to multiple Aspects and even have people in more than one of them. They won't see your post multiple times. The greatness of this is if you've got family or co-workers or casual acquaintances that you really don't know connected on D* and you want to share something with only a select group of people. This makes it so much easier because there's a checklist of Aspects rather than just a List of which you can only select one group with as is currently with VF.

You can connect to other networks such as Twatter, Faceboo, and Fumblr and there are plenty of other features that I have neglected to mention so check out Diasora Foundation and find out for yourself.

D* always uses HTTPS so you're always connecting to the site with SSL (secure socket layer) encryption.
It's also not trying to be a one-in-all site with music, pictures, videos, games and everything else to bloat it up with certain other websites. There are much better sites for those specific things. It usually doesn't work out too well if one site tries to be everything. D* is simple and a great way to keep in contact with people.

Oh, and I suggest you join or check this list and the links provided.

**I don't condone using anything from Google however I have to admit that their Maps are the best because they even show you directions by foot, bicycle and public transportation and notify you of toll roads.


Oct. 4th, 2012 06:40 am
gothfvck: GF logo (Default)
XMPP which stands for eXtensible Messaging and Presence Protocol is another protocol to use for instant messaging (IMing). It is also known as Jabber. You've probably used it before in some form and not even known it because popular services make use of it such as Facebook, Google with Gtalk, and LiveJournal.

If you have an account with any one of these you can sign right in and start using a dedicated jabber client immediately. However, I strongly advice you to create a new account on another network because at least two out of the three listed don't value your privacy and log all your conversations forever. I suggest going with an independent host that isn't some big international corporation such as,, or another one you may know of. Some e-mail providers give you a XMPP account but it's up to you if you want to give out your e-mail address to everybody. I'd suggest only using that account for close friends that you can trust or those you exchange e-mails with.

Creating an account is easy, you just open up any application that supports XMPP, go through the application's menu and add an account when check the box that says "create account" and type in whatever username you wish along with a password, preferably a password you don't use every/anywhere else. Some of the jabber service providers allow account creation from their website but this is unnecessary and some times is handled via Flash and personally, I hate Flash, especially for communication.

From here you can set it up to connect to many of the other protocols you may be using such as AIM, Y!, MSN/Windows Live/.NET messaging-whatever-it's-called, MySpace and others. Just go to "discover services" and find what you need. Note that not all support all that they possibly can so check the website beforehand and make sure they support the gateway you need. Once you do this you can connect to your new XMPP account and in turn connect to all your other networks and from one program talk to your lame buddies still using AIM.

Another great feature of XMPP is the presence part, the ability to set a resource. What this means is that you're able to sign in at multiple locations and/or multiple clients and set a priority and status for each one. By default, whichever has the highest priority will get an incoming message unless the sender specifies to send to a different resource. This is very handy when you've got a desktop, laptop and handheld (read as Android) computer or if you are able to sign in at work, school, or elsewhere and at the place you sleep. If you sleep at work then... well, at least you've still got that job but make sure you really wash up in the bathroom and wash your clothes in the sink! Not that not all clients can send to a specific resource but most, if not all, XMPP-capable clients can at least read different status messages and will show you the resource they're coming from.

What's great about using XMPP is that it's decentralized. There's no one company that's reading, censoring and logging all your conversations which is something all the major networks do weather they admit it or not, I've seen it happen. You don't have to worry about them making some weird proprietary changes making it impossible to do something or them going out of business/someone buying them out and changing privacy policies & terms of service agreements (and possibly you won't even know prior to it happening). It's open source and uses open standards. Most servers value privacy and security as much as you or I do (and that's quite a bit on my end). There probably won't be any advertisements and your information won't be sold. Of course, find these things out for yourself before you create and start using an account because you may find the one that doesn't follow these rules!

One more note: make sure you enable any encryption plugins available such as off-the-record (OTR) and talk all your friends into using encryption to make sure everything's kept private and each of you gets all the messages intended untempered with. Remember your Miranda Rights, everything you said can and will be used against you. Just because you aren't doing or talking about anything that's illegal (today) doesn't mean that you don't need or shouldn't use encryption. Privacy is one of our basic rights and we should keep things that way because if we don't bother to fight for our rights they will all disappear.

Suggested clients:
Gajim - Great for Jabber as it allows choosing which resource to message the person at if they're signed in multiple places. GTK
Pidgin - Also supports IRC and every IM network. GTK
Jitsi - Good support for A/V conferencing.
Psi - Another cross-platform client. QT
Kopete - The KDE instant messanger. Multi-protocol. QT
Xabber for Android.
ChatSecure for iOS devices.

Check out the long but incomplete list of servers over at


gothfvck: GF logo (Default)

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