Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Social Enterprise: 'Diaspora' Crowdsources $200,000

Diaspora, the pro-privacy social network and social enterprise being built as an alternative to Facebook by four NYU classmates, announced today that it has been able to crowdsource its goal of $200,000 in first-round funding via Kickstarter.

The group, which announced its project April 24 amid Facebook's privacy brouhaha, gave itself 39 days to raise $10,000 using the online fundraising site. The group reached its $10,000 goal in 12 days, and today, the group announced it was able to raise all of the money it sought -- some $200,000, plus an additional $642, from 6,479 people (including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg).

[Diaspora software aims to let users set up their own personal servers, called seeds, so users can control who-sees-what about their private data. Diaspora will provide the same functionality as Facebook, the group says, but it won't rely on centralized servers.]

According to Max Salzberg, 22, one of the four co-founders, the group began its work on the project in April, after hearing Eben Moglen, a Columbia University law professor, describe social networks as a form of "(corporate) spying for free." In recent weeks, Diaspora has become a buzz magnet, receiving mainstream media coverage and attracting nearly 29,000 followers on Twitter. [See fellow blogger Audrey Watter's recent piece on Diaspora here.]

The news is significant for the social enterprise sector, in that it proves that it's possible raise startup capital online for popular projects. Diaspora isn't the only "un-Facebook" social network that is being developed amid privacy concerns. Appleseed and OneSocialWeb also have been working on alternatives.

What do you think? Is crowdsourcing a realistic alternative for new social startups? Let us hear from you.
To Learn More Click Here
Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment